The 6 Best Breweries to Visit in Portland

This visitor’s guide will help you make the most of what locals call Beervana.

By Nathan Isaacs, ContributorJune 27, 2017
By Nathan Isaacs, ContributorJune 27, 2017, at 9:00 a.m.
U.S. News & World Report

The 6 Best Breweries to Visit in Portland

Deschutes Brewery

Founded in 1988, Deschutes Brewery now ships its beer to 28 states.(Courtesy of Deschutes Brewery)

Portlanders love their craft beers. They love to drink them, talk about them and share them with visitors. And with more than 100 breweries in the metro area, they have plenty to share.

“There's so many good ones,” says Marcus Hibdon, director of communications and public relations for Travel Portland, the city's tourism organization. “You don’t live in a city with this many breweries without them all being really good. Breweries rarely close down in Portland because they are really good.”

U.S. News consulted local experts to find out just what makes the craft beer scene in Portland, Oregon, which locals call Beervana, worth experiencing. With so many great breweries, it’s a challenge to create the perfect Portland breweries tour. Where do you begin?

Within an easy walk of most downtown Portland hotels are several excellent brewpubs in Portland’s historic brewery blocks area.

“I recommend 10 Barrel, Rogue [Distillery and Public House], Deschutes and Fat Head's all together since they are within walking distance from each other,” says Katie Gallagher, front office supervisor at Hotel Lucia. “When guests are staying downtown and are without a vehicle, it's really great to kind of have those locations right next to each other.”

Deschutes Brewery

(Courtesy of Deschutes Brewery)

“Deschutes, for sure, is probably one of the biggest ones,” says Jordin Heath, front office manager at The Heathman Hotel. “I think it's just the most accessible and super kid-friendly, too. It's great for anyone who wants to go and try a bunch of different types of beers and then also have the kids around, and the food is really good.”

Deschutes Brewery was founded in 1988 in the central Oregon city of Bend and now ships its beer to 28 states and counting. The brewery’s most well-known beers are its Black Butte Porter and Mirror Pond Pale Ale.

Its Portland location serves 26 Deschutes beers, including standards, seasonal beers and experimental beers created on site. Hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight.

Fat Head’s Brewery

(Aaron Courter)

Ohioans may recognize a familiar face in Fat Head’s Brewery, which opened its Portland location in 2014. While some may call it an interloper, the brewery has earned its beer cred, snagging the top two spots in a 2016 blind tasting of Portland-brewed IPAs by a local newspaper.

Hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

10 Barrel Brewing Co.

(Courtesy of 10 Barrel Brewing Co.)

“I've been recommending 10 Barrel to a lot of guests because they have the rooftop bar," Gallagher says. "And I think that it’s just amazing, as it's just getting sunny in Portland.”

10 Barrel Brewing Co. was founded in Bend in 2006. It opened its Portland location in 2015. Anheuser-Busch acquired the brewery in 2014, but 10 Barrel maintains its independent vibe with locally brewed beers such as the Pearl IPA.

Hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight.

If your travels take you to the east side of the Willamette River, you’ll find even more great options. Here are three worth checking out.

The Commons Brewery

“They focus more on European-style beers, kind of old-world, farmhouse-style beers," Hibdon says. “They're definitely more along the lines of what you expect to find in Belgium, Germany and France: beers that are really focused on malt and yeast, as opposed to that American-craft-beer-style of hops.”

The Commons Brewery was started in 2010 in a southeast Portland garage. It's open from noon to 10 p.m. daily.

Cascade Brewing Barrel House

(Courtesy of Cascade Brewing)

“It is a little wacky and a little weird,” Hibdon says.

Known as the House of Sour, the brewery’s east side tasting room features at least 18 sour beers on tap at any given time, with another two taps reserved for sour beers straight from the barrel. The brewery was started in 1998 in southwest Portland.

“It’s sort of like if you approach beer-making like a wine-maker may approach wine,” Hibdon says. “These are very intricate, complex beers that really do kind of remind you of tasting wine. They're totally different than anything you've ever had. They are definitely worth a stop.”

Cascade Brewing Barrel House is open Sunday through Thursday, noon to 11 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, noon to midnight.

Hair of the Dog Brewing Co.

(Courtesy of Hair of the Dog Brewing)

Hair of the Dog Brewing Co., founded in 1993, is a brewery for people who might brew their own beer or who are really advanced craft beer lovers.

Hibdon says Hair of the Dog makes beers that you’d likely find in the Middle Ages in Europe. “It’s for people that are looking for something really unique, really memorable and maybe something that might make your other craft beer friends a little jealous.”

Hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

To experience more of what Portland has to offer, check out the U.S. News Travel guide.

Nathan Isaacs, Contributor

Nathan Isaacs writes about travel for U.S. News & World Report. He is based in Portland, ...  Read more

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