1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Portland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
   No picture uploaded.
   Have one? Upload it now.
BA SCORE
82
good

19 Ratings
Ratings: 19
Reviews: 11
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 16.71%
Active Beers: 22
Beer Ratings: 946
Beer Avg: 3.49
Taps: 12
Bottles: 0
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

2730 NW 31st Ave
Portland, Oregon, 97210
United States
phone: (800) 356-2017

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @macsbeer

Notes:
Owned by Magic Hat Brewing Company since 2008.

Beers brewed under the pre-existing "MacTarnahan's Brewing Company" label are listed below.

TAPROOM HOURS:

Monday 11:00am - 9:00pm
Tuesday- Thursday 11:00am - 10:00pm
Friday 11:00am - 11:00pm
Saturday 12:00pm - 11:00pm
Sunday 12:00pm - 9:00pm

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 19 | Reviews: 11 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of f_raud
2.75/5  rDev -22.1%

f_raud, Jul 18, 2014
Photo of tastymug
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

tastymug, May 24, 2014
Photo of dmorgan310
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

dmorgan310, May 13, 2014
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Hopheadjeffery, Apr 03, 2014
Photo of Hobbit
4.5/5  rDev +27.5%

Hobbit, Mar 14, 2014
Photo of brewtalthrone
2.05/5  rDev -41.9%

Despite the name, this is not on your list of PDX beer places to check out. WAY up in NW Industrial, strangest damn location; definitely NOT the place to impress out-of-towners, though it is quite nice & warm feeling inside. Service was slow (for me - there by myself, and I felt SO out of place here). Took forever just to get noticed; as a matter of fact, I had to say "hello, here I am, ready to spend money in your establishment, yes me, right here, thank you", or something like that. If you're with a group of Dockers & loafers type of people who like to go to "beer" places to eat, then maybe you'd enjoy this. For me, however, this was a "one & done" visit. I wanted to like this place, but honestly I can only recommend it to "Leave It To Beaver" types. If you snuggle into that criterion, then give it a shot; just be sure to go with a group.

brewtalthrone, Mar 08, 2014
Photo of Rudes
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Rudes, Feb 01, 2014
Photo of fitius5150
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

fitius5150, Dec 02, 2013
Photo of BillRoth
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

BillRoth, Nov 18, 2013
Photo of cbarrett4
3.14/5  rDev -11%

Pretty out of the way in a mega industrial park section of town. Which is odd since the place looks really nice. It's not really been very busy when I've been in. It is nice to try some of the staples from Pyramid and MacTarnahans next to each other, often they have a couple of limited release beers. But like Bridgeport brewing these are mainly grocery beers. The quality of the beer is good, but not worth heading out to the creepy industrial park next to the railroad track.

I did visit once on a trivia night and that was kind of fun. But I haven't really been back in awhile so what does that tell you?

cbarrett4, Aug 29, 2011
Photo of djbreezy
3.6/5  rDev +2%

I enjoy that the Taproom is within 2 blocks walking distance from my current residence. However, MacTarnahan's just doesn't do it for me with the beer selection. The taps are usually reflective of what is in bottles in the store and have nothing unique to offer. Even the Imperial IPA that I tried recently failed to excite. I feel like the beers are brewed to a science and not to an art. That is part of my biggest disappointment.

The vibe inside is okay and the staff is okay. The last time I went here was to watch a Blazer game and it wasn't that exciting.

The big brass tanks on the entrance are great. The outdoor seating and dog friendly deck are a plus.

djbreezy, May 19, 2010
Photo of SurlyDuff
4.1/5  rDev +16.1%

A strange location indeed for a place like this. Tucked away on the cities northwest in an industrial park, Pyramid (aka, mctarnahans, portland brewing) is a glistening building with huge copper mashtuns glowing through large windows. Ample outdoor seating, and a cozy indoor dining area, bar, and upscale room with a fireplace.

Food menu is good, and the beers (8 or so) will be reliably tasty, though not spectacular. I've never reviewed Pyramid brews all that highly, but they're solid, and their hefe flagship hits the spot. McTarnahans is a safe bet too, and around here is like 1.99 for a 22oz, a downright tasty bargain.

I really can't think of a reason to recommend this place before other pubs, almost exclusivly because of it's location and proximity to...well...noting. It's good in every respect (food, service, beer, atmosphere), just kinda out of the way. Oh well.

SurlyDuff, Sep 25, 2008
Photo of charlatan
2.66/5  rDev -24.6%

I was rather disappointed with this visit. We showed up a little before closing time and received the distinct impression that they were doing us a favour by serving us at all despite the fact that people coming in after us were also served.

While this location (the heart of Portland's NW industrial district) is ideal for the grungy down to earth knocked a couple of walls out of a house type place that Portland seems to revel in, this place is equal parts cafeteria, hall, lodge and hotel in style. This is decor for yuppies.

The beer was served in imperial pints, but by the time the head on mine had subsided it only barely broke the 16oz mark on the side of the glass. An imperial pint that ain't.

The beers on tap were exactly the Portland Brewing and Pyramid beers that I can find in the supermarket, so really why did I bother?

Well there is a decent patio for sitting out on in the evening, and listening to the pounding and screeching in the nearby factories.

I'm not sure where folks are finding a Scottish feel to the place from, although reading through the other reeviews I guess the answer may be found in the mystical back room which I missed. I doubt that this could have saved my trip though.

charlatan, Jun 30, 2005
Photo of freed
3/5  rDev -15%

Even after knowing about the purchase, I was still shocked to pull up and see "Pyramid Brewing" affixed in golden letters to the facade of the building. The building is rather attractive and stands out among the other industrial single level warehouses in the area. Approaching the building to catch the enormous copper brewing kettles rightfully situated right next to the tap room.

Once inside, the taproom is a somewhat fairy tale mixing of Scottish decor with a little german thrown in. There's a sizable seating area inside and out (covered for winter/spring), and a fancier trophy room set back for meetings. The bar mixes wood and copper with some large porcelain towers, each housing several taps. We were seated quickly and things seemed well until the waiter asked if he could offer us a Pyramid Hefeweisen or Apricot ale. My wife and I were shocked and declined. One more signal of the change, I guess.

The beer list was rather disappointing with the most pedestrian offerings from both breweries. No cask, seasonal or specialty ales today. The beer, as expected, was somewhat lackluster, and we decided not to stick around. There were a number of folks here with the Beer Bus tour, and they stayed a little longer than we did.

The service, as I mentioned, was fine, and it seemed that a few of them knew a little about the brewery and beers, but some didn't seem to know beer at all. One employee informed me that the brilliant copper kettles were actually still in use, and that Pyramid would be brewing all their beer down here now, taking them to full capacity. I suppose that's good, but I don't really consider this place worth the trip, despite its historical significance.

freed, Apr 17, 2005
Photo of RedDiamond
4.03/5  rDev +14.2%

In the early 1980’s, the only breweries in America were beer factories – huge industrial enterprises attended by railroad tracks and large-scale thinking. When the first micros opened for business, this was the template many incorporated into their business plans. Brewpubs were simply unheard of. This is how it came to be that some of the earliest microbreweries exiled themselves to desolate, industrial outposts far removed from the neighborhoods where people actually live and drink beer. Think: Bridgeport, Widmer, and Portland Brewing.

Times have changed. Bridgeport stayed put while a neighborhood sprang up around it. Brewpubs sprouted in small commercial niches near where people live. And Portland Brewing changed its name to MacTarnahan’s or Pyramid, or whatever. Their official address is listed as NW 31st Ave. Their true address is actually on Industrial Ave. at NW 31st. Let’s call them MacTarnahan’s for now.

As I write this in late March ’05, the MacTarnahan’s website still shows a photograph of their brewery with large gold letters proclaiming “Portland Brewing”. These letters now read “Pyramid Brewing”, reflecting last year’s merger with the Seattle-based Pyramid. I have nothing against Pyramid, but I was upset to see such a local landmark abandoned. The good news for Portlanders is that Pyramid beers will soon be brewed here in town. Their hefeweizen already is. The downside of this development is that Pyramid’s Seattle brewery will now contract brew malternatives and alcopop. Sad.

The MacTarnahan’s Taproom serves six regular house beers and an equal number of seasonals, specialties, and cask-conditioned ales. Their tap lines are clean and the quality is notably better than their bottled line. The food is of better-than-average quality with much of it cooked on a rotisserie over open flames. Simple foods such as potatoes and fresh veggies are prepared with uncommon attention to detail, and I give a hearty recommendation to the rotisserie chicken.

The décor is relaxed and informal with flourishes of all things Scottish. The backroom has a “cozy” gas fireplace, though such coziness seems a bit contrived on Industrial Avenue. I do adore the twin 120 bbl copper brew kettle and mash tun transplanted from Nördlingen, Bavaria. They are monstrous, meticulous, fabulous. There’s also a covered patio and the Highlander banquet room for catered events. Be forewarned that they close early during the week and tend to empty out after the dinner crowd thins even on weekends.

RedDiamond, Mar 30, 2005
Photo of Thrasher
3.9/5  rDev +10.5%

Mac's brews are generally well-regarded, even if they're not adored by serious beer drinkers. Whatever your opinion of their beer, the Tap Room at the MacTarnahan's/Portland brewery is a worthwhile destination. It's out of the way, sure, but worth the effort. Upon entering, a glimpse of the brewery can be seen, and a warm open sunny bar area leads into a somewhat German feeling restaurant area. There's also a second room with a fireplace with a bit more of a lodge atmosphere, and an outdoor deck. All in all, the place seems only slightly prefab and corporate, and should be suitable for families in particular. The beer poured at the Tap Room is always superior to MacTarnahan's brew poured anywhere else; it is on tap, fresher, poured into proper glassware at the right temperature, and treated with utmost respect from start to finish. There's also one or two cask offerings that have always been absolutely fantastic. Mac's brews and bottles a wide range of beer, which are all available here, and you may find a rare limited special brew up on the chalkboard too. The food is truly excellent, upscale pub grub of the stick-to-your-ribs variety, although there should be something for everyone. My personal recommendations are the garlic-rosemary fries and the rotisserie chicken (which goes perfectly with their Oktoberfest). Service is friendly, if not speedy. The vibe changes upon time of day; sometimes it is packed and sometimes near deserted. It's a good choice for a quiet lunch, but dinner is usually clamorous. Bottom line: good beer, great food, well worth the confusing drive through Portland's industrial northwest area.

Thrasher, Oct 12, 2004
Photo of sinistersteve
3.6/5  rDev +2%

This out of the way brewery is a pain in the ass to get here and once you do parking is equally as fun. Once you get inside, all is better. Decent food and beer menu with modest prices. The burger and garlic/basil fries I had was wonderful. Huge copper kettles decorated the bar area and if you're fortunate enough, you may get a good smell of the brewing process. The service would have gotten a higher score had they brought out napkins and silverware once I got my meal. This same problem also happened to the patron sitting next to me, but aside from that the folks on the other side of the bar were good.

sinistersteve, Jan 13, 2004
Photo of weefisheads
4.33/5  rDev +22.7%

Located in a very industrial part of Portland, MacTarnahan's is definatly a place you have to be looking for to find as there really is nothing else around it. However, those determined to make the trip will find a real treat.

Though much of the decor is a mixture of German/Scottish, the setting is very much a brewery, with very impressive copper kettles on display. However, unlike some of the other breweries/pubs in Portland, this is a place to come to for the food as well as the beer. The menu includes quite a few items that incorporate some of their beers, and everything I've ever had there has been very delicious.

As for the beer, the selection is broad enough to find something for everyone - from their flagship MacTarnahans, to their super delicious Uncle Otto's Wheat, to a selection of some of their more obscure beers. And despite being one of Portland's larger (largest?) producers, the quaility of their beers are hard to beat. Especially at the source!

It's a shame that it's location is somewhat secluded, because all in all this is a great place to go to for some fine beers. Were it not for it's location, I'd be quite the regular...

weefisheads, Nov 26, 2003
Photo of Mitchster
4.13/5  rDev +17%

Shittingly located in the old industrial area down by the river therefore necessitating lots of one-way roads to get there. Inside is a kind relief from the gloomy surroundings with an English-style decor complete with copper and porcelain taps and 2 proudly displayed copper mashtuns. Most of the beers are good or average, the German-style Uncle Otto's Hefe being a real winner. Even better than the beer though is the exceptional food, which is mostly Scottish and English style. The Scottish Pie and the BlackWatch Cream Porter Bulldog Sausage plates were absolutely amazing. Even if they didn't offer good beers to go along with the food, I would still go just for the amazing eats. The waitress was kind enough to honor my request of only bringing me 3 samples at a time in order to properly rate them. $7 for 8, 4 oz. samples. Timing was otherwise quite average and prices were reasonable considering the exceptional food. They do offer brewery tours and have an outdoor patio, but don't expect any eye candy unless looking at an old dirty factory is your thing.

Mitchster, Jun 18, 2003
Portland Brewing Company in Portland, OR
82 out of 100 based on 19 ratings.