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Tigard growlerie serves up a good time

Tapphoria has 26 brews on tap as well as wine, ale, cider and kombucha

Photo Credit: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Tapphoria offers 64-ounce growlers, as well as a full restaurant. Its the only bar of its kind in Tigard, Michael Westfall says.Michael Westfall loves to talk about beer.

As the co-owner of Tapphoria, the new growler bar that opened on Pacific Highway this summer, Westfall has spent the past three months living his dream.

“It’s great, I love it,” he said on Tuesday as he prepped the bar for its 4 p.m. opening. “Although, eventually, I would like a week off.”

Tapphoria is the latest in a trend of bars specializing in selling draft microbrews in 64-ounce containers.

Tapphoria, which celebrates its three-month anniversary next week, isn’t your typical bar. It opens late, closes early, and is family-friendly.

“It’s the opposite structure of a normal bar,” Westfall said. “We don’t have to call taxis for people. A lot of people come in after work, have a glass of pinot grisio and a chicken Caesar salad and don’t have to worry about typical bar stuff. Nothing against bars, I go to all the bars around here, but here, I don’t have to listen to people playing pool, or a DJ in the corner and the constant noise.”

The bar offers a selection of 26 types of beer, wine, cider and kombucha, as well as a selection of local spirits.

It’s a bar for people to appreciate what they are drinking, Westfall said, and to have a good time.

“We don’t get a lot of 21st birthday parties in here,” Westfall joked. “I mean, we’re selling $5 microbrews, nobody’s coming in here to drink Pabst.”

Unlike many growleries in the area, Tapphoria offers a full menu, as well as spirits, Westfall said.

The bar’s taps are constantly rotated, and Westfall makes sure to bring in customer’s recommendations when he can.

All about that taste

Photo Credit: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Tapphoria focuses on local products - from Sherwood micro-brews to Bend-area kombucha.Windfall operates three businesses across town — Tapphoria, a coffee kiosk on Scholls Ferry Road and a Portland party bus. His days are spent at the bar, his nights often transporting people across Portland in his bus.

After years of driving bachelor parties around Portland with his party bus, Westfall said it was time for a change.

“All these 3 a.m. days, it gets crazy,” he said. “So I said, I’m opening up a growler shop in Tigard.”

Growlers have become all-the-rage among beer and wine drinkers. The reason for that is simple, Westfall said.

“It’s the taste,” he said. “People love the fresh taste of a draft beer. I had a beer a couple weeks ago that was super common, and you could get it anywhere. But I tried it on tap, and it was phenomenal. There is something about it being on tap that just tastes better.”

They are often more convenient, Westfall said.

“If you’re going to a barbecue, you often don’t want to show up with a case of Coors,” he said. “I spent $10 for a six-pack the other days. With the way those prices are going, they’re reaching growler territory, and this way you can get it fresh.”

Portland’s strong micro-brew culture is well documented, and it seems everyone from bars to grocery stores are offering some sort of growler service to customers these days, Westfall said.

But Tigard has largely been ignored in both those trends, Westfall said.

“The beer scene almost skipped Tigard completely,” Westfall said.

There are only two local brewers, Max's Fanno Creek Brew Pub and Red Ox Brewing, which don’t distribute outside of the city. The area is home to only one other bar like Tapphoria, The Growlerie at Progress Ridge.

Westfall has big plans for Tapphoria. He said he wants to see it grow and become a place where people gather.

“I can already see it happening,” he said.

About half the company’s business is comprised of people taking home growlers for parties and get-togethers, the other half use the bar as a local watering hole.

“We have people who come in and grab a growler, and maybe something for the wife, and we have others who come in and hang out all day,” he said.

Westfall said he wants Tapphoria to showcase local breweries and distillers. On tap at the bar this week is a selection from Sherwood-based brewer Two Kilts, and it offers Indio Spirits, a Tigard company located near Bridgeport Village.

“Everything is just from Oregon,” Westfall said, examining his selection of rums, vodkas and other liquors. “You’ll never find tequila here, because there are no distillers here in Oregon.”

Someday, he said, he might make the switch from bartender to brewer.

“People say how great it would be to have your own beer in the store, but baby steps, man,” Windfall said. “We haven’t even been open for three months yet. We’ve got time.”

Editor's Note: This story incorrectly identified Mike Westfall as the owner of Tapphoria. He is its co-owner. The Times regrets the error.

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