Portland Attractions: Top Portland Brewpubs
World’s Brewpub Capital: Portland
Read where to grab a pint of fine ale in the city that launched the microbrewery trend.
In the mid 1980s, Portland, Ore., kicked off the microbrew revolution that’s now spread across the United States. Today, Portland remains the brewpub capital, with the highest concentration of breweries anywhere (yes, even more than Munich). There are 32 pubs in the city and 38 in the surrounding area four you to check out on your next Portland vacation, all of which have what TravelPortland's communications and public relations manager Marcus Hibdon calls “an authentic feeling.”
Whether you’re not sure just what “hops” are or you can distinguish between an IPA (India Pale Ale) and a stout by scent only, there’s no better place to get a beer education than at one of the many Portland breweries. Any one of the area’s breweries will serve you a fresh pint, but here’s a roundup that highlights Portland’s brewpub variety.
Something Old: BridgePort Brewing Company
BridgePort Brewing Company, housed in a former rope factory, is the oldest craft brewer in Oregon with dining locations at the BridgePort Brewpub and BridgePort Ale House. Try the classic India Pale Ale (IPA) made with five hop varieties to produce a beer that’s more floral and citrus than bitter. BridgePort Brewpub, 1313 NW Marshall St., tel. 503-241-3612. Open: Mon. to Thurs., 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Fri. to Sat., 7 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Sun. 1 p.m.. to 9 p.m. BridgePort Ale House, 3632 SE Hawthorne Blvd., tel. 503-233-6540. Sun. to Thurs., 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Fri. and Sat., 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. www.bridgeportbrew.com
Something New: Hopworks Urban Brewery
Open in March 2008, Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) is the newest brewery in town, and it’s already won awards at the World Beer Cup 2008 for its Hopworks Organic IPA (gold medal) and the HUB Organic Lager (silver medal). Hopworks also claims to be Portland’s first eco-brewpub, making organic beer in a sustainable building that’s powered by 100 percent renewable energy. 2944 SE Powell Blvd, tel. 503-232-4677. Open: Sun. to Thurs., 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Fri. and Sat., 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. www.hopworksbeer.com
Just Brew: Hair of the Dog Brewing Company
The first beer that Hair of the Dog produced was Adam, a dessert beer. Now, the brewery is known for unusual styles and for bottle conditioning—re-fermenting beer in bottles so that it improves with age. 4509 SE 23rd Ave, tel. 503-232-6585. Call ahead to schedule a tour and to get accurate directions (the brewery’s Web site claims online mapping sources—like MapQuest—provide incorrect directions). www.hairofthedog.com
The Family Hangout: Laurelwood Public House
Laurelwood Public House was the first Portland brewery to produce Oregon Tilth-certified organic beers: Free Range Red and Tree Hugger Porter. Free Range Red, Laurelwood’s most popular beer, is an American Extra Strong Bitter (ESB), a style of red ale. It’s a little hoppier than an amber ale, says head brewer Chad Kennedy, but well balanced. You’ll notice both the sweet and bitter components. Bonus: Laurelwood has a kids’ play area with books and toys for children to enjoy while you relax. Laurelwood Public House & Brewery, 5115 NE Sandy Blvd., tel. 503-282-0622. Open: Mon. to Fri., 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sat. and Sun., 10 a.m. to midnight. Two other locations: Laurelwood NW Public House and Laurelwood Pizza Company. www.laurelwoodbrewpub.com