Living in Beervana can turn anyone into a beer snob. There once was a time when I could be happy grabbing a cold Bud or Coors light (I think they call it college). But after a few years here, if it’s not Ex Novo’s Most Interesting Lager in the World, it’s not Taco Tuesday. There are so many breweries here (and new ones pop up all the time) that it’s easy to stumble on to something “new” or “different.” So here are the 5 that I’m enjoying the most as the weather is getting nicer.
1. Ex Novo Brewery (http://www.exnovobrew.com/#drink-beer-do-good) – This North Portland brewery has a laid back feel because it’s tucked into a residential neighborhood. It is the nations first not for profit brewery, with a motto of “Drink beer. Do Good.” There are 3 essentials for every trip I make here: a pint of the Dynamic Duo IPA, a pint of the Most Interesting Lager in the World, and an order of table bacon. The best part is being able to give back to your community while you drink!
2. 10 Barrel Brewing (http://www.10barrel.com/) – To be honest, they aren’t on this list for the beer. While they have some interesting stuff, it’s just not my favorite. But as the weather gets nicer, their rooftop bar is a great place to grab a seat, have a beer, enjoy the sun, and people watch. Being an IPA guy (you’ll see a trend with all my picks) I’ve been known to throw back a few Joe’s here.
3. Grixsen Brewing Company (http://www.grixsen.com/) – This one definitely has a personal bias to it. This brewery was started by a friend of a friend so I was able to get some sneak peaks at their tasting room as it was being built, got the personal tour of their brewery, and tasted all of their beers. Their tasting room is intimate, giving you a chance to really talk to the bartenders and make friends with others at the bar.
4. Deschutes Brewery (https://www.deschutesbrewery.com/) – It’s a classic. You’ll see locals and tourists visit and it’s always busy. But things become a classic for a reason….they are consistently producing great beer. These days I can’t get enough of the Fresh Squeezed IPA (I constantly find myself ordering it even when I travel). They also have really good food here so it’s the perfect place if you are with family or for a work event.
5. pFriem Family Brewing (http://www.pfriembeer.com/) – Since this is my post I can cheat and add a brewery that’s not in Portland. I spend a good amount of time travelling from Portland to Eastern WA. Whenever I’m driving around lunch time I make sure to stop in Hood River just to grab a beer and burger from here. They have some of the most friendly people on staff, the beer is one of my favorites (their IPA of course), and the burgers hit the spot. They have a great location in Hood River, OR right on the Columbia River. There is even a park across the street if you are travelling with kids.