When Pine Street Market opened in downtown Portland, the developers apparently told vendors to provide a twist on proven concepts. For Billy Wilson’s successful Portland coffee bar chainlet, BARISTA, that meant a variation called BARISTA Brass Bar, a round bar with floor to ceiling wood and brass, a built-in Modbar, and some fun specialty drinks.
Apple Pie Coffee Shrub ($5 for 8 ounces – $7 for 16 ounces) was a creative seasonal offering that Brass Bar served either hot or cold. I went with ice. Their tangy shrub (infused vinegar) base touts smooth-sipping, but still potent cold brew coffee. Fall flourishes included sweet-tart apple cider (local, naturally), warming pie spices, and toasted pecan bitters. I wasn’t sure if earthy and tangy ingredients would properly commingle, but BARISTA Brass Bar’s shrub was proof positive.