Side-street Pint Shack serves boulevard of beers

Roll-down is a retro rage these days, but Pint Shack rocks theirs.

Look through the street-level roll-down door and see the roll-down world maps, a backdrop to the world of beverages inside the Fourth Street pub.

Owner Erin Eastman will celebrate a year in business next month as “a kind of a locals’ hangout” where beers from Hood River and beyond form a liquid latitude and longitude.

There is a diverse and oft-changing menu of beer, wine and cider at the tropical-themed Pint Shack. The colorful walls exude the hues of oceans and painted walls of villages in the Greek Isles, the Caribbean or Eastman’s beloved Baja.

“It’s fun this time of year because there’s a lot more people coming off the water, and it’s great for me; I get to see all the people I missed this winter that have been in Baja,” Eastman said.

“Everyone’s here for the season and I get to hear their stories for the day.

“We’re like a kite bar; locals love it and we’re getting more and more tourists coming in,” she said. “It’s a little of everything; it’s just different — all the bright colors — and it’s laid-back. I think people enjoy it, being relaxed with family and friends.”

She said during weekdays it’s primarily locals, with more and more visitors discovering the semi-subterranean hangout, on Fourth between Oak and Cascade streets. The pub opens at 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 2 p.m. on Sunday.

“The location has been tricky because it’s hard for everyone to tell we’re here,” Eastman said. “It’s kind of word-of-mouth for people coming in.”

One thing that has helped big time is the revised sign out front: the surfboard with the pub name on it, donated by Brave Dave Gutierrez and friends at Slingshot in Hood River. The repurposed wake board replaced pub sign 1.0, a plain white one.

“They’ve been awesome,” Eastman said. “Brave and the guys offered to make a sign; they put our logo on it and put it up.”

You can sit inside or at several tables in the sidewalk, under the Slingshot sign.

Last week, Eastman introduced a new menu of rice bowls, specialized nachos and other fare, cooked in-house or catered by Blossoms, to go with the beverages.

Full Sail, Double Mountain and Everybody’s Brewing are regular tenants of the 20 or so taps, and two are now reserved for ciders, including the house cider, Two Rivers’ pomegranate. The beer list is primarily from Oregon and states west of the Rockies.

Eastman likes to hear customer recommendations, and seeks out good and unusual beers such as Hop Valley of Springfield’s 8.7 percent alcohol Alpha Centauri IPA now on tap.

“We have all these great breweries, and they focus on their beer; but people want to sample different things, and it’s nice to have a place where they can do that,” Eastman said.

“People come in say, ‘Where’s that beer I tried here?’ and we say, ‘We don’t have it on right now; try this,’ and it might be something they have never have had before and they try it and like it.

“It’s an adventure,” she said.

Sip a hard-to-find ale at Pint Shack, scan the roll-down maps and consider the joys of traveling, or staying right here for the beer.

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