Visiting Portland (Summer 2015 update)

Discussion in 'Northwest' started by guajolote, Jul 6, 2015.

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  1. guajolote

    guajolote Maven (1,325) Sep 12, 2008 Oregon

    A while back, it became clear that this forum could use an easily searchable "I'm visiting Portland, where should I go?" thread. Here, 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
    The Commons Brewery
    Deschutes Portland Pub
    Hair of the Dog Brewing
    Upright Brewing

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

    The Newcomers (breweries opened in the past year-ish)
    Baerlic Brewing
    BTU Brasserie & Brewery
    Culmination Brewing
    Ex Novo Brewing
    Fat Head's Brewery
    Royale Brewing
    StormBreaker Brewing

    Highly Recommended Beer Bars / Bottle Shops
    APEX (Taproom, Bottles-to-go)
    Bailey's Taproom/The Upper Lip (Taproom, Crowler Fills, 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 Growler Guys PDX (Taproom, Growler Fills, Bottles-to-go)
    The Hop & Vine (Taproom, Bottle Shop, Growler Fills, Food)
    Horse Brass Pub (Taproom, Food)
    Imperial Bottle Shop (Taproom, Bottle Shop, Growler Fills, Bottle Fills)
    John's Marketplace (Bottle Shop)
    Oregon Hophouse: Hawthorne | 15th Avenue (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*
    Bazi Bierbrasserie
    Cheese Bar
    Cheese & Crack Snack Shop
    Grain & Gristle
    Higgins Restaurant
    The Loyal Legion
    Raven & Rose / The Rookery
    White Owl Social Club

    * 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. Eater PDX is a great food resource.
    Portland BeerFly listing:
    Willamette Week's 2015 Beer Guide:

    Some helpful maps
    digita7693’s map (beer map, restaurants, hotels, cafes, to-do)
    The Beer Mapping Project
    Oregon & Washington Brew Map
    Oregon Beer Country map

    A couple of potential(ly dangerous) pub crawls
    The "Walk it Off" Pub Crawl (HotD > Bailey's > Deschutes > Upright > Burnside > Cascade)
    Inner SE Pub/Brewery Crawl (APEX > Beermongers > Baerlic > HotD > Commons > Cascade > Base Camp > Burnside)
    North Portland Pub Crawl (StormBreaker > Bridgetown Beerhouse > BikeBar > Sidebar > Tin Bucket > Ecliptic)

    Want to know if XYZ bar/brewery allows kids? Here are some resources:
    "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? Try Rose City Wine Vaults & Storage


    PDX Bus (free and awesome app)

    Portland Airport
    The beer flows at PDX as well. There are two Laurelwood brewpubs (concourses A & E), a Rogue brewpub (concourse D), a Henry's 12th Street Tavern outpost, 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 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 often cited in the Northwest BA forum. Exploration and experimentation are certainly encouraged!
    #1 guajolote, Jul 6, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2015
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  2. guajolote

    guajolote Maven (1,325) Sep 12, 2008 Oregon

    Updates to Version 9:
    - added The Loyal Legion to the restaurants section. I know they're not quite open yet, but it will likely be a hot destination until the verdict comes in. If the reception is poor, we can remove it in the next update.
    - added resources for breweries & bars that allow kids
    - added the Portland Wine Vaults & Storage link for those needing shippers
    - added Henry's 12th Street PDX location to the Airport section. Also added a link for the Laurelwoood airport location.

    Past versions:
    Original thread
    Update v.1 (winter 2013)
    Update v.2 (spring 2013)
    Update v.3 (summer 2013)
    Update v.4 (fall/winter 2013-14)
    Update v.5 (spring 2014)
    Update v.6 (fall/winter 2014)
    Update v.7 (winter 2015)
    Update v.8 (spring 2015)
    #2 guajolote, Jul 6, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2015
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  3. John_M

    John_M Grand High Pooh-Bah (6,275) Oct 25, 2003 Washington
    Super Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Excellent. Thanks for the update and additions.
    #3 John_M, Jul 7, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2015
  4. David9

    David9 Initiate (0) Mar 25, 2015 California

    Narrowing down our brewery crawl this weekend to only 3 breweries.. with now 14 people its going to be hard to even get 3 in. Thinking based on size and location (we are staying walking distance to Deschutes at the Courtyard) we'd for sure want to do Deschuttes and Cascade for accommodation purposes. I need a third however.. was thinking Commons might be the call but not sure how big it is. Any other suggestions? Also, will any of these have a decent bottle selection to go?
  5. Strangestbrewer

    Strangestbrewer Crusader (453) Oct 17, 2014 Oregon

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  6. kscaldef

    kscaldef Initiate (0) Jun 11, 2010 Oregon

    The new Commons location is pretty spacious; just be aware that there's no seating.

    Cascade will have basically everything they've bottled in the last year available to go. The list is here: Commons generally has Urban Farmhouse and Flemish Kiss bottles, and frequently a seasonal or special release. Deschutes is probably the least likely to have something available that you can't just pick up anywhere.
  7. David9

    David9 Initiate (0) Mar 25, 2015 California

    Sweet thanks! No seating anywhere in the brewery could be a bit of an issue. Can anyone recommend a third after Caskade and Deschuttes that would be more conducive to a large party?
  8. vurt

    vurt Grand Pooh-Bah (3,578) Apr 11, 2004 Oregon
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Does it have to be a brewery/brewpub? You could go to Bailey's Taproom, which is downtown, can handle a decent sized party, and has a good to-go bottle selection. Or you could go to Apex which has plenty of room and great taps, and then go across the street to BeerMongers for bottles. Or you could walk 2 blocks from Cascade to Growler Guys--great taps, small bottle selection. In each case, you'll find a better variety of beer than you could expect at a brewery. And bottles.
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  9. derftron

    derftron Pooh-Bah (1,639) Feb 8, 2012 Oregon
    Pooh-Bah Society

    A lot of the Beer Bars are more condusive to large parties, and they all have awesome taplists. I will echo the Baileys suggestion (either upstairs or downstairs). Also Apex has a ton of room and outdoor seating

    BUT, if you want to go to breweries... Ecliptic would be good for a large group, they have really good beer and a huge parking lot and outdoor seating.

    Fatheads would also be a good move. Huge space, very good beer, and usually an awesome guest tap list with mostly Oregon beers on it. Only downside is the very bright Red Robin type of vibe.
    David9 likes this.
  10. John_M

    John_M Grand High Pooh-Bah (6,275) Oct 25, 2003 Washington
    Super Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Would second this recommendation, but with a couple of caveats. I like Bailey's a lot, but the downstairs area is fairly small and is often crowded. For whatever reason (maybe people just aren't aware of its existence?), the Upper Lip is typically a lot less crowded, and so more conducive to a sizeable crowd. Just be aware that the Upper Lip doesn't open till 4:00 (as I recall), if you decide to head over.

    Also, I assume the OP already knows this, but you'll definitely want to call ahead at Deschutes if you're heading over with that size a group. I can't remember the last time I didn't have to wait for a seat there, and that was even during what I thought were off hours. I've heard there are times when the place isn't packed and you can get right in, but I've never been lucky enough to visit during those times.

    Apex is a very good idea, but if you go there, be sure to take Vurt's advice and go across the street for any bottle purchases you might want to make. Apex sells bottles to go as well, but once you see the price they charge for their stuff, you'll understand why Vurt recommended going across the street to Beermongers. Just be aware that BM is pretty small, and so you and your friends will likely fill the place up if you head over after your visit to Apex. Also, do keep in mind that Apex is cash only, if you decide to head over there (every place I've seen mentioned in this thread takes cards).
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  11. David9

    David9 Initiate (0) Mar 25, 2015 California

    Thanks guys... I am planning this for the groom or I would for sure be open to tap rooms. I think he wants to stick to mainly brew pubs.. bottle selection was mainly just for me haha. I guess I can go exploring the next day before the flight. Thanks for all the suggestions
  12. vurt

    vurt Grand Pooh-Bah (3,578) Apr 11, 2004 Oregon
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Since you're going to have a big group, Fat Head's could be a useful place to add to your list:
    • It's a brewery.
    • With plenty of room.
    • And lots of taps (their own beers and usually excellent guest taps)
    • And it's only 2 blocks from Deschutes.
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  13. David9

    David9 Initiate (0) Mar 25, 2015 California

    That seems like a good call.. or at the very least a good back up plan if Deschuttes doesnt work out.
  14. teddyarrowhead

    teddyarrowhead Initiate (0) Oct 23, 2009 Oregon

    The Commons has a several new tables with chairs and a fair amount of seating now. It's been that way for about a month if I recall correctly.
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  15. David9

    David9 Initiate (0) Mar 25, 2015 California

    Thanks! That changes it a bit for me.
  16. Bnoise11

    Bnoise11 Initiate (0) Dec 25, 2012 California

    Visiting Portland for the 1st time next week (4 days), staying in Pearl District. How is 10 Barrel Brewing?
  17. John_M

    John_M Grand High Pooh-Bah (6,275) Oct 25, 2003 Washington
    Super Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    The berliner weisse beers seem to be the most popular things they make. Some of the IPA's and DIPA's in the past have been decent as well.

    In all honesty, I haven't tried any of their beers recently (not since they were bought out by InBev-Ab).
    #17 John_M, Jul 9, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2015
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  18. derftron

    derftron Pooh-Bah (1,639) Feb 8, 2012 Oregon
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Fat Heads is going to have a much better roster of beer. lots of Oregon Guest taps as well

    10 Barrel Crush beers, and Joe IPA are really good
    Bnoise11 and sharpski like this.
  19. David9

    David9 Initiate (0) Mar 25, 2015 California

    Dumb question, but the phone rang off the hook and I can't find it on the website.. does Cascade samples or only full pours? Also, it looks like they have a few non sours always on tap, that correct?
  20. TaborTime

    TaborTime Pundit (928) Dec 10, 2013 Oregon

    8oz 'full' pours to go along with sample size pours. They always have a few non-sours on tap, but…you or your friends don't want to waste your money on them.
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