Visiting Portland - Summer 2017 update

Discussion in 'US - West' started by guajolote, Jun 13, 2017.

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  1. guajolote

    guajolote Disciple (315) Sep 12, 2008 Oregon

    A while 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 (multiple locations)
    Cascade Brewing Barrel House
    The Commons Brewery
    Deschutes Portland Pub
    Great Notion Brewing
    Hair of the Dog Brewing
    Upright Brewing (cash/check only)

    Other Highly Recommended Breweries & Brew Pubs
    Baerlic Brewing
    Culmination Brewing
    Ex Novo Brewing
    Fat Head's Brewery
    Gigantic Brewing
    Hopworks Urban Brewery (multiple locations)
    Laurelwood Brewing (multiple locations)
    Lompoc Brewing (multiple locations)
    Occidental Brewing

    The Newcomers (breweries opened in the past year-ish)
    Double Mountain Woodstock Taproom (August 2016)
    Mt. Tabor Brewing (September 2016)
    Ross Island Brewing (Winter 2017)
    Scout Beer Brewery & Taproom (September 2016)
    Wayfinder Beer (October 2016)

    Highly Recommended Beer Bars / Bottle Shops
    APEX (Taproom, Bottles-to-go; Cash Only w/onsite ATM)
    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 Growler Guys PDX (Taproom, Crowler Fills, Growler Fills, Bottles-to-go)
    Horse Brass Pub (Taproom, Food)
    Imperial Bottle Shop (Taproom, Bottle Shop, Growler Fills, Bottle Fills)
    John's Marketplace (Bottle Shop)
    Loyal Legion (Taproom, Growler Fills, Food)
    N.W.I.P.A. (Taproom, 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
    Grain & Gristle
    Higgins Restaurant
    Raven & Rose / The Rookery
    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 2017 Beer Guide
    The Brew Site
    New School Beer
    Oregon Beer Growler
    Portland Craft Beer Events Calendar

    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?
    "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 (free and awesome app)
    And yes, Uber and Lyft are currently operating in Portland.

    Portland Airport
    PDX is a great bar that just happens to be an airport. If you have time to kill, there are two Laurelwood brewpubs (concourses A & E), a Rogue brewpub (concourse D), a Henry's Tavern outpost, and several other restaurants with good tap lists. Laurelwood, Rogue, 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 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!O
  2. guajolote

    guajolote Disciple (315) Sep 12, 2008 Oregon

    Ok... A very late update, I know. But honestly (and strangely), there isn't a lot new to add this go-round. Seems like most of the action has moved to the 'burbs or to Vancouver in recent months.

    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)
  3. DJturnstile

    DJturnstile Initiate (0) Sep 2, 2015 California

    Thanks so much for this! Visiting Portland with a friend for the first time next month for a brewery crawl and this has given me a few new options!
  4. Redrover

    Redrover Poo-Bah (3,629) Jan 18, 2003 Wisconsin

    Thanks!!! I'm heading back to Portland next week and you just made my planning super easy!
  5. jjboesen

    jjboesen Meyvn (1,345) Feb 1, 2002 Maryland

    I'll be attending the Oregon Brewer Fest next month and will need your info. Thanks!
  6. ElmerTLee

    ElmerTLee Initiate (0) Apr 25, 2015 Connecticut

    Question for the locals. I love Fort George beers, is it worth the drive to Astoria, or am I better off going to De Garde?
  7. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (9,931) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    Go to both. Ft. George has 3 different bars in it's facility, and there's brewery only stuff on tap.
  8. LockeNess33

    LockeNess33 Initiate (0) Feb 2, 2016 Oregon

    I wholeheartedly agree with @beertunes. I always have a great time visiting any of their taprooms and some of the brewery only beers they have are some of the best Ft. George beers I've had. Plus, I think Astoria is a neat town with a lot of fairly unique things to offer.
  9. dphi

    dphi Initiate (110) Apr 14, 2013 Oregon

    Obviously do both if you can, but Astoria is by far the better destination for anything other than funky, delicious wild ales (and clams?). You've also got Buoy and Reach Break in Astoria, both of which are also worth visiting. de Garde is great but if you're even questioning it and have to choose one, I'd say Astoria.
    ElmerTLee and LockeNess33 like this.
  10. vurt

    vurt Poo-Bah (1,695) Apr 11, 2004 Oregon

    I love most of De Garde's beers, but I'd much rather spend the day in Astoria. No contest. You'll find a far greater variety of beer options there, in a broader range of styles. You'll also find a lot more restaurants, more to see, more things to do.

    Tillamook really doesn't have a lot to offer besides De Garde and the cheese factory.

    If you love Fort George beers, you really ought to visit. Have lunch there. Have a pint in the original pub, the upstairs pizza restaurant, and the cozy tasting room adjacent to the production brewery. Don't miss this year's iteration of 3-Way IPA. And if you want to get out and see more of Astoria, Fort George is right in the middle of town. The town's newest brewery, Reach Break, is a block away. Buoy Beer Co. is a 10-minute walk away.
    Btip1969, joloje, ElmerTLee and 2 others like this.
  11. honkduh

    honkduh Aspirant (233) Jun 2, 2011 Oregon

    +1 for Fort George
    ElmerTLee likes this.
  12. ElmerTLee

    ElmerTLee Initiate (0) Apr 25, 2015 Connecticut

    Thanks folks! Astoria at minimum, and both if we have time.
    BBThunderbolt and vurt like this.
  13. y2kawakami

    y2kawakami Aspirant (210) Sep 11, 2015 Hawaii

    Not a local, but just returned from a road trip that went from Seattle to San Fran. Astoria had more options; Fort George had some great beers on tap and delicious food. Astoria also had some nice places to visit.
    Tillamook had less options. De Garde had a great onsite beer list but no food. My wife and I really liked Blue Heron (among our favorite stops on the trip) in Tillmook for food and gifts for family.
    BBThunderbolt likes this.
  14. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (9,931) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    Really glad your trip went well. Perhaps next time, we'll get the chance to share a pint. Cheers Amigo!
    y2kawakami likes this.
  15. y2kawakami

    y2kawakami Aspirant (210) Sep 11, 2015 Hawaii

    Yes sir. The trip was very enjoyable. Maybe next time we can share that pint. Or, round 2 of the PNW share can be in Hawaii :stuck_out_tongue:
    BBThunderbolt likes this.
  16. Reidrover

    Reidrover Poo-Bah (4,699) Jan 14, 2003 Oregon

    If you have time spend the night in Astoria..that way you can hit De Garde early then go back up the coast and get a hotel and tour the Astoria brew pubs..there are others apart from Fort George
  17. Browntown35

    Browntown35 Initiate (87) Dec 24, 2016 Minnesota

    If you don't grab lunch at Lardo you may as well cancel your trip
  18. SpauldingSmails

    SpauldingSmails Initiate (158) Sep 11, 2014 Massachusetts


    Sorry for the last minute. I read the above. I am going to be in town for tonight. I have a work dinner, then will likely have time to hit two places. This was a last minute trip, so I didn't have any time to do any research. I am staying downtown. I have had tons of Cascade over time, but have not had deGarde. Sours are definitely a priority, though I would enjoy trying a few local IPAs too, if that works. No stouts tonight - have to be productive tomorrow. I can do either a dedicated brewery, if there are any downtown, or a bar with a great tap/bottle list.

    I'll also hit up my pal Untappd when I land to get a good idea of local stock.

    Thank you!
  19. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (7,294) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Assuming my interpretation of what constitutes "downtown" is the same as yours, you shouldn't have any difficulty finding plenty of interesting options. The obvious places include Fatheads and Deschutes brewpubs, along with Bailey's taphouse (plus the upper lip upstairs).
  20. SpauldingSmails

    SpauldingSmails Initiate (158) Sep 11, 2014 Massachusetts

    Thank you for the assist. Went to Bailey's and then took a Lyft over to Belmont Station. Bailey's system for letting you know how much of a beer is left in the keg is first class.
    vurt likes this.
  21. ElmerTLee

    ElmerTLee Initiate (0) Apr 25, 2015 Connecticut

    Oregon treated us well once again this year. Highlights were Ft George, Great Notion Brewing, Crux, Cascade Barrel House and Stammtish. Was interesting to see a bunch of NE IPA's out west..haha!
    bostonwolf and sharpski like this.
  22. itracy63

    itracy63 Disciple (375) Apr 20, 2013 Washington

    In Portland for the weekend and have Culmination, Ex Novo, Baerlic, and maybe Great Notion in my sights. I know GN is kid friendly, Baerlic's website says they are until 9, but I couldn't find any info on Culmination or Ex Novo. Although, I might just ditch the fam for a couple hours and walk to Culmination as it's really close to our hotel.
    BBThunderbolt likes this.
  23. SeaAle

    SeaAle Disciple (333) Jun 24, 2012 Oregon

    Culmination is kid friendly up to 7 pm and Ex Novo 9.
    66jzmstr likes this.
  24. itracy63

    itracy63 Disciple (375) Apr 20, 2013 Washington

    Nice. Many thanks!
  25. inkman15

    inkman15 Initiate (172) Oct 28, 2013 New Jersey

    This thread is extremely helpful, so big props to @guajolote for maintaining it. I'm hitting Oregon in August for the first time and will definitely make use of all this Portland info.

    Quick DeGarde questions for you guys given that their website is pretty sparse:
    • Are there generally limits on bottles per person?
    • What price range are the bottles typically?
    Also, if I were to use one of the Portland shops to ship back to the east coast, any guess as to what a 12-bottle shipper would cost me?

  26. distantmantra

    distantmantra Meyvn (1,197) May 23, 2011 Washington

    Yes, there are limits on specific bottles. Prices range from $8-$20 or so. de Garde does a really nice job of keeping their taplist and bottle list up to date on Facebook.
    sharpski, BBThunderbolt and inkman15 like this.
  27. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (7,294) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    If you shoot me a BM when you're in town, your cost will be nothing. I belong to several wine clubs, and always have extra shippers kicking around the garage.
  28. inkman15

    inkman15 Initiate (172) Oct 28, 2013 New Jersey

    You, sir, are a hero. I will be in touch!
  29. derftron

    derftron Devotee (447) Feb 8, 2012 Oregon

    Gotta give a quick shoutout to Higgins in this thread. Had a fantastic meal, and without any fanfare or reason here is the taplist for a random Thursday in July

    Founders KBS
    Ft. G - 3 way IPA
    pFriem frambozen
    Blue Dot IPA
    Chimay Triple
    Deschutes obsidian on Nitro
    Pilsner urquell
    Lindemans Framboise

    Prices are a little high, but the bar is cool, the service is A-1, and the vibe is mellow .
  30. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (9,931) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    Chimay White is my all time favorite beer. Any place that has it draft gets my seal of approval.
  31. Redrover

    Redrover Poo-Bah (3,629) Jan 18, 2003 Wisconsin

    Higgins is top notch! I have hosted a couple of business dinners there with great results.
  32. psweendogg

    psweendogg Savant (905) Jun 30, 2005 Connecticut
    Society Trader

    Has anybody been over to Level Beer? I plan to stop at quite a few places when I am in town in a few weeks so I'm trying to decide if it's worth going a little bit out of the way to check them out. I've read some decent press but I would love to hear what you all have to say.
  33. TheWiltChamberlainofipas

    TheWiltChamberlainofipas Initiate (0) Apr 7, 2015 Oregon

    Went to Level on Saturday afternoon. I was a frequent shopper of the Barn and excited to see how Level reworked the space. Well they didn't do a whole lot to it besides removing the produce. The place had a definitely family friendly vibe lots of children and lots of teens and very busy. Beer wasn't quite there yet cold and easy drinking but felt rushed. Seeing as the beers are all collaborative I have to compare them to Zoihgalhaus and Wayfinder and their collab beers were better with pretty much same brewers. Check it out maybe in the evening when the youngsters are at home as I will be doing in the future. Also happy to see a place open up so far outside the Portlandia bubble.
    psweendogg likes this.
  34. psweendogg

    psweendogg Savant (905) Jun 30, 2005 Connecticut
    Society Trader

    @81tillinfinity Thanks for the feedback. If we swing by, it would likely by mid to late afternoon next Thursday so I imagine that would be a reasonably quiet time. I'll check back over the next week or so to see if anyone else has feedback. Since it may be the only time I ever make it to the Portland area in my life, I definitely need to get my priorities right!
  35. guajolote

    guajolote Disciple (315) Sep 12, 2008 Oregon

    Figured this needed a bump, but didn't want to leave without adding value, so...

    The new Imperial Bottle Shop location on NE Alberta is open. It's good to see a high-quality taproom/bottle shop open in that 'hood. Despite all the awesome stuff around there, it's been devoid of great beer spots (except for GN, obviously) for the most part. There are certainly some bars with decent taplists, but those don't always cut it for jaded nerds like myself.
    NWer and BBThunderbolt like this.
  36. blackcloud

    blackcloud Disciple (370) Apr 28, 2012 Alaska

    agreed. and of course, they only waited until 6 years after i move out of the 'hood......
    guajolote likes this.
  37. erushing

    erushing Initiate (0) Dec 4, 2014 Texas

    Overlong Trip Review for this last week with my wife:

    Sun: Lardo for dinner, Commons for a bunch of farmhouse/sour stuff. Both great places, but it was too hot/stuffy in Commons and too much food at Lardo to do more that night.

    Mon: Brunch at Tasty N Sons. Had the Burmese pork stew, which was very good. Walked around Boise and Alberta a bit with Grain & Gristle in between for about 5 Upright beers, all good. They also had pineapple margaritas going and that was pretty perfect for the heat. Caffeine and then some Salt & Straw on Alberta for some really amazing ice cream and almost no line (this time). It's much better than anywhere in Austin trying to do the same thing and much better than 50 Licks. Then to Great Notion for a couple really good beers and some controversial IPAs. I hated all of them. I had been so excited. YMMV. I really liked the other stuff I had though. Rest, then dinner at Han Oak for their dumpling and noodle night. Very long wait, so I missed out on Culmination since they were about to close by the time we finally got out of there. The food was good, but not really worth it overall. Their prix fixe is probably great though if you can get in on a weekend.

    Tue: touristy stuff + Bamboo Sushi downtown, which was also good. Hair of the Dog for a flight. We also shared a bottle of Otto. Good stuff, but was overshadowed by Cascade, which came next. We did about 12 different things there, good to great. The Honeycot 14 or 15 was a big highlight. Manhattan 14 also, among others. I've only had a few Cascades over the years due to the price and thought they were very good, but not the very top tier, but this visit kind of changed that. I still passed on buying bottles to take home though.

    Wed: After some serious rental car shenanigans (fuck Enterprise), we had lunch at Pambiche (good) and went out to see some waterfalls and a visit to Pfriem for a flight of farmhouse/sour beers mostly. It was hot as hell, but the beers were great. Got several to-go bottles. Back to PDX to Pok Pok for dinner (very good), Imperial for some more bottles and we looked at this location of Salt & Straw's absurd line and went home.

    Thu: Pip's Original for breakfast (very good) and then out to Cape Kiwanda. Got a good burger at Pelican and had the Udder Tugger, which was pretty good. Almost killed my wife making her climb the hill at Kiwanda, but it's a pretty great place. Did some driving/sightseeing and eventually to De Garde for more really great beers and bottles to go. Back to Portland to Nong's Khao Man Gai, which was good, but was expecting more. Two sauces, at least, should be the default. Belmont Station to round out my case of large bottles and a can of Sticky Hands, which was another highlight of the trip. Also, 50 Licks, which was totally fine, but is pretty light compared to Salt & Straw and their prices for the portions were pretty laughable.

    Fri: Picked up a shipper at Rose City (thanks for that information! They were very helpful!) Screen Door for brunch after a pretty bad wait. Had a Pfriem Wit to round out the trip. There is a lot of beer for sale at the airport, but couldn't really pull the trigger on anything. When the check-in person at SW asked if my box was wine and I said beer, she said, "Yeah, you don't have any good beer in Austin. I can say that since I'm from there." She didn't have to rub it in :wink:

    Stray thoughts:
    Service across the board was really great and friendly/helpful. Even my fiasco at Enterprise was made better because the people in the office were overly nice.
    We used Lyft a lot and I think every single driver either talked about Austin being your sister city or referred to how the cities are so similar in an excited way. Do you guys learn that in school or something? :stuck_out_tongue:
    We drank very local for pretty much the whole trip and even out of 17 bottles I took home, it's almost all Oregon and we still barely scratched the surface.

    As always, thanks for this thread!! Between this forum and Eater, we were pretty set for recommendations for drinking and eating.
    mudbug, bret717, chinochino and 11 others like this.
  38. RLM15

    RLM15 Initiate (0) Dec 12, 2013 California

    Does Great Notion release crowlers on set days of the week or is it random? I haven't been able to see any release calendar on their website / social media accounts. Thanks!
  39. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (7,294) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    The answer to your question is contained here, but I don't know how up to date it is. I'm not exactly sure what's going on at GN right now, but like you, I've also noticed that there haven't been any crowler release notifications on their Face Book account of late. I used to see two or three a week..
  40. bostonwolf

    bostonwolf Initiate (127) Jan 20, 2015 Massachusetts

    I'm heading out in September and might take you up on this as well!
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