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Portland, Oregon has the most brewpubs per capita. Check out these Portland Brew Pubs and sample some of the Northwest's best Beers and Ales.The Travelers Guide to Portland's Brew Pubs
Portland Craft Breweries
Alameda Brewing Company
Brewing takes place in three stainless-steel tanks located just behind the curved white maple bar. Head brewer John Eaton, a 1997 graduate of UC Davis' Master Brewers program, makes a variety of ales, many named after the Beaumont neighborhood's streets and parks. Klickitat Pale Ale (whose moniker comes from nearby Klickitat Street) is the best seller; Black Bear XX Stout wins all the medals. The beer list features suggested food pairings from the pub's sophisticated menu.
Amnesia Brewing Company
Amnesia sits in the hip little neighborhood along N. Mississippi Avenue. The facility's friendly, unassuming feel emanates from the casual picnic tables spread across the concrete ﬂ oor of this warehouse turned brewpub. Owners Kevin King and Kristina Heartman opened the brewery in 2004, serving Dusty Trail Pale, Desolation IPA, Amnesia Brown, Wonka Porter and Precious Pils. The pub menu isn't huge, but does include yummy burgers and sausages prepared on an outdoor grill.
BJ's Pizza, Grill & Brewery
Lloyd Center District location
BJ's restaurants may be as well known for their Chicago-style deep-dish pizza as for their brews. On tap: a selection of 10 house beers and 10 guest beers.
BridgePort Brewpub + Bakery
This granddaddy of craft breweries, operating longer than any other in Oregon, underwent a facelift in 2005. Reopening in 2006 with an on-site bakery and espresso bar, an atrium, and a two-story main bar with five stainless-steel 300-gallon serving tanks, this Portland landmark continues to draw crowds. Originally opened in 1888 as a cordage factory that made ropes for sailing ships, BridgePort's impressive building is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition to its main location, BridgePort also maintains the BridgePort Ale House on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard.
BridgePort Ale House
At BridgePort's satellite brewpub, patrons can still sample all the brewery's most popular brews, including Blue Heron, Ropewalk Amber Ale, India Pale Ale and Old Knucklehead. Cask-conditioned ales, drawn from the firkin (a small English-style keg) can also be ordered. Daily, enjoy full lunch and dinner menus, as well as brunch on weekends.
Full Sail Brewing Company at RiverPlace
In 1992, Hood River's Full Sail Brewing Company opened a satellite brewing operation in downtown Portland. Located next door to McCormick & Schmick's Harborside Pilsner Room restaurant and overlooking the Willamette River and RiverPlace Marina, this small brewery has one of the city's best views. While the facility produces many of Full Sail's specialty and seasonal beers — which are on tap in the adjacent Pilsner Room restaurant — it also serves as Full Sail's research and development center for new brews. Tours of the brewery are by appointment only.
Hair of the Dog Brewing Company
Unlike the majority of Portland's craft brewing outlets with on-site pubs and restaurants, Hair of the Dog is strictly a brewery — albeit one that stocks many of Portland's most popular watering holes. Hair of the Dog brews, several of which are bottle-conditioned, can be found at the Horse Brass Pub, the Bar at the End of the Universe and others (visit www.hairofthedog.com for additional locations). Beer nuts with a yen to see the inner workings of the brewery — another revamped Portland warehouse — should call ahead to make an appointment.
Laurelwood Public House & Brewery
Laurelwood is one of two Portland breweries that feature organic beer, that is, beer brewed with grains grown with no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Brewer Christian Ettinger offers several organic beers, including Organic Free Range Red, the pub's biggest seller. Located in a Hollywood District storefront, Laurelwood is smoke-free and family-friendly, with even a kids' play area. A big window looks down on the brewing area. The large menu features a dozen burgers and breakfast on the weekend.
Laurelwood NW Public House
In this Victorian-era home turned comfy watering hole, you'll regularly find seven Laurelwood brews and one seasonal beer on tap. Located just off 23rd Avenue in Portland's urbane Nob Hill neighborhood, this satellite pub has the same full menu — excluding breakfast — as Laurelwood Public House & Brewery.
The Lucky Labrador Beer Hall
The newest location for the Lucky Lab takes beer fans to northwest Portland for fine ales, casual atmosphere and a “relatively healthy menu.” The ample outdoor seating area is dog-friendly. Lucky Lab enthusiasts share photos of themselves traveling the globe in Lucky Lab t-shirts. See them posted in all Lucky Lab pubs or online at www.luckylab.com.
The Lucky Labrador Brewing Company & Brew Pub
Admire the dog art, especially the many soulful portraits of Labrador retrievers, on the walls of this old roofing warehouse. In 1994 the building was converted to a neighborhood pub that is hugely popular with humans and dogs alike. Dogs are present in full force on the back patio during the annual “Dogtoberfest,” a charity dog wash to celebrate the Lucky Lab's September anniversary and Oktoberfest. Bento and sandwiches are on the menu; tasty dog-themed brews (Super Dog, Black Lab Stout, Dog Day IPA) are on tap.
Purchased in 2004 by Pyramid Breweries of Seattle, the former Portland Brewing Company now ﬂ ourishes as the MacTarnahan's Taproom at Portland Brewing. The feisty spirit of Portland Brewing patriarch Robert “Mac” MacTarnahan, a world-ranked senior athlete who died in 2004 at the age of 89, ﬂ avors the best-selling MacTarnahan's Amber Ale. Other popular brews include Black Watch Cream Porter and Highland Pale Ale. Greeting visitors to the pub are two shiny copper brewing vessels that were shipped to Portland from Bavaria, where they were originally used at the Sixenbrau Brewery.
McMenamins Pubs and Breweries
Below is a mere sampling of the McMenamins empire; a complete listing of McMenamins' pubs and breweries would be longer than this directory. The funky, family friendly neighborhood bars and historic inns that make up the McMenamins universe thoroughly polka-dot the maps of Oregon and Washington. There are now nearly 60 locations in both states.
Hillsdale Brewery & Public House
Portland's first post-Prohibition brewery, the Hillsdale Brewery & Public House is decorated in the inimitable McMenamins fashion — fantastical artwork covering walls, ceilings, doors, pipes and every other visible nook and cranny. McMenamins classic beers — raspberry-tinged Ruby, medium-bodied Hammerhead, and strong, dark Terminator Stout are always available.
McMenamins Edgefield is a 38-acre beer-lovers' resort. Formerly the Multnomah County Poor Farm, this National Historic Landmark property features 100 European-style bed-and-breakfast rooms, an on-site brewery, winery and distillery, theater, golf course, restaurants and bars, meeting rooms and gardens.
McMenamins Kennedy School
The Kennedy School is another historic McMenamins' property. At this former 1912 grade school, you can sleep in class (thanks to the bed-and-breakfast rooms on-site) and drink in detention (a former janitor's closet is now a hole-in-the-wall bar).
The Mission Theater
From its roots as a Swedish Evangelical Mission and Longshoreman's Union, this brick building was transformed into a theater showing recent silver-screen releases, cult classics and art ﬁlms. An ornately decorated balcony overlooks the old pulpit, while the expansive main ﬂoor is naturally lit by several large windows. In addition to McMenamins' brews, there's a solid pub menu. Minors are allowed only to matinees and early shows when accompanied by a parent; all other screenings are 21 and over.
The New Old Lompoc
Yes, there was an Old Lompoc; this is the “new one,” since 2000 under the ownership of local beer luminary Don Younger, owner of the legendary Horse Brass Pub. Housed in a 1912 building with a creaky wooden ﬂ oor, the pub is funky, eclectic, warm and welcoming. The New Old Lompoc brews an average of 10 ales and lagers and serves four other craft beers on guest taps. On warm, sunny days, check out the hidden beer garden in back.
At The New Old Lompoc, you may run into fans of W.C. Fields. His 1940 film “The Bank Dick,” about a heavy-drinking bank detective, was set ironically in Lompoc, Calif., a town originally founded as a temperance colony. The hotel in the film was named The New Old Lompoc House.
Lompoc Hedge House
The Hedge House is The New Old Lompoc's satellite location. Tucked into an old house turned cozy pub, visitors can also enjoy Lompoc beers outside on the large deck.
The Old Market Pub & Brewery
Located on the site that for years was Frank Comella's produce store, there's plenty of room for tables and booths, even for pool and shufﬂ eboard. With a nod to the former green grocer, live plants are suspended overhead by original 1950s produce scales. Walls are adorned with vintage wooden signs. There are 22 taps, serving brews such as Mr. Toad's Wild Red Ale (the Old Market's first creation), HOP ON!, Great White Wheat and British Bombay IPA. The menu offers sandwiches, burgers, pizzas and desserts.
Philadelphia's Steaks & Hoagies
With a three-barrel brewing system, Philadelphia's is one of the smallest licensed breweries in America. Try any of the fresh ales with the menu's specialty: a Philadelphia cheese steak (six ounces of thinly sliced steak grilled with onions and served on a hoagie roll). This small, Westmoreland neighborhood establishment serves brews such as Double Hopped Eagle Ale, Ginger Hefeweizen, Spectrum Amber, South Street Porter and Betsy Ross Golden.
Raccoon Lodge & Brew Pub
Raccoon art galore, along with stuffed animal heads and other outdoorsy paraphernalia, adds to the Northwest hunting lodge décor. The place gets its name from the raccoons that have been known to appear in the outdoor beer garden. Ring Tail Pale and Blond Boc are the most popular brews. The upstairs smoke-free restaurant serves burgers, sandwiches, soups and salads, but is best known for its five varieties of fries (sweet potato, shoestring, ale-battered steak fries, Yukon Gold and Tater Tots) which come with a choice of eight different dipping sauces. The den downstairs (opening daily at 4 p.m.), allows smoking and boasts pool tables and windows overlooking the brewery.
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
Colorado's Rock Bottom Restaurants, Inc., operates 34 brewpubs around the country. The Portland location serves five ales, including Swan Island Lager, Volksweizen, Sunny Day IPA, Maltnomah Porter and Oregonic Amber. Cask-conditioned and specialty brews are served, as well. Upstairs there are five pool tables, which are free to play on before 4 p.m.
Rogue Ales Distillery and Public House
Located in the Pearl District, Rogue offers 27 microbrews on tap, as well as the first and only run distillery in Oregon. On the menu: Kobe beef burgers, halibut fish and chips, gator gumbo, etc. The facility has a full bar, outdoor seating, and a gourmet dog menu. Distillery tours offered by appointment.
Roots Brewing Company
Roots owners Craig Nichols and Jason McAdam felt so strongly about the virtues of organic beer that they left their previous brewing jobs to open their own brewery in March 2005. Eventually, there will be seven Roots organic beers on tap, including the Roots IPA and Roots Red. There are guest taps, panini and sandwiches for kids, who are welcome until 8 p.m. on weeknights, 9 p.m. on weekends.
If you miss the limited hours Tuck's is open, you can always go next door to the Cider Lounge/Fryer Tuck Restaurant, where eight of brewmaster Max Tieger's beers are on tap. While you're there, enjoy a chicken dinner at the last Fryer Tuck chicken franchise on earth. Back at the smoke-free brewery, Tieger offers family-friendly Saturday afternoons with free tastings or $2 pints of his many brews, which include Belgian-style Nitwit Wheat and Farmer's Daughter; Black Forest Alt, St. James IPA and Gluteus Maximus Barleywine.
Tugboat Brewing Company
In a cozy location off tiny Ankeny Street, Terry Nelson ﬁ rst shared his watch repair shop with a 24-hour coffee shop, the Café Omega. Then he decided to brew beer and the Tugboat Brewing Company was born. With its bookshelves and plants, the Tugboat still exudes a coffeehouse feel. There's live jazz every night, Tuesday through Saturday, and six to eight Tugboat brews on tap, including Berlin Ale, Chernobyl Imperial Russian Stout and Thunderbold Pale.
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company/Widmer Brothers Gasthaus Brew Pub
Kurt and Rob Widmer are beer legends. Among the pioneers of the craft beer renaissance, they grew from a tiny operation in 1984 to become Oregon's largest brewery and the 18th largest in the nation. Many beer drinkers know them for their award-winning Hefeweizen, still the best-selling craft beer in Oregon. The friendly Gasthaus, across the street from the brewery, serves burgers and German cuisine, including schnitzel, fondue and sausages cooked in Widmer's pale ale.
ADDITIONAL CRAFT BEER OUTLETS — PORTLAND
In addition to the brewpubs listed above, the following bars and restaurants — and this is by no means an all-inclusive list — also offer great craft beer selections.
The Blue Monk
Beers from around the world on tap and in bottles. Live music, Monday through Sunday, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.
The GoodFoot Pub and Lounge
About 10 beers on tap, including some home brews, and a vast array of bottled beers. The upstairs pub has a full kitchen; the downstairs lounge offers live music, Monday through Sunday, 5 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.
Henry's 12th Street Tavern
Housed in a portion of the historic Blitz-Weinhard Brewery complex, Henry's has more than 100 draft beers, including a few dozen imports and almost 60 craft brews from around the country. The kegs chill in a glass cooler right above the bar. There's even a chilled strip that runs the length of the bar to keep cocktails, shots and pints cold.
Horse Brass Pub
Horse Brass features a traditional English pub menu and myriad American and imported craft beers on tap. In business for 30 years, the bar is proud of its long history with its sister pub, the Princess of Wales, in South London.
Pub at the End of the Universe
This locals' favorite maintains an ultra-low profile with an unlisted phone number (we wangled it out of them) and a sign reading simply “Pub.” Although not a draw for trendsters with a need to see and be seen, the Pub at the End of the Universe is great for mellow hop heads who enjoy a rotating selection of sometimes obscure craft beers on 23 taps.
Craft Beer Retailers — Portland
Check out these stores with outstanding selections.
A Sampling of Regional Craft Brewers & Distillers
Full Sail Brewery and Tasting Room
Located in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge, Full Sail has evolved from a small craft brewery to 25th largest brewery in the United States. Despite phenomenal growth and expansion, Full Sail has remained true to its commitment to quality hands-on brewing. While many breweries have automated their brewing processes, Full Sail adheres to the philosophy that it is the people — not the technology — that make the difference.
In 1995, Full Sail unveiled a state-of-the-art brewery next door to its original brewery, which is located in the historic Diamond Fruit Cannery building. In 1999, Full Sail Brewing Company became an employee-owned brewery. Full Sail currently boasts a brewpub and tasting room overlooking the Columbia River, which, during the summer months, is covered from shore to shore with colorful windsurfers.
Golden Valley Brewery & Pub
Golden Valley is a small, family-owned craft brewery dedicated to producing traditional-style ales and lagers. Housed in a 1921 warehouse in historic downtown McMinnville, the heart of the Oregon wine country, the brewery offers fresh Northwest cuisine, seven house brews on tap, a beer garden and a banquet room. The pub and restaurant have high timbered ceilings and a pleasant atmosphere with wood tables and exposed copper brewing equipment.
Liberator Brewing & Homebrew Supply
Liberator Brewing offers one-stop shopping for homebrew enthusiasts. Here you can buy all the supplies and equipment you'll need for brewing your own beer, as well as fresh brews made by the shop's proprietors. In the onsite pub, there are more than 14 beers on tap, including about six made by Liberator, and an extensive menu.
The Lucky Labrador Public House
Housed in a 1925 stucco building that was once a Freemasons hall, this is the Lucky Lab's satellite pub. Just like at the main location, canine companions are always welcome in the pub's outdoor seating area. The menu is loaded with great pizza, salads and brews.
Mt. Hood Brewing Company
Nestled at the 4,000-foot level of Mount Hood, Oregon's tallest peak, the Mt. Hood Brewing Co. is a popular stop for visitors and recreationalists year-round. The brewery and family style pub are housed in a rustic stone and timber lodge alongside Highway 26, the scenic byway also known as the “Mount Hood Loop.” Nearby, there are three ski areas and dozens of trailheads for hiking, mountain biking and cross-country skiing in the Mount Hood National Forest. Mt. Hood Brewing Co. beers include a wide array of Northwest-accented British-style ales. Guests can watch the brewing process in action as they enjoy pizza, vegetarian entrees, or steak and seafood dishes in the restaurant.
Oaks Bottom Public House
The cozy Oaks Bottom pub opened in March 2006 in the heart of Sellwood/Moreland neighborhood. The full line-up of Portland's Lompoc beers are featured, plus the owners' choice of guest brews on tap. In warmer months, the patio out back serves to double the seating space. Tasty pub food is served daily in this “kid-tolerant, dog-friendly” gathering place.
(Credit and Thanks to Travel Portland.com)