LAGERING LENTS: Lents has a big bar scene. As in, the bars in Lents are big. The deep-Southeast 'hood's most famous landmark is the New Copper Penny, a 30,000-square-foot nightlife complex that had a staggering 136 police calls in a two-year period ending March 2014, when the club had its most recent shooting. But the Portland Development Commission has plowed $100 million of your tax dollars into improving this blue-collar business district. At the new Zoiglhaus Brewing Company (5716 SE 92nd Ave., 971-339-2374, zoiglhaus.com), the PDC has a pale ale named in its honor.
In keeping with Lentil custom, the space is huge—10,500 square feet for the main floor, which can accommodate 270 people. In Germany, the Zoiglhaus is a regional tradition where community stakeholders come together to brew in a shared system. Pints brewmaster Alan Taylor will make all the beer here by himself. So far, it's all brewed in Old Town, but Taylor hopes to open the brewery here within a few months.
All the beer we sampled was great—clean, well-made and perfectly to style—but the food menu needs some tweaks. In any neighborhood, $7 is a steep price for a large pretzel, even with a cup of obatzda dipping sauce made from soft cheese and butter. The currywurst plate, on the other hand, was also $7, but came with a mountain of fries, one sausage link sliced into pieces so thin they started to bow in the middle, and a sauce that needed a little more curry-powered bite. Hopefully, those wrinkles get worked out as the operation grows into its space.