Taking a trip to Portland, OR

Discussion in 'US - West' started by drewd0g, Apr 30, 2012.

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  1. drewd0g

    drewd0g Initiate (0) Aug 17, 2009 New York

    Hello,
    At the end of may my girlfriend and I are coming to Portland, OR for a 5 night stay with the intention of eating and drinking at as many top places as we can fit in our schedule. Help me make this trip memorable. What are the best places to visit? What's the difference between Cascade Brewing Barrel House & Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub? We love sour ales so this interests us a lot. We love good food and beer. We are staying at the Crowne Plaza Portland Downtown at 1441 Ne Second Ave.
    Thanks,
    Andrew
     
  2. honkduh

    honkduh Aspirant (233) Jun 2, 2011 Oregon

    Places to go.
    Belmont Station
    Beer Mongers
    Apex
    Upright brewing
    Hair of the dog brewing
    Breakside brewing
    Baileys Taproom
    Saraveza
    Coalition brewing
    Horsebrass
    The Commons brewing
     
  3. CaptainTripps

    CaptainTripps Aspirant (278) Aug 8, 2010 Arizona

    Replace Coalition with Lompoc (sidebar)
    Replace Breakside with Hopworks
    Replace Commons with Amnesia (might as well go to Bridgetown Beer House too if you go here)
    Add Deschutes

    /done.
     
  4. digita7693

    digita7693 Initiate (0) Jan 19, 2010 Germany

    Definitely go to Cascade. The barrel house is in the city, in the SE, very easy to get to.
    If you like Bourbon I would definitely visit Whiskey Soda, you can also get great Thai from their partner restaurant, Pok Pok.
    Personally I would only go to Belmont for shopping. If you want to drink some beers I would walk a few blocks to Horse Brass instead (unless condescending, aloof assholery is what you search for in bartenders, then belmont is your place)

    food:
    - Por Que no? has amazing tacos
    - A pizza scholls, cheese pizza with truffle oil is divine!
    - Roscoes
    http://www.roscoespdx.com/roscoespdx.com/Roscoes_Home.html
    nice tap list, but the kicker is the awesome sushi you can order from the restaurant next door, or you can order some of their southern food, such as catfish sliders.
    - food carts!
    - if you like vegetarian or vegan food (Portobello, Sweetpea Bakery, Blossoming Lotus)

    cheers
     
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  5. NWer

    NWer Champion (801) Mar 10, 2009 Washington

    Definitely Bailey's Taproom. Always a memorable tap list not to mention their famous electronic board that was on the cover of BA Magazine about a year ago. If you go there, stop in Tugboat for a change of pace across the street.
    I second Upright for the unique experience. $3 12 oz $1.50 5 oz. Great opportunity to sample their offerings at insane low prices and it's just a couple of blocks from your hotel. Hours are extremely limited though.
    Don't go to the Horse Brass for the food. The service is horrible. Lazy waitresses visiting with each other while ignoring the customers. The food at Breakside is excellent - nothing special, just typical bar fare but very well done and they have an interesting take on their brews.
     
  6. drewd0g

    drewd0g Initiate (0) Aug 17, 2009 New York

    Thanks! These sound great!
     
  7. RedMedicine

    RedMedicine Initiate (0) Jun 3, 2005 Oregon

    Commons is close enough to Beermongers and Apex that I wouldn't drop it, and it is a unique experience with good people. I personally wouldn't send an out of towner all the way up to Amnesia.

    Agree otherwise.
     
  8. beefandbean22

    beefandbean22 Aspirant (275) Oct 15, 2008 Oregon
    Trader

    I would definitely recommend The Commons, love that place. Just know that they are only open on Friday and Saturday nights.
     
  9. digita7693

    digita7693 Initiate (0) Jan 19, 2010 Germany


    Come on, it is Portland, it really is not hard to get around.
    Plus, the Mississippi area is a rather neat area. Just a couple blocks over on N Williams you have Hopworks and head a bit north and east and you could hit up Kennedy school as well - as mentioned many times not the best beers - but it is a rather cool place to roam about.
     
  10. RedMedicine

    RedMedicine Initiate (0) Jun 3, 2005 Oregon

    I guess Mississipi is cool if you like paying out of your ass at snobby "antique" shops. Anyway, I agree about N. Williams. My only point was you will never find me going out of my way for an Amnesia visit, so I just can't recommend someone from out of town making the trip.
     
  11. hopsbreath

    hopsbreath Zealot (506) Aug 28, 2009 Florida

    As much grief as Rogue gets for being a marketing company who happens to make beer, I'm kind of surprised HUB still gets a pass. They're similar in a few ways. The screen printed bottles is the obvious comparison, and can anybody list another brewery who hands out as many stickers? The beer is forgettable/unimaginative and the bicycle bit has always felt like a gimmick to me. Mix in average pub food and I won't give my recommendation for them.

    For a similar pub experience with a little more imagination I'll get behind Lompoc everyday. Unique food and a beer menu that always has something interesting keeps me going back. Breakside also sits a notch above HUB in my book but sometimes they use a little too much imagination and the beer gets weird. The food is also not your standard pub fare. Both pubs might put out some bad beer on occasion, but that's often due to taking a risk that back-fired. At least they take chances though and I can respect that.
     
  12. hopsbreath

    hopsbreath Zealot (506) Aug 28, 2009 Florida

    I agree about Amnesia. More average beer that a visitor would easily forget. You won't regret skipping it OP.
     
  13. digita7693

    digita7693 Initiate (0) Jan 19, 2010 Germany

    dprouty,fair enough, though I am not spending my time in the area for antique shops:slight_smile: but I do get your point.
    The Miss., N Williams and Alberta areas are kind of a cool up and coming enclave, albeit a bit hipster at times for some people. I personally like the good music one can find at Miss. Studios, pizza at Miss. pizza is not bad after a show either.

    I swear by a straight shave at Modern Man in the Alberta area, interesting lil place and you get a beer or bourbon or espresso with your shave.

    Slappy cakes is also a nice place for breakfast with awesome Bloody Marys.
     
  14. msubulldog25

    msubulldog25 Initiate (0) Aug 3, 2005 Oregon
    Deactivated

    I'm gonna agree hopsbreath about keeping Breakside in the mix over HUB (although if you can do HUB Bike Bar and Lompoc Sidebar in your schedule, hit them both AND hit Breakside). I'll also vouch for a McMenamins place like Kennedy School or Edgefield. The beers are just OK, but the atmospheres in those vast, remarkably renovated buildings are unforgettable.

    So far the recs have been entirely Portland-based, but (since you say you'll have 5 nights) I highly recommend renting a car for at least a day to get out of the city. One excellent destination is the Columbia River Gorge (<1Hour east). Hike/view waterfalls, drive the Historic highway for killer views... and sip beers at places in Hood River like Double Mountain, Full Sail Taproom (always a few one-offs besides the Full Sail basics + a nice river view) and Big Horse. Also Logsdon Farmhouse Ales if you can schedule an appointment. Also, across the Coilumbia on the Washington state side are Everybody's Brewing (decent beers and a pretty view of Mt Hood from their deck on a clear day) and Walking Man.

    Another drive to consider is US26 or US30 westbound to see the Northern Oregon Coast (around the towns of Cannon Beach and Manzanita in particular). Also venture to the northern tip of Oregon to Astoria and check out Fort George and (to a lesser extent) Astoria Brewing. If you're really ambitious, continue down the coast to Pacific City (Pelican), then further south to Newport and trek back on US20 across to I-5 through Corvallis and hit Block 15, Flat Tail & Les Caves.

    As was mentioned above, that Crown Plaza you're staying at is just a handful of blocks east of Upright's taproom...limited hours Friday-Sunday only. The 'Downtown' in that hotel's name is a bit of false advertising, in my opinion, as it's several blocks north of the convention center and on the opposite side of the Willamette River from what most would consider 'downtown' Portland...oh well, close enough. You can get to a MAX light rail stop by walking about 5 minutes south or catch a number of different busses at the Rose Quarter Transit Center (if you plan to use transit at all and have a smartphone/iPhone, I highly recommend the free app 'PDXBus').

    Cheers,
    Brian
     
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  15. maltmaster420

    maltmaster420 Initiate (0) Aug 17, 2005 Oregon

    I'll also throw in a vote for Breakside over HUB (if you have to choose). HUB makes awesome beers, but other than the occasional bourbon-aged beer they're all just well made "cookie cutter" styles like IPA, Pale, etc. Breakside's beers may not all be homeruns, but I give Ben credit for creativity. The single hopped gin barrel-aged IPA is up there with Fantasia as the best new beers I've had in 2012. That said, Breakside and the HUB Bike Bar are less than 2 miles apart, so there's almost no reason not to hit them both.

    OP: When are you coming? We're rapidly approaching festival season, and your choice of weekend may alter our suggestions.
     
  16. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (7,314) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Chris. The OP says the end of May, so I'm assuming over Memorial Day weekend. Hopefully he'll chime in if that's not the case, but I know that's how I interpreted his comment.
     
  17. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (9,994) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    I'm gonna agree with MSUBulldog, get to either the Gorge or the Coast for a day.


    "So far the recs have been entirely Portland-based, but (since you say you'll have 5 nights) I highly recommend renting a car for at least a day to get out of the city. One excellent destination is the Columbia River Gorge (<1Hour east). Hike/view waterfalls, drive the Historic highway for killer views... and sip beers at places in Hood River like Double Mountain, Full Sail Taproom (always a few one-offs besides the Full Sail basics + a nice river view) and Big Horse. Also Logsdon Farmhouse Ales if you can schedule an appointment. Also, across the Coilumbia on the Washington state side are Everybody's Brewing (decent beers and a pretty view of Mt Hood from their deck on a clear day) and Walking Man.

    Another drive to consider is US26 or US30 westbound to see the Northern Oregon Coast (around the towns of Cannon Beach and Manzanita in particular). Also venture to the northern tip of Oregon to Astoria and check out Fort George and (to a lesser extent) Astoria Brewing. If you're really ambitious, continue down the coast to Pacific City (Pelican), then further south to Newport and trek back on US20 across to I-5 through Corvallis and hit Block 15, Flat Tail & Les Caves."

    I'll suggest the Stevenson-White Salmon-Hood River loop, but I really like Astoria too.
     
  18. bfg75

    bfg75 Initiate (0) Feb 26, 2011 Washington

    I would echo the recommendation of hitting Breakside instead of HUB. I like the latter's beer but most of it isn't anything terribly special and almost all of it is available in bottles. Breakside does a lot of creative stuff and while not all of it is wonderful I've had some real gems there. Here would be my recommendations...

    Breakside Brewing
    Apex
    Cascade
    Belmont Station
    Beer Mongers
    Hair of the Dog
    Bailey's
    Upright (if you want Upright beer and cheap food try Grain and Gristle, which is owned by Upright and has some cheap (and delicious or so I've heard) food).

    I wouldn't overextend yourself either. There will be a lot to drink at each location and spots like Belmont Station, Apex and Bailey's will give you the opportunity to try things from the Portland/Oregon breweries that you don't hit.

    Definitely agree that heading out to Hood River could be worth the trip..
     
  19. amiles

    amiles Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2007 Oregon

    Just got to Hopworks Bike Bar at happy hour and get an IPA and a fresh pretzel. No need to stay after that.
     
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  20. m4ttj0nes

    m4ttj0nes Initiate (142) Feb 21, 2012 Oregon
    Trader

    Apex
    Hair of the dog...

    and then go back to Apex.
     
  21. djbreezy

    djbreezy Crusader (775) Dec 16, 2008 Washington

    Simplify...

    Cascade Barrel House
    Hair of the Dog
    Breakside
    Belmont Station (best bottle shop in town and taproom)
     
  22. drewd0g

    drewd0g Initiate (0) Aug 17, 2009 New York

    Coming tonight! Can't wait!
     
  23. FluffyMcTingle

    FluffyMcTingle Initiate (0) Nov 6, 2009 Massachusetts

    thanks for this thread! I am flying to Portland tomorrow night for a few days and was going to post this very same question. I will be staying off NE 32nd.
     
  24. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (7,314) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    That's funny. I used to live on NE 32nd Avenue.

    What's the street address of where you will be staying (as it's a fairly long street)? Depending upon where you are, there's all kinds of great spots to visit off of Alberta St., Fremont St., Alemeda St. and the Concordia area.
     
  25. Shmeal

    Shmeal Initiate (0) Nov 9, 2009 Oregon

    Let us know if you want to meet up with a bunch of PNW BA guys. It seems a few of the past BA visitors have proposed informal tastings at random spots in Portland.

    Just an idea, this way you can tick a bunch of beers you might not have been able to have otherwise.
     
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  26. DrBier

    DrBier Poo-Bah (1,861) Jun 12, 2011 Pennsylvania
    Society

    I'm starting day four of my visit from PA. Great beer, super people, having a blast. Visits so far: HotD, Cascade, Apex, Beermongers, Bailey's, Horse Brass and Belmont Station. Some of my favs so far: 08 Adam From Wood, Blue Dot, Cascade Sang Noir, Agent de l'Orange & Nightfall, Boneyard Hop Venom, New Belg Love - Felix, 10 Barrel Cynical CDA to name a few. My schedule is wide open would love to get together with some of you folks beer mail me. Staying at Hotel Fifty.
    Bill
     
  27. Shmeal

    Shmeal Initiate (0) Nov 9, 2009 Oregon

    Might want to keep this open for a bit to see how many people are interested, then maybe move it to a conversation. How long are you here for, what things do you want to try but have not had, did you bring any east coast beers, etc.
     
  28. FluffyMcTingle

    FluffyMcTingle Initiate (0) Nov 6, 2009 Massachusetts

    I will be between Killingsworth and Ainsworth. I am also on vacation with my vife who is 7 months pregnant, so I do not think a meetup is in the cards unfortunately. Trades might be an option but the only east coast beers I planned to bring are Homebrew and some Narragansett for a friend who misses it.

    BM me with any specific trade requests and I will judge by the level of disappointment in my wifes face whether or not I will be able to make them. HA.
     
  29. jmatt72

    jmatt72 Initiate (0) Dec 8, 2005 Oregon

    Agree.

    I think the funniest thing about the HUB is the mission statement on the menu (don't know if they still have it on there though), stating that Ettinger had searched far and wide for inspiration for the place, and the best he could come up with was a bicycle-themed Laurelwood. And, I think that the beer got even better at Laurelwood once Chad Kennedy took over.
     
  30. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (7,314) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    I won't actually be around while you're there, but thought I could make some recommmendations regarding places to visit while you're there. Obviously, you'll be within walking distance of Kennedy School and the Concordia alehouse, but you'll also be pretty close to the Alberta Street Public House, the Grain and Gristle, Saraveza, Breakside brewpub and the Concordia New Seasons. Have fun.
     
  31. ajramirez1

    ajramirez1 Initiate (162) Apr 9, 2011 Washington

    Hitup the heavy hitters. For beer:Rogue, Deschutes, Bridgeport, Widmer. Go to cascade barrel for ur sour beers. Beershop(s): you just need togo to Belmont Station if u plan on stocking up, thy have a decent biercafe w/ hood beers on tap all the time. Bars:APEX, horsebrass pub, henry's tavern(pricey) & Kennedy school if u want mcmenamians experience (beers suck tho). Also, i always take visitors to Voodoo Donuts. Besides that, pick a style of food then search, pdx has a bunch...
    A-
     
  32. teddyarrowhead

    teddyarrowhead Initiate (0) Oct 23, 2009 Oregon

    If you're still around tonight, Double Mountain is having their Clusterfuck release party at Apex at 5p.
     
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