“I’m coming to Portland. What breweries would you recommend?”. This has to be the question I get asked the most. And while I do love your questions and giving ya’ll my recommendations, it can be a little redundant typing out the same answers all the time. And with the summer and bar prep just around the corner, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to answer every message and thus, I figured why not just make a guide to the best Portland breweries and have all of my recommendations in one place?
This list is compromised only of places that I have visited and of places that I believe have an abundance of quality beer, i.e., something for every beer lover. I know that I may have missed some big named breweries, but I wouldn’t feel right about recommending a place if I hadn’t actually been there and tried the beer. However, I hope to update this list accordingly whenever I visit to a new Portland brewery that I would highly recommend.
Portland is split up into five areas- North Portland, Northwest Portland, Northeast Portland, Southwest Portland and Southeast Portland. There are over 50 different breweries located throughout the greater Portland area with Southeast Portland having the most breweries and Southwest Portland with the least. I find that if you are staying in Portland for a few days, it’s best to tackle breweries by their perspective area that way you don’t have to waste time driving across town in traffic.
You can shop and eat on Mississippi Ave, with beer breaks along Ecliptic and Storm Breaker. If you are in the mood for something funky, pay a visit to Lawbrewtory and Widmer. But if you are feel like giving back, stop by the nonprofit brewery, Ex Novo.
Most of the breweries in this area are all located in the Pearl District, one of the most expensive areas for Portland living. What I love most about the breweries in this area is that they are close together and you can walk to each of them. When you aren’t drinking beer, have brunch or coffee in one of the many industrial style buildings.
If you are going to an event at the Moda Center, stop by Upright for some of their saisons or if you feel like ciders then Rev Nats is the place to be. If you love a good happy hour and good beer, Old Town is always my go to. And lastly, Great Notion is a little further east on Alberta, but it’s a great street to grab food and try the famous Salt n’ Straw.
This is my favorite area of Portland because of the amount of breweries and amazing restaurants. The only bad thing about the Southeast is that the breweries are spread out throughout the area, so depending on what breweries you choose, I would probably drive or bike as opposed to walking and public transportation. When you are out brewery hopping, take a brake and eat at one of the many restaurants or food carts on Hawthorne, Division and Clinton.
I have not visited any breweries in this area and to be honest, it’s because there are very few. Most are just McMenamins, but there are actually a lot of them throughout the city so I wouldn’t go out to Southwest just for that.