Visiting Portland 2020.

Discussion in 'US - West' started by John_M, Jan 3, 2020.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (7,359) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    1. A few years back, it became clear that this forum could use an "I'm visiting Portland, where should I go?" thread. In this thread, I'll attempt to cull the "must-hit" spots generally agreed upon by Portland BAs. Of course, recommendations & suggestions are encouraged.

      (Almost) Universally Recommended "Must-Visit" Breweries & Brew Pubs
      Breakside Brewery
      Cascade Brewing Barrel House
      Great Notion Brewing
      Hair of the Dog Brewing
      Upright Brewing

      Other Highly Recommended Breweries & Brew Pubs
      Baerlic Brewing
      Culmination Brewing
      Deschutes Portland Pub
      Ex Novo Brewing
      Gigantic Brewing
      Hopworks Urban Brewery
      Laurelwood Brewing
      Little Beast Brewing
      Modern Times Belmont Fermentorium
      Occidental Brewing
      Wayfinder Beer

      Highly Recommended Beer Bars / Bottle Shops
      APEX (Taproom, Bottles-to-go; Cash Only w/onsite ATM)
      Bailey's Taproom/The Upper Lip (Taproom, Crowler/Growler Fills, Bottle List)
      The Beermongers (Taproom, Bottle Shop, Growler Fills)
      Beer O'Clock (Taproom, Crowler/Growler Fills, Bottles-to-go)
      Belmont Station (Taproom, Bottle Shop, Growler Fills, Food)
      Bridgetown Beerhouse (Taproom, Bottle Shop, Growler Fills)
      Horse Brass Pub (Taproom, Food)
      Imperial Bottle Shop (Two locations - SE Division & NE Alberta) (Taproom, Bottle Shop, Growler Fills)
      John's Marketplace (Bottle Shop)
      Loyal Legion (Taproom, Growler Fills, Food)
      N.W.I.P.A. (Taproom, Bottle Shop)
      Hawthorne Hophouse (Taproom, Growler Fills, Food)
      Roscoe's (Taproom, Growler Fills, Food)
      Saraveza (Taproom, Bottle Shop, Growler Fills, Food)

      (A Few) Beer-centric Restaurants*
      Bantam Tavern
      Cheese Bar
      Grain & Gristle
      Higgins Restaurant
      Raven & Rose / The Rookery
      Victory Bar
      White Owl Social Club

      * Just about any decent restaurant in PDX has a good/very good beer list. This might be the most debatable section of this thread. Eater PDX is a great food resource.
      Other Resources (places, events, releases, news/information, etc.)
      Portland BeerFly listing
      Willamette Week's 2018 Beer Guide
      The Brew Site
      New School Beer
      Oregon Beer Growler
      Portland Craft Beer Events Calendar

      Want to know if XYZ bar/brewery allows kids?
      "PDX with kids" BA thread
      Bars that Allow Children in Portland
      Best Kid-Friendly Portland Brewpubs
      Kid-Friendly Portland Breweries

      Need shippers for all the beer you bought?
      Portland Wine Storage
      Rose City Wine Vaults & Storage


      PDX Bus
      Uber and Lyft are currently operating in Portland
      There are also three shared scooter companies operating in Portland (for now)

      Portland Airport
      PDX is a great bar that just happens to be an airport. If you have time to kill, there is a Deschutes Brewpub (concourse D), a Laurelwood brewpub (concourse A), Hopworks brewpub (concourse E), a Henry's Tavern outpost, and several other restaurants with good tap lists. Deschutes, Laurelwood, Hopworks, Henry's, and Country Cat are all past security and all fill growlers, so you can get a fill and carry it on. There are also Made in Oregon stores and a Timberline Lodge gift store past security with good bottle selections.

      Disclaimer: This post is not intended to be a catch-all for Portland beer establishments. There are literally hundreds of well-regarded beer institutions throughout the greater Portland area -- many of which are not listed in this post. This thread is an attempt to present the most frequently recommended and highest-regarded spots cited in the Northwest BA forum. Exploration and experimentation are certainly encouraged!

    2. #1 guajolote, Jan 4, 2019
    3. Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2019

    4. Edit History Delete IP Report
    5. Like + Quote Reply
    6. ha-sheem, BeerTable, Kraz and 6 others like this.
    7. [​IMG]
      guajoloteAspirant (293)Sep 12, 2008Oregon
      Updates to version 19 (now the only version for the year, sadly):

      * Moved Modern Times to the Other Recommended section. Could probably go into the Highly Recommended section, but I didn't want to risk being beheaded.

      * Made the executive decision to remove Lompoc Brewing from the Other Recommended section. I wanted to keep that part to 10 spots, and frankly, there hasn't been much chatter about them for a long time.

      * Added Beer O'Clock to the Beer Bars/Bottle Shops section.

      * Added Bantam Tavern to the Restaurants section.

      * Completely removed the Newcomers section. It made sense when we could do quarterly updates, but now with the yearly restriction, some places could be open 18+ months by the next update & some that open during the year (especially early on) won't be included until they're almost a year old. New places will just have to be posted in the thread as they open. Refer to previous threads if you'd like to see past Newcomers sections. RIP Newcomers section.

      * Removed the Maps section since two were outdated and two no longer exist.

      Past versions:
      Original thread
      Update 1 (winter 2013)
      Update 2 (spring 2013)
      Update 3 (summer 2013)
      Update 4 (fall/winter 2013-14)
      Update 5 (spring 2014)
      Update 6 (fall/winter 2014)
      Update 7 (winter 2015)
      Update 8 (spring 2015)
      Update 9 (summer 2015)
      Update 10 (fall 2015)
      Update 11 (winter 2016)
      Update 12 (spring 2016)
      Update 13 (summer 2016)
      Update 14 (fall/winter 2016-17)
      Update 15 (summer 2017)
      Update 16 (fall/winter 2017-18)
      Update 17 (spring/summer 2018)
      Update 18 (fall/winter 2018-19)
    #1 John_M, Jan 3, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2020
    REVZEB, jakecattleco and Stevedore like this.
  2. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (7,359) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Just posting this here for now until @guajolote is ready to take back over the reins.
  3. ppilot

    ppilot Initiate (134) Jul 17, 2009 Oregon

    I would add Ruse Brewing to the Highly recommended list (personally I would add them to the must hit as I think they are at worst a top 5 Brewery in Portland right now and a lot of people think they are the best).
    MaximumYuks likes this.
  4. ksheabutter

    ksheabutter Initiate (24) Aug 15, 2019 California

    Road tripped up to Portland from the bay area last weekend and visited the following

    Great Notion
    Modern Times

    I wanted to visit Little Beast and Wayfinder but unfortunately didn't find the time.

    Great Notion: People in the bay go nuts for that stuff so I wanted to pick up a 4 pack for the next beer share. I enjoyed double stack quite a bit despite not being a huge stout fan.

    Ruse: TBH I like their IPAs more than Great Notion. Currently enjoying a can of the Papyrus Iris.

    Upright: Love this place, I try to stop here every time I visit Portland. Pretty much everything I've gotten here has been fantastic. Really looking forward to cracking open a crowler of Four Play. The bartender mentioned that they get more traffic from out of towners than from locals which I found odd.

    Modern Times: Not a Portland brewery, but I hadn't been to this location before so I figured I'd check it out.

    I was at at a spa in Newberg and saw a sign for Wolves and People, which was unfortunately closed on Monday. Hadn't heard anything about them, worth checking out?

    Shout out to the 2019 Visiting Portland Thread, I skimmed through and got a lot of good recommendations.
    NWer, vurt and 66jzmstr like this.
  5. itracy63

    itracy63 Disciple (375) Apr 20, 2013 Washington

    @ppilot You beat me to it! I was going to ask how Ruse is not on this list? And I agree, they might not quite be a Must Hit” yet, but really close.
  6. ppilot

    ppilot Initiate (134) Jul 17, 2009 Oregon

    Oh I forgot to suggest Von Ebert to the highly recommended list as well.
    afrokaze and MaximumYuks like this.
  7. vurt

    vurt Poo-Bah (1,751) Apr 11, 2004 Oregon

    I love that place too, and will be stopping by later this afternoon to provide some local traffic.

    (Every time I look at my t-shirt from The Commons, I feel some regret that I didn't go there more often. I don't want to have the same regrets about Upright.)
    sharpski likes this.
  8. DefenCorps

    DefenCorps Poo-Bah (6,369) Jan 18, 2007 Oregon
    Society Trader

    Speak not of such horrors!
    66jzmstr and vurt like this.
  9. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (7,359) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    As one of those locals who's a fan of Upright beers but doesn't visit the brewery all that often, I'll try to explain.

    As you're probably aware, good beer bars abound in PDX, and so convenience becomes more and more of a factor for me (as a discerning local beer consumer). At least in my mind, I think of Upright as something of a hassle to get over to (it's just in an inconvenient spot to drive to I think), and then parking can often be a pain in the ass as well. Hours of operation are better than they used to be, but even so, I tend to start drinking fairly early in the day on weekends, before Upright is typically open (noonish thru 1:00 for me). Also, increasingly Upright stuff can be found on tap throughout the city without too much trouble, and so I don't need to actually visit the brewery to get my fantasia or special herbs fix. Lastly, for whatever reason, I don't find the tasting room to be a particularly comfortable place to hang out and enjoy a few beers. It's a shame, because they almost always have an interesting line-up and their pricing is quite fair. But there it is... I find myself hanging out for more than a half an hour and I start to think about going someplace else.

    Don't get me wrong, I do still visit on occasion, but the tasting room just isn't part of my regular rotation.
    ItsYourBoyBlue and sharpski like this.
  10. shelby415

    shelby415 Meyvn (1,158) Oct 10, 2011 Oregon

    If we're making recommendations I'd point out that Tin Bucket is still on this list and should go. I've literally heard no one mention the hot sauce/beer hybrid which opened up in their stead.
    Reidrover, sharpski and vurt like this.
  11. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (7,359) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Thanks for the reminder.

    As for Alefire Hot sauce and public house, it's really not such a bad place. I think they have around 18 different beers on tap (with sundry ciders and seltzers), and that often includes things like sticky hands, speedway stout and the like. Currently, they also have hop venom and a beer from Ale Apothecary on tap. It's a solid list, but it pales in comparison to what I could typically find over at Tin Bucket. Also, they've really scaled back on their can and bottle selections, and needless to say gone are the days when you could find bottles of broken truck and KDS/Bbomb variants there.

    I used to run over to Tin Bucket approximately once a week. Since the it morphed into Alefire Hot sauce, I think I've gone over there twice. It just doesn't seem to fit into my plans any more.
  12. MaximumYuks

    MaximumYuks Devotee (468) Nov 30, 2013 Oregon

    I realize this is probably currently just a copy and paste from last year's thread, but if they're seeking recommendations for updates I agree with both of these 100%.
  13. derftron

    derftron Devotee (451) Feb 8, 2012 Oregon

    I would second most of this. Its right smack dab in a shitty traffic zone, which in Portland pretty much means anytime after 2-3pm until 7-8pm on weekdays. It is however, right across the bridge from a lot of downtown hotels, and fairly close to hotels in the Lloyd area which probably explains the visitors. Also, its across the street from the Moda center which probably attracts out of towners for concerts, sports, etc.

    And lastly, most of my favorite beer bars get their stuff on tap regularly and my local bottle shop (Johns mkt) has a very large selection of their bottle offerings which i regularly purchase
    sharpski and distantmantra like this.
  14. distantmantra

    distantmantra Meyvn (1,201) May 23, 2011 Washington

    I always make a point of visiting Upright when:

    1. I'm in Portland.
    2. They're actually open. There are numerous times I'm in the city for a few hours and they're closed. Which sucks.
    ksheabutter and vurt like this.
  15. TxUltraRunner

    TxUltraRunner Initiate (0) Aug 16, 2012 Texas

    As an outsider who enjoys Portland every year I’m shocked Ruse isn’t on the list and glad locals enjoy them as much as I do. After eating at Nong’s after I land it’s usually the first beer spot I hit.

    Upright has some decent beer but their taproom isn’t all that inviting.

    I’d also add Hoplandia to the list. Within walking distance from where I stay and close to Forest Park. Low key when I’m there.

    While Vancouver, WA isn’t exactly Portland I enjoyed Trap Door.
    OffTrail, VashonGuy and sharpski like this.
  16. Canada_Dan

    Canada_Dan Savant (903) Jun 14, 2013 Colorado

    Visited Ruse last night based on reccs from this thread. Been to most of the other "must visit" spots numerous times since I come to PDX often for work. Stoked to check out somewhere new and really enjoyed the 2 pints I had (Papyrus Iris, Evertide).
    shelby415, sharpski and MaximumYuks like this.
  17. sharpski

    sharpski Meyvn (1,277) Oct 11, 2010 Oregon
    Society Trader

    Will be in PDX tonight, anything going on I shouldn’t miss?
  18. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (7,359) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Not that I'm aware of Ryan. Wednesdays tend to be a pretty quiet day of the week, and January tends to be a fairly quiet month.

    That being said, this being Portland and all, I would recommend taking a look at the current taplists at Belmont Station, the Upper Lip and the two Imperial bottle shops.

    Especially if you enjoy BA stouts from Fremont, the current taplist over at the Imperial Alberta location is really pretty hard to beat.

    Have fun!
    sharpski likes this.
  19. afrokaze

    afrokaze Zealot (583) Jun 12, 2009 Oregon

    Also, if you like Fremont stuff, we have a collab Coconut Super Stout (non-BA) on tap at Breakside Slabtown & Milwaukie! We're doing a ridiculous number of collabs this year with breweries across the country to celebrate our 10th anniversary. Keep an eye out for a new beer every 4-5 weeks. A number of the collabs with out-of state breweries will be getting a small bottling run as well.
  20. afrokaze

    afrokaze Zealot (583) Jun 12, 2009 Oregon

    If you haven't been by Little Beast in a while it's definitely worth a visit. I went about 2 weeks ago and was really impressed by several beers. The dark kveik farmhouse was great and unique, and both of the wine grape sours I tried were excellent. They have a new production space in Clackamas I need to go check out soon too.
    sharpski likes this.
  21. sharpski

    sharpski Meyvn (1,277) Oct 11, 2010 Oregon
    Society Trader

    Wish I was in Portland to try the meal pairing with this beer, it sounds incredible!
    afrokaze likes this.
  22. DefenCorps

    DefenCorps Poo-Bah (6,369) Jan 18, 2007 Oregon
    Society Trader

    For those into such things, Apex is having a Boneyard, Gigantic and Three Floyd's tap takeover. There's a lot of beers I haven't seen in a long time on!
  23. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (7,359) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Saw that. Very tempted by the chance to try some draft dark lord and zombie dust.
  24. derftron

    derftron Devotee (451) Feb 8, 2012 Oregon

    dont see zombie dust on the taplist, which if it was, that would be enough to get me over the bridge.

    also, would love to try zombie dust side by side with sassy pony from Gigantic
  25. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (7,359) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    I noticed the same thing when I checked their online taplist, but saw a New School article (I think that's where I read it) that listed it, and my daily beer notification email letter advised me that Apex tapped a keg of it 5 hours ago. So who knows?

    As you and I both know, this would not be the first time Apex decided not to list what they felt would be an overly popular beer on their online taplist.
  26. SeaAle

    SeaAle Disciple (334) Jun 24, 2012 Oregon

    They were all shown on their tap list. Zombie Dust, Artic Panzer Wolf, Behemoth, and Skoll have all blown. I would have liked to try Z D, but not enough to make a special trip.
  27. derftron

    derftron Devotee (451) Feb 8, 2012 Oregon

    ah, bummer. oh well, will have to settle for a pint of Pliny i guess
  28. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (7,359) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Wow! That was quick. What was that, all of 24 hours they were on tap before they blew?

    Been a long time since I've drunk any Zombie's Dust. Oh well.
  29. Stevedore

    Stevedore Poo-Bah (6,524) Nov 16, 2012 Oregon
    Society Trader

    It's crazy that Zombie Dust is a shelf beer here in Wisconsin. I should probably recognize what I'll be missing from here when I move out to Portland this summer.
  30. vurt

    vurt Poo-Bah (1,751) Apr 11, 2004 Oregon

    But you can also console yourself with the fact that the NW beer ecosystem is vast, deep, and pervasive. It will take you a long time to wrap your head around it completely.
  31. distantmantra

    distantmantra Meyvn (1,201) May 23, 2011 Washington

    You’ll be fine. You won’t miss it.
  32. Stevedore

    Stevedore Poo-Bah (6,524) Nov 16, 2012 Oregon
    Society Trader

    Talk to me about growlers.. I don't actually own a conventional 64oz growler anymore.. just a couple 2L Palla growlers and a bunch of 750ml fliptops. Would these be of any use to me in PDX or should I just toss em all in the recycling before I move?
  33. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (10,026) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    I believe that OR has similar rules as WA, and you can fill any sealable container. Basically, if it has a screw-top, you can fill it: Nalgene bottles, pop bottles with the label removed, a milk jug, pretty much anything can be growler.
    kemoarps and sharpski like this.
  34. Stevedore

    Stevedore Poo-Bah (6,524) Nov 16, 2012 Oregon
    Society Trader

    Interesting, how does that work? Do they just charge by the ounce at that point? Or is it charged whenever it is closest to 32oz or 64oz, type of thing?
  35. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (7,359) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    In my experience, it depends on the brewery or bar. Typically, you can negotiate a bit with the bartender over the price. A lot of places will try to charge a price that's fairly comparable to their growler or crowler price, just as you suggested. For instance, I would expect the price for a 750 ml fill to be fairly comparable to a crowler price... Maybe a buck or two less. Again, it depends on the brewery/bar.
    kemoarps, Stevedore and BBThunderbolt like this.
  36. DefenCorps

    DefenCorps Poo-Bah (6,369) Jan 18, 2007 Oregon
    Society Trader

    They will be of use, but some places don't fill the 750s because of they tend to foam over a lot, resulting in wastage. These work best with some sort of a counter pressure filler, and those aren't as numerous as they used to be. But that said, I've found them handy when getting fills at certain grocery stores, especially if it's a bigger beer that I have no interest in a half gallon of.
    kemoarps, Stevedore and BBThunderbolt like this.
  37. weaverr

    weaverr Aspirant (204) Jun 10, 2008 California

    Most places have crowler machines, and I almost always find myself getting those so I don't have to remember my growler.
    kemoarps and 66jzmstr like this.
  38. jsdavis422

    jsdavis422 Initiate (162) May 15, 2012 Minnesota

    In town from Minnesota just for the day, anything in the pearl district that's good? Also curious what is out and fresh currently that I should look for to grab in bottles. Great thread btw!!
  39. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (7,359) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Normally, I could point you to any number of great places in and around the Pearl, but with the pandemic going on, the options are a bit less robust. Still, Bailey's is now back open with limited days and hours (however, Tuesday is one of the days they're open, starting at 3 PM), and so is the Deschutes public house.

    In terms of new bottles and cans, there's a lot of stuff out right now, including the new Anniversary Black Butte porter from Deschutes. This year's version is pretty good. Have fun.
    kemoarps likes this.
  40. jsdavis422

    jsdavis422 Initiate (162) May 15, 2012 Minnesota

    Thanks a ton! Yeah I know it's a bit crazy out there. Appreciate the advice!
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.