In Portland, you can find free booze just about everywhere. But it comes at a price. Barber shops will hand you a sloshing shot of Old Crow or a Miller High Life in exchange for a $30 men's short haircut. First Thursday galleries often supply beer and wine, but you have to hang in the Pearl.
However, there's one place that attempts tried-and-true altruism: EastBurn.
Between whenever you show up and when the following hour ends, you and nine of your friends can drink unlimited quantities of draft beer and/or house wine on your birthday.
Don't attempt to haggle: Whiskey and champagne are off-limits without a credit card, so have one of your pals open a separate tab if you need a birthday shot. And make sure to schedule at least a week beforehand, because this dandy establishment will only accept up to two Birthday Power Hours at any given time.
When I called to schedule my BPH at EastBurn, I came clean immediately: I told the guy that I don't have nine friends. His response: Just scrape up whoever you can, and we'll get them plastered.
And if you know what's good for you, you'll want some entertainment. Being in the basement of a bar that's not a basement bar can feel a tad dry. Schedule your Birthday Power Hour for Sunday, since that's karaoke night downstairs in the tap room, which is where you'll undoubtedly be banished for your Power Hour.
In addition to all the free booze and smirks you receive from the bartender, you'll also pick up a free dessert in the form of either deep-fried cookie dough or brownie a la mode. You'll feel flustered with all the free stuff you're already being awarded simply for having graced the earth with your presence, so you'll ask the bartenders what they would order. They'll tell you to get the deep-fried cookie dough because it's a curiosity. Order the brownie.
And dear Lord, tip your bartender: Chances are, no one else will be this nice to you for the rest of the year.