I love finding new breweries in town to try out, and especially love it when they have a nice brew pub. Here are a few of my favorites:
PLACES IN PORTLAND
I drove past this Mississippi brew pub three years ago and promptly forgot its name. No, really! But once I finally remembered to stop in, I was glad I did! Though the beers tend toward the hoppy side, they offer some other great ale choices. They often a mead on tap, always have delicious sausages, and there’s a sunny patio that’s nice in the summer. It can get really crowded and loud, so know before you go.
Bridgeport Ale House
There are two awesome things about this place: Ebenezer when it’s on tap, and their french onion soup. Sadly, I haven’t seen the soup on the menu in a while, and Ebenezer is a winter seasonal. On the up side, the food is quite good and there are other beers to drink during the rest of the year. I don’t care for their Pearl district main location; too “hip” for me.
Though not quite a brewery yet, at least something good has come of the former Yamhill Brewing location. Great rotating beer selection, and soon to be selling their own beers and spirits. The food is a little pricey and not as good as I’d hope, but their french fries are fantastic.
Hopworks Urban Brewery
Finally, a place on SE Powell worth patronizing! It’s the only gig on the street if you want a beer without strippers. All organic tasty beers, a sustainable building, a great back patio, and only a 15 minute walk from my house. I’ll definitely be back, but for now the crowds are a bit much for regular visits. You can read my more detailed review of Hopworks in their opening week if you want more info.
With four locations to choose from, you get something different at each. I love the convenience of Hedge House, but hate the crowds. 5th Quadrant is the most interesting location in terms of food and beer options. Plus, I know one of the brewers there!
Roots Organic Brewing
I only love one of their beers: the Burghead Heather Ale. But what a beer it is! Delicious honey flavors, thirst-quenching, so good. Food here is mediocre, as is the bar scene. Plus, my bike was stolen from in front of the building last year, which totally sucks. The good news is that you can get the glorious heather ale at other fine establishments such as Caldera.
OUT & ABOUT IN OREGON
Their 20″ Brown is delicious on tap! Finding the original 7th Street brewpub in Redmond, OR can be tough without decent directions, but worth the search. Sometimes I can find their beer in bottles, and am frustrated when I do because they use screw-on caps. I can’t brew into that!
Black Butte Porter has long been a staple of my beer consumption. And the first black and tan I had was Guiness and Mirror Pond Pale Ale. The Bond street brew pub also offers some delicious food — you can’t go wrong with their sausage special — as well as specialty beers not available in a bottle.
The Kiwanda Cream Ale is one of my favorite beers, and makes the trip to Pacific City just to have it on tap totally worthwhile. Plus, the brew pub has super tasty fish & chips, where the fish is crisply battered with herbs and spices. Delicious! And you can sip a beer while watching the sun set over the Pacific Ocean.
I don’t go out to many Seattle breweries because, honestly, I don’t love Seattle. But I was in town for a conference a while back and stopped in at Maritime before hitting the road back to Portland. I just couldn’t resist the Jolly Roger Taproom! The Nightwatch Dark Amber was smooth drinking indeed.
And this one time, at a conference… I had lunch at Pike Brewing because 1) beer, and 2) beer. But it also turned out that they had an amazing crab chowder on the menu! When you’re done there, go around the corner a buy fresh crumpets at The Crumpet Shop.
Walking Man Brewing
My partner and I like to go hiking, and often hike in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Which is totally perfect because Walking Man is on the way back to Portland! They’ve got such a nice selection of beer, from lagers to fruity beer to oatmeal stouts. The Black Cherry Stout is a great dessert beer. I recommend getting the sampler, which gets you 4oz of the 10 beers they have on tap at that time. The food is good, but the indoor portion of the brew pub is often very crowded. Not great for groups. On a warmer day, there’s garden seating.