Oregon Breweries, Ranked
These are the breweries I went to on my most recent trip to Portland and surrounding environs — even though there are so, so, so many more than these. I realize many of these are just taprooms/restaurants in tourist-friendly places and the real breweries are further away, but I don’t care. Roughly ranked in ascending order, but this is Oregon beer, even the worst on this list is still “real good” and how could you ever be unhappy with any of these places?
This place was called Amnesia Brewing last time I was in Portland, and I feel like I liked the beer better back then too? But these were still good, and they made this cool spectrum, and it’s tough to beat drinking on a sweet patio right on North Mississippi Avenue.
Oregon Public House
Actually I had a guest beer instead of a house beer at this nonprofit pub, which is a jerk move. But you know what isn’t a jerk move? Donating a buck per pint to the charity of the customer’s choice. Good going, OPH.
Went to a taproom of theirs that doubles as a Lardo sandwich shop. Was a little distracted by my A+ Korean pork and kimchi sandwich, and with getting the Pixies stuck in my head, but if hop-bomb/booze-bomb IPAs are your thing, have at it. Also forgot to get a photo, sorry.
More of a food-focused pub than a beer-focused one to be honest, albeit one in a very cool warehouse space in the Pearl. Major points for being the official beer of the coolest mascot in Minor League Baseball though.
Returned here to take a second crack at their Sweet Heat scotch bonnet pepper wheat beer. On my 2012 trip I legit thought I was dying, but this time I actually liked it. I swear it’s more apricot-y now.
Double Mountain Brewing
The kolsch wasn’t my favorite, but the IPAs were very good. Also I was still coming down from driving through Columbia River Gorge for the first time (like holy shit!!!). Best pizza of this list though.
New, large brewery from the guy who came up with Deschutes Black Butte Porter, I’m told. Fun space vibes throughout the space including this very cool galactic taster tray. Zenith Grapefruit Gose was the first of many happy consumptions of sour fruit beers this trip.
Cascade Brewing and Barrel House
Speaking of all those fruity sours, this was the obvious peak of it. Fun change of pace from hoppy anything. But can we get something sessionable, please and thanks.
Halftime break for crazy nature photo.
Come on, Oregon.
Northwest legends and rightly so. Passionfruit Sour was a rare repeat choice for me this trip (s/o to Bailey’s Taproom as well). Minor points off for brewing a New England-y IPA and calling it “Definitely Not” because it’s definitely not that, such a Portland passive-aggressive move, good beer though.
Great Notion Brewing
Look at all these hazy juicy beers! Home sweet beer home. Alberta Street is dope as heck (and for something completely different, the Bye and Bye is my new favorite dive FYI).
I think their real brewery is elsewhere but I’ve now been to the very cool BikeBar on both my Oregon trips. Hoppy ones are classic Northwest, and the beer pretzels were the most clutch.
Fun selection of sours, wheats and saisons literally in a tiny-town backyard in the shadow of Mt. Hood. Definitely the most scenic brewery I’ve visited (apologies to Buzzards Bay), thanks to the bartender at pFriem without whom I’d have no idea this place even existed.
Beautiful space and a huge selection of all excellent beer. Bought a bottle of Black Butte XXVIII to take home, partially because it blew my mind and partially because I felt awkward after visibly grimacing when the host said it’d cost $18.
Ex Novo Brewing
This is actually not Ex Novo Brewing, but I had their beer both at Oregon Public House and the above-pictured food truck compound and beer garden (!!!) so I’m including them anyway. IPA was real good, the Cactus Wins the Lottery pink gose was even better and made the coveted list of beers I brought home with me.
Hair of the Dog Brewing
Lived up to the hype. #blessed to have Matt on tap even if I wouldn’t have known it beforehand (thank you for your beer guidance Ryan and Jeremy).
The Commons Brewery
Basically all saisons, including the crazy delicious Urban Farmhouse, served up in this cool old warehouse thing. A fun surprise that didn’t exist in 2012.
pFriem Family Brewers
A cross-section of Belgian-inspired beers, all excellent, creative and unexpected. Great location on the windsurfer-infested Hood River waterfront, but I forgot to take a picture of that, so here’s a selfie that could’ve been taken anywhere.