Portland is known for beer, period. We could spew a bunch of impressive facts about Portland breweries, like how we lead the United States in percentage of craft beer sales with nearly 40%, or how Oregon breweries brewed 53% of all the draft beer served in the country, but there's a lot of cities with a growing beer scene, crowning the “best” city for craft beer is futile because at the end of the day who really cares? Delicious, tasty beer is what matters and for that, look no further than Portland’s breweries. Most native Portlanders have a favorite brewery to grab a pint but saying there's a definitive “best” brewery is a quick way to get in a heated debate. It really depends on what you are looking for. Do you want to try a bunch of different beers, like porters, white IPAs, etc? Are you going to need a big hamburger to go with your beer? Interested in bringing your dog along? Ask 100 Portlanders their favorite place to grab a beer and you will get a variety of answers, but what do you do if you're from out of town? Say you're visiting Portland for the weekend and want to treat yourself to a couple cold pints of the best Portland has to offer, where do you go? Your time is precious and you can’t waste it on subpar restaurants serving up beers you've already tried. God forbid you walk into a bar and their choices include Coors, Blue Moon, and Budweiser. We've outlined the top 3 breweries you should stop by if you're visiting beautiful Portland Oregon.
Location: Baerlic Brewing is located in between Hawthorne and Division on the Eastside. This brewery is in an ideal location if you're visiting, want to grab a couple pints and then walk around to see what else Portland has to offer. There are a ton of places to grab food, more drinks, and see some really unique shops on Hawthorne in addition to Baerlic.
Beer: Of course the beer is awesome. Their tap room can get crowded, but everyone is generally friendly and the wait is worth it. They frequently have new beer selections and a full listing of their menu can be found here. If you like cream ales, pilsners, lagers, and stouts, then look no further, your best best is try a sampler of them all.
Food: If you're like me then you'll be wanting something delicious and savory to chow down on after your 2nd pint of cream ale. Unfortunately Baerlic doesn’t serve food, but they're understanding if you want to bring your own. Just head down the street a ways and check out Pine State Biscuits (a Portland classic).
What Else: If you're still thirsty and want to do a little walking in between beers, you can take a quick walk to Ground Breakers Brewing which is a little under half mile from Baerlic. If you want to make a day/evening out of it head North to Helium comedy club.
Location: Hopworks Urban Brewery has two locations in the Portland area. If you don’t want to deal with parking and you need seating for a family or a larger party you should visit the Hopworks on Powell. If you're fine with looking for street parking and want to walk around and shop then visit the Hopworks on North Williams. This HUB (Hopworks Urban Brewery) is awesome, it's called a Biker Bar (not the Harley Davidson type), you'll find bikes decorating the inside and outside of the brewery and may notice a truly Portland experience before walking into the brewery. There's two stationary bikes sitting outside the brewery, feel free to hop on and start peddling. After contributing a certain amount of energy to the locations gird you earn a free portion of beer. If that sounds like too much work, just head on in and order something off the menu.
Beer: Hopworks’ beer is outstanding. Like most breweries in Portland they have the staples, the beers that remain on the menu year round. The fun is in trying their newest concoctions and flavors also called seasonal rotators. If you like big bold beer but that has a light and refreshing taste, then check out Hopworks menu here. We recommend the Hopworks Lager which is a light and refreshing beer and really easy to drink with a meal. If you like beers that are really smooth then check out some of their Belgian offerings.
Food: Need to chomp into something tasty? Hopworks has a great selection of burgers, sandwiches and homemade pizzas. Everything here tastes great, but if we had to recommend something, it would be the burgers. You know how some places take it the extra mile with selecting which buns accompany their burgers? The soft, slightly flaky buns with butter on the underside and grilled before being put on top of the burger? That is exactly what Hopworks does and if loving awesome buns is wrong, we don’t want to be right. Try a burger and thank us later.
What else: Hopworks is a Portland brewery to it’s core. What we mean is it focuses on community, giving back, and not taking too much. They make great beer but pay careful attention to how much they contribute to the waste cycle, and it is impressively not much. Everything done at Hopworks is in a sustainable and Eco-friendly manner. Read more about it here. Aside from doing good for the environment, Hopworks’ North Williams location has a ton of awesome restaurants, stores, and shops to walk to. If you're in the neighborhood and still hungry we recommend Tasty N Sons. Want to do a bit of shopping? Head over to Mississippi street and find an assortment of Portland shops and food trucks.
Location: Stormbreaker Brewing is located on NE Mississippi Street. Finding parking here can be tough during peak hours but there's plenty of residential side streets you can head down to find a spot. The brewery is on the corner and has a bunch of great places to eat and drink around it.
Beer: You would be hard-pressed to find a brewery in Portland that didn’t offer a rotating menu and Stormbreakers is no exception. If you like Kolsch style beers, pale ales, IPAs, porters, etc there is something on their menu perfect for you. Check their menu for a full listing of beers here. We recommend the “Right As Rain Pale”.
Food: The food at Stormbreakers is good. It’s tough to say that it is the best around because Mississippi Street has a ton of choices and food trucks within walking distance., but if you want a mellow, toss back a few kind of place, while eating a sandwich of burger then there is no need to leave Stormbreakers. Their full menu can be found here.
What Else: Stormbreakers has a great look and feel to it. You walk in and there's a smaller bar type area with a big wood top bar. Behind you and off to the left will be covered (heated) tents with long bench seating. The best part about this is you are forced to sit down next to a stranger. What better way to enjoy Portland beer then to talk with a native Portlander about it. During the NBA season, they put Blazer games on a big screen in one of the seating areas and sponsor movie nights on others. Weather permitting, if you're down for a little walk, head down to Porque No, the line will be out the door, but it moves quick. Grab yourself some tacos, and dig in!
Time is money and beer is tasty. So don’t waste your time driving all over Portland for the best pint of ale. Instead, check out one of these 3 breweries and let us know what you think.
If any of these happen to be your favorite, leave us a comment or hit us up on our Twitter.