Built in 1905, by Polish immigrants, the White Eagle Saloon and Hotel is now a classic McMenamins location. Preserving history and culture is part of the responsibility that the McMenamins brothers take on when they acquire one of Portland’s older properties. McMenamins also has a number of artists on their payroll that decorate their establishments and use it as a way to document aspects of their history. Many of those artists have been working for McMenamins for over 20 years now, but it is rare for us to ever get to meet hem or see them in action.
The past weekend, Myrna Yoder updated one of her murals in the White Eagle. High on the wall was a mural of an Eagle, very similar to the one you may find on the Polish flag, except that it was uncrowned. That was put to rights and you can see the mural before, during and after her work. Myrna started her artistic life with large black and white woodcuts. In 1991, she started doing murals and decorative painting for McMenamins. It was a part time job and she neglected to tell them that she didn’t really know how to paint. They did not seem to notice or care, as they were happy with her work and as they say, the rest is history.
As part of the celebration, McMenamins also brewed a special ale – Orzel Bialy Baltic Porter. This style of porter was derived from the English porters of the 18th century, with a more robust and sweet characteristic similar to those of Russian Imperial Stouts. They describe it as – an intensely, complex beverage with a malt bill to match, while the hops add a subtle supporting role wafting off the alcoholic breeze, like salt on the winds of the Baltic Sea.
Brought to you by Brian Bailey