Portland is virtually associated with beer, and if you didn’t know that previously, it’s probably because you don’t drink beer. A vacation to Portland, like a journey to Bavaria, Belgium, or the Czech Republic, isn’t complete unless you try some of our superb brews.
Portland has a long history of beer brewing, but it wasn’t until the 1980s that brewpubs began to proliferate and thrive in the city. Some credit Portland with starting the microbrew craze in the United States – microbrews are beers brewed on a very small scale – but whether that’s true or not, the fact remains that there are brewpubs all across Portland where you can try and enjoy a broad variety of beers.
In fact, Portland has more breweries than any other city in the United States, and notable beer enthusiast/journalist Michael Jackson (no, not that one) has declared Portland should be regarded the beer capital of the world because it has more breweries than even Cologne, Germany. Not too shabby.
If you like beer, there are plenty of options in Portland, ranging from the many McMenamin pubs across the Metro area (more than 30 at last count) to small enterprises that only offer their brew in one location. Other large breweries having brewpubs in the city include Widmer Brothers and Bridgeport, in addition to the McMenamin brothers, who not only create beer and wine but also reclaim and repair old buildings throughout the state to turn into brewpubs, movie theaters, and restaurants. Alameda Brew Pub, Hair of the Dog Brewing Company, Laurelwood Public House & Brewery, The Lucky Lab, Amnesia Brewing, Tugboat Brewing, and The New Old Lompoc are some more pubs to visit if you want to try the products of the city’s lesser producers.
In addition to the many pubs and restaurants that serve local craft beers, Portland offers several movie theaters that are linked to several of the city’s breweries. This means you can have a movie night and a pint of your favorite microbrew at the same time. Try the Bagdad Theater, Clinton Street Theater, Laurelhurst Theater, or Academy Theater if this sounds interesting.
Let’s just assume that going from pub to pub isn’t your thing, and you’d rather stay in one spot and have the city’s best brews brought to you. Portland has you covered there, too, if you come during one of our fantastic beer festivals. The Spring Beer & Wine Festival takes place in April, the Holiday Ale Festival takes place in December, and the Portland International Beerfest takes place in July. Come in July for the Oregon Brewers Festival for a truly out-of-this-world beer experience. It attracts breweries from all around the state and is North America’s largest event for independent craft brewers.
Visit the Portland Beer website for more information on the city’s breweries. If you’re traveling outside of Portland (or simply interested in beer from other regions of the state), check out this website for a list of Oregon brewers.