Visiting Portland (Fall/Winter 2013-14 update)

Discussion in 'Northwest' started by guajolote, Oct 2, 2013.

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  1. guajolote

    guajolote Aspirant (252) Sep 12, 2008 Oregon

    Updated to add new bottle shop, restaurant and airport info.
    Surely many of us agree that this forum could use an easily seachable/bump-able "I'm visiting Portland, where should I go?" thread. Here, I'll attempt to cull the consensus "must-hits," along with other highly recommended PDX breweries, brew pubs, bottle shops & beer bars that appear in this type of BA thread. Recommendations & suggestions are encouraged.

    (Almost) Universally Recommended "Must-Hit" Breweries & Brew Pubs
    Cascade Brewing Barrel House
    The Commons Brewery
    Deschutes Portland Pub
    Hair of the Dog
    Upright Brewing

    Other Highly Recommended Breweries & Brew Pubs
    Breakside Brewery
    Gigantic Brewing
    Hopworks Urban Brewery / Hopworks Bike Bar
    Laurelwood Brewing (multiple locations)
    Lompoc Brewing (multiple locations)

    Highly Recommended Beer Bars / Bottle Shops
    APEX (Taproom, Bottles-to-go)
    Bailey's Taproom (Taproom, Growler Fills, Bottle List)
    The Beermongers (Taproom, Bottle Shop, Growler Fills)
    Belmont Station (Taproom, Bottle Shop, Growler Fills, Food)
    Bridgetown Beerhouse (Taproom, Bottle Shop, Growler Fills)
    The Green Dragon (Taproom, Food)
    The Hop & Vine (Taproom, Bottle Shop, Growler Fills, Food)
    Horse Brass Pub (Taproom, Food)
    Imperial Bottle Shop (Taproom, Bottle Shop, Growler Fills)
    John's Marketplace (Bottle Shop)
    Oregon Hophouse (Taproom, Growler Fills, Food)
    Roscoe's (Taproom, Growler Fills, Food)
    Saraveza (Taproom, Bottle Shop, Growler Fills, Food)
    Tin Bucket (Taproom, Bottle Shop, Counter Pressure Growler Fills)
    (A Few) Beer-centric Restaurants

    Just about any decent restaurant in PDX has an acceptable beer list. Many are more-than-acceptable. This might be the most debatable section of this thread.

    Bazi Bierbrasserie
    Cheese Bar
    Grain & Gristle
    Higgins Restaurant
    Raven & Rose / The Rookery

    Eater PDX (great food resource)
    Some helpful maps
    digita7693’s map (beer map, restaurants, hotels, cafes, to-do)

    Beer Maps
    The Beer Mapping Project
    Oregon & Washington Brew Map
    Oregon Beer Country map

    PDX Bus (free an awesome app)

    A couple suggested Pub Crawl maps
    Cascade > HotD > Bailey's > Deschutes > Upright > HUB/Side Bar
    Inner SE Pub/Brewery Crawl (APEX -> Beermongers -> The Commons -> HotD -> Cascade -> Base Camp -> Burnside)
    Sunnyside Pub Crawl (Horse Brass -> Belmont Station -> Hawthorne Hop House -> Bazi Bierbrasserie)
    North Portland Pub Crawl (Amnesia -> Bridgetown Beerhouse -> Prost! -> HUB BikeBar -> Lompoc Sidebar/5Q)

    PDX Airport Info
    The beer flows at PDX as well. There are two Laurelwood brewpubs (concourses A & E), a Rogue brewpub (concourse D), and several other restaurants with good tap lists. Rogue and Laurelwood are both past security, so you can pick up bottles or growlers and carry them on the plane. There are also Made in Oregon stores past security with very good bottle selections.
    Other BA resources:

    Portland BeerFly listing:

    Some other forum threads on the topic:

    *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 often cited in the Northwest BA forum. Exploration and experimentation are certainly encouraged!
  2. guajolote

    guajolote Aspirant (252) Sep 12, 2008 Oregon

  3. anteater

    anteater Crusader (780) Sep 10, 2012 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    Awesome list! I'm sure anyone visiting Portland will be able to use this to make the most out of their trip.

    The only other thing I can think of that might be worth noting is that if you're already at Bailey's then you can just pop across the street to Tugboat and try their almost always on tap 13.5% Chernobyl Stout. Probably not worth seeking out on its own, but sort of a fun novelty if you're already across the street.
  4. SeaAle

    SeaAle Disciple (399) Jun 24, 2012 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    I agree awesome. Someone should do a similar thread for Seattle and then both threads should be stickied.
    guajolote and beertunes like this.
  5. fuhkyou

    fuhkyou Aspirant (215) Feb 20, 2013 Idaho

    Upright (at the brewery on Friday and Saturday) should be at least #2. The beer here is of very high quality, good selection, and is FRESH!
    No big barleywines, IPAs, or stouts here, just top notch saisons, and other interesting offerings.
    Cascade is another winner... Deschutes?
  6. John_M

    John_M Moderator (5,663) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    Ummmm... I don't think the list is meant to be construed as a ranking of the different places. It's just an alphabetical list of the some of the better and/or more popular places in town, of which Upright is clearly among the best. Opinons differ on the top spots in town, but I think most folks would agree with you, that Upright is one of the very best craft breweries in PDX.
    beertunes likes this.
  7. vurt

    vurt Crusader (753) Apr 11, 2004 Oregon

    I'll stick up for 'em. They always offer a broad selection of good beers, including brewpub-only offerings, and the food is terrific.

    (off-topic) And they're a block from Powell's City of Books.
    chimneyjim and beertunes like this.
  8. guajolote

    guajolote Aspirant (252) Sep 12, 2008 Oregon

    As johnmichaelsen mentioned, it's not a ranked list. I made it alphabetical as to avoid the appearence that they are ranked in any way. Though I'll admit, I screwed up the alphabetical listing with The Commons. Not sure how I overlooked that. It'll have to be addressed in the next update since the thread editing window is over.

    Also, though they don't have them available year-round, Upright does make barleywines, IPAs and stouts. They're often very limited, but they do exist. (And the ones I've had were pretty damn good).

    I'll stick up for Deschutes too. I think if you polled PDX BAs, a majority would list it as a "must-visit" for people visiting Portland. The space is great, the food is well above average, and they always have a bunch of very good (sometimes great) pub-only taps. Plus, the selection is vast and varied, so virtually any beer drinker will find something that appeals to them -- even a dedicated gluten-free tap. And yeah, it's a block from Powell's.
    Kylemif, kscaldef, beertunes and 2 others like this.
  9. HelloImTravis

    HelloImTravis Initiate (0) Mar 23, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    Is it just me or is Baileys Taprooms bottle list really awesome. Do they sell their bottles to go?
  10. Spaceloaf

    Spaceloaf Initiate (165) Nov 27, 2008 Oregon

    Yes, all bottles are available to either drink on premise or to go (personally I only get them to go because they always have something I want to try on tap).
  11. NWer

    NWer Crusader (715) Mar 10, 2009 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Awesome job of keeping us apprised on the latest and greatest at Beervana.
    May I suggest that you emphasize your updated line items so we can scan the list and easily see what's new to the latest release?
  12. Lordkrystic

    Lordkrystic Initiate (0) Jul 18, 2012 Washington

    Double dragon, across the street from Apex and BeerMongers should be tagged somewhere on that list. Their Pork Belly Bahn Mi is to die for and you can eat it at Apex.
    SMITHAND and Boozecamel like this.
  13. Lordkrystic

    Lordkrystic Initiate (0) Jul 18, 2012 Washington

    Always great vegetarian/vegan offerings on the menu also. Bunch of choices.
  14. exitmusic00

    exitmusic00 Initiate (0) Mar 15, 2010 Oregon

    It's not just you. And yes. :slight_smile:
  15. John_M

    John_M Moderator (5,663) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    Thanks for the tip. I don't personally go to Apex anymore, but I do like Beer Mongers and go there fairly frequently. The Mexican place next to Apex is OK, but I guess I'm not as wild about it as some of the folks on here. Anyway, it's great to have another food recommendation in the area.
    Lordkrystic likes this.
  16. Lordkrystic

    Lordkrystic Initiate (0) Jul 18, 2012 Washington

    Last time I walked into Apex I couldn't believe they had 3 Grid on from Schooner Exact. Seeing a bunch more Washington Beer in Portland these days.

    Another thing that killed me was that they were charging 8 bucks for Pliny...WTH?

    Next time you're in Tacoma, gimme a shout. Would like to sit down and share a pint with you and BWFiend.
  17. John_M

    John_M Moderator (5,663) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    Well, that's if we can get him make that long drive up from Olympia these days. :-)

    Thanks though... not sure when I'll next be up in Tacoma, but I'd like to get together, and will shoot you a BM.

    As for the $8 Pliny, that's just one of many problems I have with Apex these days. I haven't been by there in several months now, and have no plans to stop by again any time soon.
  18. SeaAle

    SeaAle Disciple (399) Jun 24, 2012 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    I know Vinnie and Natalie hate when places overcharge for Pliny, but I don't know if they would have an issue with $8. They will quit selling beer to places who do though.
  19. John_M

    John_M Moderator (5,663) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    Last time I asked them about the $8 price tag, the bartender (from the BA magazine cover) advised me that as they were the only ones in town who have pliny on tap, the price was justified. Seeing as how Apex IS the only place carrying Pliny on tap in PDX, I'm not sure how they could possibly be overcharging for it. After all, if they're the only ones who have it, then there's no way to find it for a cheaper price.
  20. SeaAle

    SeaAle Disciple (399) Jun 24, 2012 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    So why can Apex always have it on tap and other places in Portland never have it? Is someone at Apex friends to Vinnie and Natalie?
  21. guajolote

    guajolote Aspirant (252) Sep 12, 2008 Oregon

    Added to this update were Imperial Bottle Shop, Raven & Rose and the PDX Airport info.

    The issue I think we're going to run into (as I found out while editing this recent update), is that posts can only be 10,000 characters. It's going to be tough to add much more in future updates without either removing stuff or splitting the post in two.

    The other thing is the original idea was to only include info that pertains specifically to beer-centric establishments. I haven't been into Double Dragon yet, but unless they have a stellar tap/bottle list, or offer some other unique beer-related service, it probably shouldn't be on this list. There are just too many places that could be listed, since so many restaurants in Portland have well above-average tap lists.
    NWer likes this.
  22. John_M

    John_M Moderator (5,663) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    I think you may have missed my point. What the bartender told me was complete BS. Plenty of places in PDX have pliny on tap; County Cork used to list it as part of their regular line-up. The Horsebrass customarily has it on tap a couple times a month.

    For that matter, Apex doesn't always have it on tap. However, they do seem to have it on tap pretty often, probably because at $8 a pint, they don't run through kegs very fast. So once they tap a keg of pliny, it can be days and even weeks before it kicks.

    Anyone who knows anything about the beer scene in PDX, knows that you can find draft pliny relatively easily around town. That's why I was so amazed when the bartender gave me that line. Not only was it a load of crap, but it was a pretty obvious load of crap at that. That's what caught me by surprise.... that she would tell me such an obvious lie.
  23. SeaAle

    SeaAle Disciple (399) Jun 24, 2012 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    Okay, I thought I had seen it around Portland at other places. Thanks for the further explanation. :stuck_out_tongue:
  24. guajolote

    guajolote Aspirant (252) Sep 12, 2008 Oregon

    Can we please refrain from making this another "bitch about APEX" thread? Some people don't like it, some do.

    The end.
  25. John_M

    John_M Moderator (5,663) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    Shrug. If someone asks for clarification regarding Apex's policies and propensities, I'm not sure I understand why it should bother you if someone does that. Of course people are free to reach their own conclusions regarding Apex, and I don't believe there's anything in my prior post that can be construed as telling someone they shouldn't go to the Apex. However, everything posted here about Apex is accurate (the pricing regarding pliny, the statement made by the bartender to me, etc.). Folks can of course make their own decision as to whether or not they find those things objectionable; I'm not sure what the harm is, however, in letting them at least know about it.
  26. JohnfromPurdue

    JohnfromPurdue Initiate (90) Apr 27, 2009 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    First, thanks for making this list. I will be visiting PDX for the second time next month for the HoD anniversary and your thread is helping me nail down some go to spots.

    I would actually appreciate good food recommendations that are within close vicinity to the big name beer spots. Generally, I'd use something like yelp for food help but that can be difficult when searching specific radii throughout the city. I'm not asking for a list of the top 10 can't miss places to eat in the city but more specifically the good stops that are around the great breweries and bars in the city. I would find that very helpful.
  27. guajolote

    guajolote Aspirant (252) Sep 12, 2008 Oregon

    You're right. There's no harm in providing additional info about APEX (or any other place) in this thread. And I don't dispute that your post was factual. I just didn't want to see the first two pages of this thread turn into a discussion/argument over whether APEX is good or bad--or whether or not they should charge $8 for Pliny--as has happened in one or two other recent threads. I'd rather it just remain a helpful resource for Portland beer visitors. But I also don't own this thread, so whatever happens, happens.
    John_M and NWer like this.
  28. RedMedicine

    RedMedicine Initiate (126) Jun 3, 2005 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    It's not a big city. Every brewery has a handful of nearby excellent restaurants and vice versa. You really are best off nailing down the top breweries and top restaurants you want to hit, and then just making it work. Eater PDX is a good resource for researching food.
  29. digita7693

    digita7693 Disciple (394) Jan 19, 2010 Germany
    Beer Trader

    Check my map as it has all kinds of things, including restaurants etc...

    But for HotD you have lots of things very close by, you could eat at HotD, right across the street you have one of my favorites, Boke Bowl, and Bunk Bar and after either you can get great coffee at Water Avenue.
    Just a couple of blocks away you have Produce Row, good food and I enjoy the whiskey and beer pairings, Montage, Slow Bar (great burgers and a delicious veggie burger) and White Owl Social Club (good tap list, great outdoor area and some very good food (huge vegan menu, maybe the best vegan burger Ive ever had).

    exitmusic00 likes this.
  30. guajolote

    guajolote Aspirant (252) Sep 12, 2008 Oregon

    I'd have to add Olympic Provisions to that inner SE list, even though I'm a vegetarian now. Amazing charcuterie.

    Thanks for mentioning White Owl. I've not been there and didn't realize they had such an extensive vegan menu. I'll definitely have to check it out now.
  31. blatantdream

    blatantdream Initiate (0) Dec 23, 2003 New York

    Visiting in December for the first time. Great ideas. Thanks for putting this together. Any notable releases/events around that time? Also, anywhere we can pick up cardboard/styro shippers?
  32. maltmaster420

    maltmaster420 Aspirant (294) Aug 17, 2005 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    Rose City Wine Vaults is at 111 SE Belmont, roughly 2 blocks from HoTD. Portland Wine Storage is at 306 SE Ash, roughly 1/2 mile north of HoTD. Both of them have rather limited retail hours (like 12-4), so call ahead of time and to make sure they're open.
  33. flexabull

    flexabull Poo-Bah (2,289) Mar 9, 2006 California
    Beer Trader

    I'm finally heading back to Portland for the first time in probably 10 years. And I know a lot has changed since then. (Back then I remember visiting Widmer, Bridgeport, McMennamins, and the Horse Brass)

    Anyways, this thread helps a ton. But I'm curious, what are some areas to look for a place to stay? We are probably going to rent a car, but it would be nice to be near good places to eat and drink. I'm thinking about getting a place from AirBNB, but I am not really familiar with the various neighborhoods.

  34. fuhkyou

    fuhkyou Aspirant (215) Feb 20, 2013 Idaho

    I stay at the HI hostels. You might be able to get a private room/s this time of year. The private room/s at the HI Northwest are very nice and homey in old houses.
  35. maltmaster420

    maltmaster420 Aspirant (294) Aug 17, 2005 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    I'd suggest staying east of the river, north of Powell, west of 60th, and south Glisan. You could go downtown as well, but parking will be a bitch if your hotel doesn't provide space.
    RedMedicine and flexabull like this.
  36. pourmeanothr

    pourmeanothr Initiate (0) May 26, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    Ditto to everything. Heading up in December myself, and also shopping airbnb. Cheers.
    flexabull likes this.
  37. kenm2118

    kenm2118 Initiate (141) Apr 17, 2009 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Are there any good beer bars or breweries in Portland that have football on? Any and all would be appreciated.
  38. digita7693

    digita7693 Disciple (394) Jan 19, 2010 Germany
    Beer Trader

    Apex loves to show football, just not American football.

    Beermongers will show some games, Deschutes definitely shows football
    exitmusic00 likes this.
  39. exitmusic00

    exitmusic00 Initiate (0) Mar 15, 2010 Oregon

    Same deal with Horse Brass. Breakside Dekum has TVs at the bar and I know they show sports, but I'm not sure about football specifically.

    They aren't really my preferred vibe (think BW3 on steroids), but the Blitz bars will literally have every single game on at any given moment. Blitz Ladd has ~40 beers on tap, and they almost always have 1-2 Boneyard beers on. And it's right around the corner from The Commons, Apex & BeerMongers. :slight_smile:
    flexabull likes this.
  40. digita7693

    digita7693 Disciple (394) Jan 19, 2010 Germany
    Beer Trader

    Yeah Blitz Ladd is probably your best bet, and they have a good tap list. I would avoid Blitz 23 and Blitz Pearl like the plague; and as my friend Exitmusic mentioned, you are easy walking distance from Apex, Beermongers, and The Commons, Cascade is just a bit further up the road, still easy walking distance, and they show football too.

    exitmusic00 likes this.
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