If there’s one thing Portland is known for, it’s excellent craft beer. In 2015, Portland was the state with the most breweries. While it no longer holds this title, Portland is easily still a leader in America’s brewery scene. Portland breweries are constantly earning international awards and taking charge in creating the latest craft brew trends. There are dozens of breweries in Portland, so we are here to help narrow the options down. Here are the top eight breweries you need to visit today.
1. Breakside Brewery
If you’ve ever visited Portland, you’ve likely run into Breakside Brewery. This brewery has five locations across Oregon and sells its beer in eight other states across the country. It didn’t start big, though – this brewery opened in 2010 as a simple restaurant and pub brewery. Now, it produces 30,000 barrels annually.
The brewery got its first taste of fame in 2014 when it won the top prize in the IPA category in the Great American Beer Festival. Since then, Breakside has also won Brewery of the Year from Oregon’s Beer Awards (2017, 2019) and the Best of Craft Beer Awards (2018).
When you visit here, make sure to drink the Breakside IPA which has notes of evergreen, citrus, and tropical fruit. Or, try the Breakside Pilsner with notes of grass, herbal, spicy, bready, and crisp.
You have two Breakside locations to choose from in Portland and both have pub-style food menus in their taprooms.
2. Von Ebert Brewing
Von Ebert Brewing has taken over Portland by storm for its commitment to brewing small batches of great quality beer. This brewery has two locations and splits its focus in each one. The Glendoveer location creates the brewery’s more experimental brews. Alternatively, the Pearl location makes heavy IPAs and German-inspired lagers. Both sites are constantly working to bring you something new and unique, so you’re in for a surprise when you stop by.
In total, Von Ebert has won six impressive awards, including the GABF 2021 Gold American IPA. So, naturally, you must try an IPA when you swing by!
One of the best parts of grabbing a beer at Von Ebert is that they put just as much effort into their food as they do their beer. All food items are made from scratch, when possible, and the meat is smoked in-house. You can easily spend hours and hours relaxing at this fantastic Portland brewery.
3. Cascade Brewing Barrel House
If you love sours, Cascade Brewing Barrel House is your Portland brewery of choice. Opening in 1998, the brewery had decent success. However, the brewery found its proper niche when it decided to transition into sour beers in 2006. Undeniably, Cascade pioneered the Northwest sour movement and remains the gold standard for barrel-aged Northwest sour ales.
Cascade’s brewery always has over 20 fruity and funky sour beers on tap to choose from. We recommend getting a flight while you’re visiting the taproom so you can fully experience all that variety that Cascade has to offer.
4. Wayfinder Beer
Opening in 2016, Wayfinder Beer has quickly become a Portland favorite. This brewery specializes in lagers and ales, including IPAs. The must-try brew on tap is the Czech-style Amber Lager Golden Tiger, inspired by co-founder Charlie Devereux’s trip to the Czech Republic.
Not only does Wayfinder Beer deliver on excellent brews, but it also has a fantastic atmosphere too. This taproom has one of Portland’s best patios, amazing food, and a daily happy hour.
5. Ecliptic Brewing
Opened in 2013, Ecliptic Brewing is owned and operated by a Portland craft brewing icon – John Harris. This brewmaster had been creating champion beers for Portland breweries for over 30 years before deciding to venture out on his own. And Harris has impressed everyone with what’s come out of Ecliptic Brewing.
The focus at Ecliptic is to offer new and exciting food and beer to its customers all the time. The brewery releases several new varieties every year, including modern and experimental brews. Ecliptic offers seasonal brew change-ups five times a year and changes its local, scratch-made menu every six weeks.
Make sure to try one of the flagship beers from here: the Capella Porter, Starburst IPA, or the Carina Peach Sour Ale.
6. Culmination Brewing Company
Culmination is a microbrewery offering up unconventional, modern, and traditional beers. This brewery prides itself in taking a unique spin on classic brews. Additionally, for a microbrewery, it’s impressive how many different brews Culmination produces. Usually, multiple steps take place in the same tank, like lautering and mashing, which can slow down the process. However, Culmination uses an innovative brewing system that sequentially moves each brewing step in a separate tank. Thanks to their approach, Culmination can brew multiple batches at once and produce more beer quickly.
Culmination is known for its IPAs and sours, so you have to order the Phaedrus IPA and Trou Belle Saison when you come here.
7. Hair of the Dog Brewing Company
Open since 1993, Hair of the Dog Brewing Company is a family-owned and operated brewery that has become a Portland staple. The brewery produces about 600 barrels of beer and while it bottles some of it, most of its beer is sold on tap only. Hair of the Dog was also one of the first breweries in America to specialize in producing high alcohol bottle-conditioned ales. And the brewery commits to staying local. Approximately 99% of the ingredients used for the beer are sourced directly from farmers within a 250-mile radius of the brewery.
Try the “Adam,” an Old Ale and the first brew Hair of the Dog ever made. A solid second contender is the “Fred,” a bold, rich American Strong Ale.
8. Upright Brewing
Upright Brewing is a popular Portland craft brewery specializing in Belgian and French farmhouse-style beers. This brewery uses mixed and wild fermentation along with barrel aging to create its unique brews. Upright takes an unusual approach and uses fermentation – exposing the fermenting beer to the elements. And while the process may be unconventional, the results speak for themselves.
Upright has been open for over 10 years and has a tasting room for daily beers and sandwiches. Come here for the fan favorites: Pathways Saison and Special Herbs farmhouse ale.
Here’s a challenge for you: next time you’re in Portland, try to conquer all eight of these breweries in one visit. And, if you get hungry while visiting, check out our five best spots to eat in Portland.