The Story of the Horse Brass Pub

It was a dark and stormy autumn afternoon in 1976 when Don Younger sat with a friend in an obscure South East Portland tavern waiting for his car to be fixed. Don was a devout Blitz drinker at the time and this tavern, with only 6 taps, was the closest place to while-away the afternoon. Day turned to night and while the details of that evening remain vague, we do know that Don awoke the following morning with the bill of sale scribbled on a napkin in his shirt pocket. A transfer of ownership had been made during the course of that evening and, well, the rest is history.

The Early Years

The early years were spent adding more taps, including more imports from across the pond, and a signature menu. Recent UK transplants Bette and Brian Dutch, the first two employees of the Pub, helped develop many of the homemade specialties still on the menu today: Bangers & Mash, Scotch Eggs, Sausage Rolls, Ploughman’s Lunch, Pot Pies and Pasties. Our now world-famous Halibut Fish and Chips were created and still win awards each year. (Willamette Week – Best Fish and Chips, Best English Pub; Food Channel’s “The Secret Life of Pub Grub”; as well as features in the New York Times, Esquire Magazine, Celebrator, All About Beer, and The Oregonian.)

The 80’s heralded the beginning of the microbrew, or craft beer phenomenon in Portland, which rapidly spread throughout the State of Oregon, the Pacific Northwest, and beyond. The Horse Brass was the perfect venue to pioneer these beer styles that had been absent since prohibition, especially being located in prime hop-growing country. This early visionary promoting of craft beers, brewers, and the related industry supporting it all assured that the Horse Brass Pub would be considered the mecca of the movement. Guests from around the world continue to visit us on their brew-loving pilgrimages to this day.

We invite you to stop by the Pub next time you’re in town. Enjoy a pint – we’ve grown to over 50 superlative beers on tap – try the Fish & Chips, challenge your mates to a round of darts, and remember “You’re a stranger no more when you walk through the door of the ol’ Horse Brass Pub”!