Portland, Oregon, has become one of the top destinations for beer lovers in the USA. The city is home to a wide range of breweries that create some of the best American beers in the country. This is the place to go if you’re interested in trying out different craft beers and sampling some of the best that the USA has to offer.
What Are The 3 Best Breweries In Portland Oregon?
With so many breweries to visit in Portland, you could be forgiven for not knowing where to start. Here are the top three that most people – locals and visitors – all say you have to try:
Announcing its arrival on the Portland beer scene with style in 2014, Breakside Brewery has become a firm favourite with the locals. The brewery came out of nowhere to win the top prize in the IPA category at the Great American Beer Festival that year and has gone on to win several more times over the years. Brewmaster Ben Edmunds focuses mainly on IPAs, but the brewery is also known for lagers, sour beers, barrel-aged and pub styles.
Upright Brewing Company
Started in 2009 by Alex Ganum, Upright has got one of the most diverse selections of beers on the market in Portland. They started with Belgian-style beers before exploring pilsners and wild ales. In recent years, Ganum added IPAs to the mix as well as English ales. What locals love most about visiting Upright Brewery Company is that the beers remain consistently good, and Ganum continues to focus on creating great beer across the spectrum.
Little Beast Brewing Co.
Locals were not surprised when Little Beast came out with some amazing beers and a great beer garden for tastings. Founded in 2017 by Charles Porter, creator of Logsdon Farmhouse Ales, and his wife Brenda Crow, this small brewery packs a huge punch. It’s known for the wild ales that are made with local fruits and barrel-aged. However, they also make some amazing IPAs and lagers that are worth tasting.
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How Many Breweries Are In Portland?
If you’re wondering which city has the most breweries in the USA, it would have to be Portland. In fact, Portland’s nickname is ‘Beervana’. There are around 70 breweries in Portland Oregon, including some amazing microbreweries and top-notch craft breweries. The exact number of breweries changes fairly regularly because microbreweries are popping up, moving around or closing down a lot across the city. Even so, Portland has one of the highest numbers of breweries in any city around the world.
Is Portland Known For Breweries?
In recent history – starting around the beginning of the 1980s – the beer industry in Portland took off. Craft beer is the biggest trend in and around the city, with master brewers pioneering new techniques and top-quality ingredients. The incredible fresh ingredients are what breweries in Portland are known for, especially the likes of Bull Run water and Willamette Valley hops.
The two Portland breweries that started this trend are Widmer Brothers and the BridgePort Brewing Company (which has since closed). These two set up shop in the Pearl District, which is where the region’s beer brewing history actually began in the 1860s with Henry Weinhard.
The first brewery with a pub attached to is McMenamins, which opened in 1985 in the Southwest. Their original brewery and pub – Hillsdale Brewery – is still open today, as well as over 50 other locations across Portland and the state.
Is Portland Brewery Closing?
Sadly, the legendary Portland Brewery closed its doors in February of 2021. The brewery is one of the originals of the rush that started in the mid-1980s and produced some of the iconic beers of the region. The owners of the brewery, Florida Ice & Farm Co., cited the competitive market in both beer and restaurants as the reason for closing the brewery.
What Is The Most Popular Beer In Portland?
A classic IPA that’s full of hops flavour has to be the quintessential beer made and drank in Portland. It’s what the region is best known for and what the local ingredients dictate to the breweries. However, another firm favourite is the wide variety of wild ales produced here by several of the microbreweries in Portland. A newer entry to the market that is quickly catching on with Portland brewers and beer drinkers is a sour beer.
What Are The Major Beer Festivals Or Events In Portland?
With the huge population of beer-lovers, as well as an incredibly high percentage of breweries, it’s little wonder that Portland is home to several events all centred around the beloved drink. The festive season is host to one of the biggest beer events on the calendar – the Holiday Ale Festival. It takes place every year under the largest Christmas tree in the state and offers over 50 different beers for festival-goers to enjoy.
The other major event on the calendar is Portland Beer Week. The event takes place in June (although in the last two years it took place in August) and actually runs over 11 days. Attendees can enjoy special pairings, seminars and talks from brewers, as well as tastings of limited-edition brews and special drinks made just for Beer Week.
The rest of the year is also filled with a plethora of events, including:
- The Coffee Beer Invitational in January
- SheBrew in March
- Sip of Spring in May
- Puckerfest in July
- Oktoberfest in September or October
- BrewLights in November
Which Brewery In Portland, Oregon Has The Best Food?
Wayfinder Beer has to take the prize for the best food of any brewery in Portland. It was created in 2016 by the owners of Sizzle Pie Pizza, Podnah’s Pit Barbecue, Double Mountain Brewery and La Taq. The result is one of the top lager-centric breweries in the city, as well as incredible food to go with it for those who visit the brewpub. It’s a perfect combination for a great time out – lunch or dinner.
It’s clear. There are plenty of Portland breweries to explore, and if you love beer, this is the place to be!