Portland is home to breweries galore and some of the finest beer on Earth. Since the early 1980s, Portland brewers have been hard at work, pioneering the craft beer movement with fresh ingredients like Willamette Valley hops and Bull Run water. Along with bustling brewpubs and a calendar overflowing with beer-themed events, Portland brewers’ innovative creations make Portland a must-visit beer destination.
Portland’s beer buzz began in 1984, when both the BridgePort Brewing Company (now closed) and Widmer Brothers opened facilities in what is now the Pearl District, not far from where Henry Weinhard’s brews were made back in the 1860s.
In 1985, McMenamins opened Oregon’s first brewpub in Southwest Portland; you can still knock one back at the original Hillsdale Brewery today. McMenamins now has more than 50 locations in the Northwest — each unique but united by their flagship beers and historic locations.
Learn More About Portland Beer and Breweries
How many breweries are in Portland?
What beer is Portland known for?
Which Portland breweries have outdoor seating?
The Move to Portland
Other Oregon brewing pioneers opened Portland locations in the 1990s, including Rogue Ales, which started in Newport in 1989 and today operates two Portland locations: Rogue Eastside Pub & Pilot Brewery and Rogue Hall. Hood River’s Full Sail Brewing Company, which started in Hood River in 1987, has a small brewing operation inside McCormick & Schmick’s Harborside at the Marina in downtown Portland.
More recently, two Bend-based heavyweights have also opened Portland outposts: legendary Deschutes Brewery, founded in 1988, opened a brewpub in the Pearl District in 2008, and fast-growing 10 Barrel Brewing moved into the same neighborhood in 2015.
The Second Wave
Agile upstarts are always welcome in Portland’s brewing community, and in the 1990s, a series of newcomers helped keep the city’s beer scene fresh. In 1994, Lucky Labrador Brewing Company started pouring concoctions like their rich and creamy Black Lab Stout when the first of their locations opened to the public (and their pooches).
Laurelwood Brewing opened in 2001 — enjoy brews like the popular Free Range Red at their family-friendly brewpub in Northeast Portland. The vast selection of organic beers offered by Hopworks Urban Brewery has drawn rave reviews since they started brewing in 2007. An “eco-brewpub,” Hopworks is powered by 100% renewable energy. Stop by for a delicious pizza and a thirst-quenching Organic HUB Lager, which has won worldwide awards.
Part aging room, part pub, the Cascade Brewing Barrel House is a 7,100-square-foot (660 sq m) emporium of beer that launched in 2010 and quickly gained attention for the excellent sour beer on offer. A live barrel is tapped every other Tuesday at 6 p.m., and their expansive patio is a favorite destination on summer evenings.
Portland is the craft beer capital and home to 70+ breweries. (No wonder we call it “Beervana!”)
Portland Beers by Style
Ordering a pint in a city with 70+ breweries can be intimidating — use our insider’s guide to Portland beer styles to sip your way through Beervana’s best IPAs, saisons, stouts and other brews.
Pint-Sized Portland Nanobreweries
You might know microbreweries, but have you visited a nanobrewery? Take a sip of these tiny breweries delivering big flavors in Portland.
Dog-Friendly Portland Breweries
Plenty of Portland’s 70+ breweries cater to both two- and four-legged visitors, providing pooch-friendly patios and bowls of water for thirsty pups.
Kid-Friendly Breweries in Portland
In a city with so many excellent breweries, parents don't have to choose between spending time with their kids and enjoying a great pint of beer.
Pearl District & NW Portland Brewery Tour
Experience a diverse mix of Portland beer giants, local favorites and regional trendsetters on this tour of Pearl District and Northwest Portland / Nob Hill breweries.
Fresh Hops in Portland
The autumn hops harvest marks an extra-special season for local brewers, who celebrate with fresh hop ales and festivals.
Recent years continue to bring about exceptional new Portland breweries. Some brew a wide range of beers, while others take a targeted approach, focusing on specific beer styles or brewing techniques — but they all prize sharing their passion and their beer.
At both its original Portland location and the larger brew house in Milwaukie, just southeast of Portland, Breakside Brewery crafts favorites like the Breakside IPA, winner of the coveted gold medal for American-Style IPA at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival. They also take on wild experiments like the Duck Duck Drunk, a chocolate porter brewed for Breakside’s third anniversary in 2013 and infused with 100 pounds (45 kg) of locally raised Muscovy duck.
Gluten-free ale is the sole focus at Ground Breaker Brewing, where Willamette Valley chestnuts hand-roasted on-site take the place of grains in their award-winning brews. Taste gluten-free IPAs, pale ales, dark ales, and experimental ales incorporating local ingredients like coffee or squash (gluten-free food is also on offer at the gastropub).
A favorite Northeast Portland hangout, Migration Brewing handcrafts exceptional beers like the Straight Outta Portland IPA and the Proper Pilsner. A new location on North Williams Avenue draws in beer lovers with its excellent, expansive patio.
Gigantic Brewing strives to make the best IPAs in Portland while ignoring all the rules — they come up with unique one-off beers showcasing the veteran brewers’ creativity and the region’s stellar hops. For example, their Catch 23 pale ale focused on Hop #527, an experimental variety from Roy Farms in Yakima, Wash.
Baerlic Brewing offers 10 taps pouring a mix of their year-round beers and seasonal or one-off concoctions. Many brews tend toward classic European styles, like cream ales and stouts, but they also make a flagship IPA and use plenty of local hops. You can taste their motto in every sip: “the beer here is near and dear.”
Ecliptic Brewing joined the Portland beer scene in 2013, but its founder is no upstart. Local brewing legend John Harris put in time at McMenamins, Deschutes (where he developed the recipe for blockbusters like the Mirror Pond Pale Ale) and Full Sail before striking out on his own. Ecliptic combines Harris’ two passions — brewing and astronomy — in celestial-themed brews like the Starburst IPA (named after the brightest star in the constellation Virgo) and the Cloud Core Hazy Pale Ale. They also offer an elevated food menu that rotates with the astrological calendar.
Importing the concept of French and Belgian farmhouse-style beers, Upright Brewing is a hidden gem in the local beer scene. Its basement-level tasting room has few frills but is big on flavor, with a seasonally rotating menu of one-offs and small batches, pushing the limits of their West Coast ingredients.
StormBreaker Brewing stormed into Portland’s craft beer scene in 2014 with its fresh-hopped award-winning brews. Whether they’re putting their own stamp on a classic altbier or infusing a hazy IPA with rose petals, Stormbreaker perfectly balances brewing precision and wild abandon creativity. Offering both a cocktail and a food menu that hold their own, this brewpub makes it easy for everyone in your group to find something to enjoy together.
Under the shadow of North Portland’s iconic St. Johns Bridge, Occidental Brewing specializes in European-style beers. Stop by the brewery and taproom to taste their spectacular altbier or the popular kolsch.
Von Ebert Brewing opened in 2018 and quickly won the hearts of Portlanders with its delicious, innovative beer and elevated pub fare (they also have a spacious covered patio).
Little Beast Brewing started in Beaverton in 2017 and quickly became popular enough to warrant new locations, including a Southeast Division Street spot that opened in 2018. Little Beast was founded by “partners in life and work” Charles Porter and Brenda Crow, who specialize in mixed-fermentation beers and bright, complex flavors.
Which Brews to Choose?
With such a rapidly growing beer scene, choice paralysis can become a real challenge: do you start with the classic brewers that set the stage for Portland’s rise to brewery fame, or do you sample beer from one of the new upstarts who are striving to change the game? One good solution is to head to a taproom and try them all.
Apex provides a haven for beer aficionados and newbies with 50 beers on tap from a rotating selection of Oregon brewers like Ex Novo, pFriem, and Hair of the Dog. Their live online menu displays the current tap list, what’s new and what’s about to tap out so you won’t miss a drop of your favorite ale.
For the grandest selection of them all, belly up to the bar at Loyal Legion, where a menu of 99 taps dedicated to Oregon breweries awaits your perusal. Order a flight of samples from across the state or stick to Portland-born brews. With a full cocktail bar and a menu of great-but-affordable food, this elegant pub will also satisfy any non-beer-drinkers in your group, buying you more time for another pint.
Oregon Cider Week Special Edition is happening with CiderCon 2024, hosted in Portland, Oregon. The Northwest cider community will welcome visiting conference attendees, media, buyers and cider fans at a wide variety of not-to-be-missed events. Save the day and stay tuned.
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