Portland Breweries Guide: Where to Drink Craft Beer Around the City

Our favorite spots to enjoy craft beer in the city.

Portland is a beacon for alternative lifestyles, eco-friendly infrastructure, and hipster culture.

beer in a glass at portland breweries

Businesses in Portland thrive on creativity, uniqueness, and local roots.

Everything from restaurants to bookstores is proudly one-of-a-kind.

An important aspect of hipster culture is coffee shop culture and micro-brewed beer.

Portland has thousands of coffee shops houses and microbreweries to supply its large population of students and young creative professionals.

After savoring a morning coffee, Portland’s many breweries will supply you with proprietary lagers, IPAs, stouts, and ciders to enjoy a tasty happy hour, lunch, or dinner with friends.

I’ve compiled a list of the best breweries in Portland for you to try on your next trip or night out.

Cascade Brewing Barrel House

939 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97214
Phone: 503-265-8603
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Cascade Brewing Barrel House is a brewery and gastropub that’s a pioneer in sour beer brewing.

They opened in 1998, promoting a new, creative technique for beer brewing characterized by aging beers in wood barrels to yield a novel tart taste.

Located on the Central East Side, Cascade Brewing Barrel House has an ever-changing menu of 28 sour ales on tap.

They also have a large dining area and kitchen on-site, serving snacks and meals for dinner from Wednesday through Sunday.

Each menu item has a recommended beer pairing.

I recommend trying a sour ale flight to sample a range of flavors.

Culmination Brewing

2117 NE Oregon St, Portland, OR 97232
Phone: 971-254-9114
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Located in Kerns in a large industrial-chic warehouse with a great, dog-friendly outdoor patio, Culmination Brewing is a favorite neighborhood brewery and taproom.

It lives up to its name as the culmination of local creativity, collaboration, and ever-evolving beer brewing techniques.

Their draft menu features 20 Culmination Brewing brand beers.

The bartenders are incredibly knowledgeable and generous, letting you try as many beers as you’d like to find the perfect pint for you.

Every type of beer is creatively represented, from sours to stouts.

I had the Multnomah County South with cherry, vanilla, almond, and cocoa.

It was the perfect liquid dessert.

Great Notion Brewing – Alberta

2204 NE Alberta St #101, Portland, OR 97211
Phone: 503-548-4491
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Founded by friends, neighbors, and passionate brewmasters James Dugan, Andy Miller, and Paul Reiter, Great Notion Brewing is one of the premier brewing operations in the Northwest, with five taprooms total.

They use local Oregon fruit to create their sour ales and age their rich stouts in Bourbon barrels.

Their Alberta location is in Vernon, with a giant space decked out in big-foot and bear murals.

Along with creative beers, they have a full kitchen specializing in Northwest cuisine led by Chef Ryan O’Connor.

They are a family-friendly brew pub with a kids’ menu to boot.

They have 20 beers on tap, plus crawler and four-pack to-go options.

I had an IPA called Shepherd of the Forest to accompany a beer-infused crunch-wrap with beer-marinated pulled pork, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and crema in a fried corn tortilla wrapped in a soft flour tortilla. 

Upright Brewing

240 N Broadway, Portland, OR 97227
Phone: 503-914-5130
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Featured as a favorite in Embrace Someplace, Upright Brewery combines culinary creativity with musical creativity here in Portland.

Named for Jazz musician Charles Mingus’ stand-up bass, Upright models its beer labels off Mingus’ various albums.

Located in the Lloyd District, a few blocks from the Willamette River, Upright Brewery has a warm, lively atmosphere serenaded by non-stop vinyl soundtracks.

The beer at Upright Brewery honors both old-school and novel brews in an artfully curated tap list of 13 rotating brews.

I found it refreshing to see classic styles represented on the menu.

I went for the Supercool IPA, which they described as old-school, utilizing open fermentation.

Wayfinder Beer

304 SE 2nd Ave, Portland, OR 97214
Phone: 503-718-2337
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Winner of Best New Breweries in the World, Best Brewer, and Best Brewery from New School Awards and Bloomberg News, Wayfinder Beer is a Central East Side brewery and brewpub dedicated solely to lagers.

Founded by lager enthusiasts, Wayfinder Beer employs cool fermentation techniques to create a line of delicious lagers that combine European tradition with American ingenuity.

They have a lager tap list, a guest brew tap list, wine, and a creative cocktail menu to accompany gourmet pub fare.

I went with the Party Time Bavarian-style pilsner, along with a plate of Mac & Beer cheese with house-made sausage, chopped bacon, and roast chiles.

Breakside Brewery

Multiple locations
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With locations in Northeast, Northwest Portland, Southeast Portland, and the surrounding suburbs, Breakside Brewery is an award-winning taproom, brewery, and pub.

Its Northeast location is the flagship location, producing a massive 30,000 barrels of beer annually for sale in taprooms and stores internationally.

Breakside has received Brewery of the Year Awards for the past five years and counting. 

Their modern, industrial-chic, multistory taprooms and pubs have sleek and social atmospheres to taste award-winning beers and a decadent meal.

They had one of the most extensive food menus I’ve seen, with classic pub fare and healthy choices alike.

I went for the coconut curry quinoa bowl with pineapple mango salsa and roasted vegetables with a glass of their Bin barrel-aged sour double with Thai lime leaves. 

Little Beast Brewing Beer Garden

3412 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202
Phone: 503-208-2723
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Little Beast Brewing Beer Garden is a family-owned, small-batch brewery and beer garden in a quaint 1940s-style house and yard in Division/Clinton neighborhood.

They utilize old and new brewing techniques to create an eclectic, high-quality menu of every beer style you can imagine.

They partner with different local food vendors to enjoy lunches and dinners in their dog and family-friendly beer garden.

I especially enjoyed how they described each proprietary brew with colorful language and informative blurbs on the brewing technique.

I had the Ferme Rouge, a tart red ale with undertones of walnut, cacao, and toasted oak.

Their current food vendor is Lawless BBQ, so I paired my brew with a delicious plate of pulled pork nachos with Lawless mac & Cheese sauce.

Ruse Brewing

4784 SE 17th Ave, Portland, OR 97202
Phone: 503-662-8325
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Committed to keeping Portland creative, Ruse Brewing is a locally owned brewery that considers beer making an art form.

Located in Southeast Portland, Ruse Brewing collaborates with local visual artists and musicians to model beers off other creative art forms.

Ruse Brewing has been featured in various Portland publications, including Willamette Week and Oregon Live.

The brewery is open seven days a week and has monthly live-music lineups from every genre.

They offer 13 beers on tap and a selection of canned and bottled beer.

I loved their American oatmeal stout called The Borders of Night, with vanilla and coconut undertones.

Von Ebert Brewing

Multiple locations
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Named for founder Tom S. Cook’s maternal Grandmother, who immigrated from Germany, Von Ebert Brewing is a locally owned and operated brewery, taproom, and gastropub with two locations in the Pearl District and Glendoveer.

Both locations offer an industrial-chic warehouse space with refined and sophisticated beers and artisanal smoked meats and pizzas.

They brought home 22 medals from the Great American Beer Festival, which is no small feat. Since their IPA won the gold at the Great American Beer Festival, I went for it.

That said, they have a rotating tap list of more than 20 beers, including IPAs, stouts, lagers, tarts, and more.

Their food menu is equally impressive, with smoked meat sandwiches, burgers, salads, snacks, platters, and artisanal pizzas.

I recommend the Smoked Pig Platter with bratwurst, pulled pork, pork belly, Clubhaus beans, sauerkraut, and a Hawaiian sweet roll.

Away Days Brewing Co

1516 SE 10th Ave, Portland, OR 97214
Phone: 503-206-4735
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Owned by two British transplants with decades of experience in breweries and creative roles, Away Days Brewing Co is an ode to European and English-style beers.

Located in the Central Eastside next to Ladd’s Addition, Away Days Brewing Co is a small, 10-tap brewpub with a beautifully designed interior and a full menu of English pub fare.

Their beer, like their atmosphere, is refined, elegant, and perfectly executed.

I loved their Der Klassiker Helles lager, which tasted like comforting liquid bread.

Their pub food was the height of authenticity, with everything from scotch eggs to savory meat pies, to fish and chips.

Ecliptic Brewing

825 N Cook St, Portland, OR 97227
Phone: 503-265-8002
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From owner and local brewmaster legend John Harris, Ecliptic Brewing is an astronomy-themed artisanal brewery and gastropub that opened its flagship location in Boise, with a newer Moon Room location in Buckman.

Harris has been brewing beers for local breweries for over 30 years, employing his expertise and love of the Pacific Northwest to create his own brand of permanent and seasonal beers.

His brewpubs are artsy, antique-chic spaces with large murals of solar systems and night skies.

The taproom has tried-and-true favorites along with rotating brews that change with the seasons.

His Pacific Northwest Menu, likewise, takes inspiration from Oregon’s seasonal bounty and local farms.

I recommend the crowd-pleasing Capella Porter with sweet dark malt ingredients and chocolaty caramel flavors, utilizing Northwest-native hops.

Occidental Brewing Company

6635 N Baltimore Ave #102, Portland, OR 97203
Phone: 503-719-7102
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Located in Cathedral Park, one block from the Willamette River, Occidental Brewing Company branches out from the Northwest norm by deviating from Portland’s famous IPA scene.

Owners and brothers Ben and Dan Engler decided to specialize in European-style lagers and ales in their successful, ever-expanding brewing operation.

The intimate and colorful taproom and pub have fun table games and European-style pub fare.

Their tap list has a unique selection of wheat beers, namely Hefeweizens, that are rare commodities in Portland.

They are a favorite, and deservedly so. I can’t think of a better summer beer to enjoy with a plate of wurst and spaetzle.

Gigantic Brewing – Brewery & Taproom

5224 SE 26th Ave, Portland, OR 97202
Phone: 503-208-3416
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Gigantic Brewing is a small-batch brewery and taproom by a seasoned brewmaster team, Ben Love and Van Havig, who have nearly 40 years of brewmaster and apprenticeship experience between the two of them.

Their large brewery and taproom overlook the stunning, wooded Reed College campus and often host community events like yoga, stand-up comedy, and Dungeons and Dragons competitions.

They change their tap menu weekly, offering an eclectic variety of brews that demonstrates the breadth of each brewmaster’s expertise.

I went during the summer, which coincided with Japanese Haskap season and a delicious berry-flavored Shinku Haskap Gose ale.

StormBreaker Brewing

Multiple locations
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According to founders Dan and Rob, Storm breaker is a nickname for Mt. Hood, the stunning snow peak that’s a constant fixture in Portland’s skyline.

StormBreaker Brewing is a local brewery, cocktail bar, and casual American eatery with locations in St. Johns and Mississippi neighborhoods.

Their craft beers receive medals from national and local beer festivals annually.

Each location has a different tap list, with six permanent fixtures and a wealth of rotating brews.

Their pub fare runs the global gamut, from Bavarian pretzels to fish and chips, to burgers.

I chose the ominous-sounding Cloud Ripper, a hoppy West Coast IPA to accompany a delicious Club sandwich on Sourdough with grilled chicken, bacon, smoked Gouda, sun-dried tomato pesto, garlic herb aioli, and arugula.

Baerlic Brewery & Taproom

2239 SE 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97214
Phone: 503-477-9418
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Meaning “of barley” in Old English, Baerlic Brewery & Taproom is an ode to simplicity and the ancient art of beer brewing.

They have a flagship location in Hosford-Abernethy and a second Portland location in Rose City Gardens.

They offer an iconic array of old-school and experimental brews, each with a lengthy and interesting description of its type, ingredients, flavor, and methods.

The flagship location partners with Ranch Pizza to provide tasty artisanal pies to accompany a tap list of rotating beers.

I went for their chocolaty, bready, and super-rich coffee-tasting Night Howler Imperial Stout. It was as substantial as the deep-dish Detroit-style pizza sold on-site.

Final Thoughts

Portland has over 70 breweries around the city, making it one of the premier destinations for beer lovers.

I managed to narrow it down to a diverse list of the very best breweries in Portland that will impress even the most pretentious beer enthusiast.

If you want to experience Portland’s pizzeria scene, be sure to visit these amazing spots!

Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment, and we’ll check it out!

Best Breweries in Portland

  1. Cascade Brewing Barrel House
  2. Culmination Brewing
  3. Great Notion Brewing – Alberta
  4. Upright Brewing
  5. Wayfinder Beer
  6. Breakside Brewery
  7. Little Beast Brewing Beer Garden
  8. Ruse Brewing
  9. Von Ebert Brewing
  10. Away Days Brewing Co
  11. Ecliptic Brewing
  12. Occidental Brewing Company
  13. Gigantic Brewing – Brewery & Taproom
  14. StormBreaker Brewing
  15. Baerlic Brewery & Taproom

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Written by Rocco Smith

Rocco is a recent graduate of Florida State University with a Bachelor’s in Editing, Writing, and Media. With seven years’ experience in the restaurant industry as a cook, server, bartender, and more, he is deeply passionate about intertwining his fondness for food with his love of language.