Food & Drink

The 17 Best Brewery Taprooms in Portland

Published On 02/23/2015 Published On 02/23/2015
Drew Tyson/Thrillist

Depending on how you define... ugh, "Seattle," Portland has more breweries than any other city, so it stands to reason that in addition to a slew of sweet beer bars, Portland probably has more brewery taprooms than any other city. So many, in fact, it can be hard to pick the best ones. Unless you check out our list of Portland's 17 best taprooms...

Baerlic Brewing Co.

Baerlic Brewing Company

Hosford-Abernethy
Opened last year just outside of the sleepy maze known as Ladd’s Addition, Baerlic is modern brewery run by a couple of old amateurs who decided to take the whole brewing thing seriously. They might have started off a bit shaky but have since kept all ten of their taps flowing. Closed Mondays.

Migration Brewing Company

Migration Brewing Co.

Kerns
Not only is it one of the best places to catch a Blazer game, Migration has a solid happy hour ($3 pints!) and a great patio for these unseasonably warm days we’ve been having. For a great after work meal check out the everyday special: a meatball sandwich with fries and a pint for $10. All the time.
 

Gigantic Brewing Company

Reed
One of the first breweries to realize college kids like craft beer too, Gigantic opened up next to Reed College almost three years ago. Now its only year-round beer, an IPA, is lauded as one of the best in Portland and its seasonals are highly sought after. No kitchen at the taproom, but you are allowed to bring in food from the carts or even order a pizza.

Drew Tyson/Thrillist

Ex Novo Brewing Company

Eliot
The city’s first not-for-profit brewery isn’t just a good story, these guys are putting out pretty incredible suds and donating profits to four local charities. They even got a sidewalk permit so you can step outside of their garage doors and hangout with the stoop kids on a bright and sunny day.

Drew Tyson/Thrillist

Old Town Brewing Co.

King
Not only does it have one of our favorite pizzas, Old Town’s won a few medals for its beer, including a silver and bronze at last year’s World Beer Cup. The brewmaster, Bolt, recently left to start his own venture up in (shudder) Washington, but don't expect the quality, or the casual feel of the taproom, to slip.

Drew Tyson/Thrillist

Tugboat Brewing Co.

Downtown
Sure it’s got a stack of board games on the shelf, but it isn't playing around when it comes to English-style ales. Sticking with the British pub theme, you’re almost always greeted with a cheer when you enter and a boo when you leave.

The Commons Brewery

The Commons Brewery

Hosford-Abernethy
Though it's in the process of expanding, Commons still opens its doors Thursday-Sunday for a few hours to hold tastings and fill growlers. The unique, rustic style is an awkward juxtaposition, like an 18th century farmhouse in the packing district, but the genuine affinity for craft brewing is infectious and you’ll soon be imagining wooden fences and open pastures.

Coalition Brewing

Coalition Brewing

Kerns
Only open Friday-Sunday, Coalition offers limited tastings and tours on the weekends. It’s a great opportunity to meet some of the hardest working brewers in the game, as well as a chance to taste some of the fun experiments they won’t let out of their sight.

Flickr/Throgers

Hair of the Dog Brewery

Southeast Industrial
We named Hair of the Dog the “best of the best” last year and aren’t shying away from that title now. Anyplace that can sell a bottle of beer for $2,000 has to be doing something right. And, unlike a lot of other taprooms on this list, part of that title is because of the kitchen program. The chef has curated a menu that reads like an elevated bar menu and tastes like you should be spending way more. Plus he finds time to put out a daily special!

Drew Tyson/Thrillist

Fire on the Mountain

Roseway
With a few of their wing locations scattered around town you’re probably already aware of these guys. But their location on Fremont doesn’t stop at the city’s best buffalo wings, they decided what goes great with wings? Pizza! Yeah, okay, so they make pizza too, so what goes with pizza and wings? Beer! And some damn good brew too.

Andy Kryza/Thrillist

Breakside Brewing

Milwaukie
What started as a small brewery in North Portland recently expanded into a cavernous warehouse in the small suburb of Milwaukie. It’s a bit of a hike for anyone that doesn’t live South of town, but it's totally worth stopping in to chat with the guys while they work. Just don’t challenge them to a game of foosball.

Lompoc Beer

Lompoc Brewing’s Sidebar

Boise
First off, it’s a great place to taste Lompoc brews you can’t find anywhere else. Plus it's got a fireplace and a TV, making it an inviting place to catch Timbers and Blazers games. Just beware that there’s generally only one person behind the bar and the space is pretty small, so show up earlier if you want a spot on the couch.
 

Base Camp Brewing Company

Southeast Industrial
Smoky beers with a camp vibe, no matter the season you’ll feel like you just crushed some sick untouched powder and are celebrating with a drink in the chalet. If you don’t eat gnar bars and just like the new “lumber-sexual” fad that’s sweeping Portland, this is the place for you.

Drew Tyson/Thrillist

Burnside Brewing Co.

East Burnside
They might throw some pretty rad parties and play around with funky ingredients, but around town you really only need to know two words about these guys: Lime Kolsch. Though on a more personal note, we’d like to reach out to their chef and say, bring back the fried pickles! They were the best in town!

Drew Tyson/Thrillist

Upright Brewing

Eliot
A serious brewery for serious beer drinkers, Upright specializes in farmhouse ales. The taproom has no kitchen so don’t expect beer cheese mustard or a bistro burger, just come to taste some seriously good saisons and sours.

Drew Tyson/Thrillist

StormBreaker Brewing

Boise
After taking over the insanely popular Amnesia pub on Mississippi some neighborhood residents were a little wary. But, fear not! They’ve kept the same laid-back, dog friendly attitude that made their predecessor so successful. Fun fact: StormBreaker is a little known nickname for our very own Mt. Hood!

Drew Tyson/Thrillist

Ecliptic Brewing

Boise
They’re still working out some of the kinks in the kitchen, but that’s not really what you want. You want some of John Harris’ sweet, sweet brew and they’ve got it in spades. With 14 brews currently on tap you’re bound to find something fantastic, like their Rigel Sparkling Ale, which is brewed with a tiny amount of Riesling, adding to it’s Champagne-like quality.

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1. Baerlic Brewing Co. 2235 SE 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97214

Opened last year just outside of the sleepy maze known as Ladd’s Addition, Baerlic is modern brewery run by a couple of old amateurs who decided to take the whole brewing thing seriously. They might have started off a bit shaky but have since kept all ten of their taps flowing. Closed Mondays.

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2. Migration Brewing 2828 NE Glisan St, Portland, OR 97232 (Ne Portland)

NE Glisan's Migration Brewing is the result of four friends taking their shared passion for beer and doing something about it. Since opening in the fall of 2008, MB has been guided by this initial passion and a strong community connection, serving customers their home-brewed beers on tap alongside delicious food dishes, which include pulled pork sandwiches, club sandwiches, and a number of pizza options.

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3. Ex Novo Brewing 2326 N Flint Ave, Portland, OR 97227

Ex Novo is the first not-for-profit brewery and splits it's earnings between different charities.

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4. Old Town Brewing Co. 5201 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97211

This brewpub's interior of dark wood furniture and paneling dotted by broken-in couches is just as welcoming and approachable as it's lineup of award-winning beers. The mainstay brews -- an IPA, a Kolsch, a red ale, and single-hop pale ale -- all sit around or under 6 percent ABV and aren't known for being too hoppy, making them all easy to drink and even easier to fall into routine with. What's even easier to love are their pizzas, all thick-crust creations with local ingredients like basil, spinach, feta, and pineapple.

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5. Gigantic Brewing Company 5224 SE 26th Ave, Portland, OR 97202 (Se Portland)

This tap room and champagne lounge serves, you guessed it, draft beer and champagne! Growler fills are available for all Gigantic Beers currently on tap, and all Portland Timbers matches are shown on the TV. Don't even THINK about asking to watch any sport but soccer, though.

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6. Tugboat Brewing Co. 711 SW Ankeny St, Portland, OR 97205 (Nw Portland)

This place specializes in British-style strong ales, offering a wide selection of microbrews as well as an assortment of international beers and wines. There's live Jazz in the evening and only enough seating for 50, so get there early and grab a pint.

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7. The Commons Brewery 1810 SE 10th Ave, Unit E, Portland, OR 97214

Though it's in the process of expanding, Commons still opens its doors Thursday to Sunday for a few hours to hold tastings and fill growlers. The unique, rustic style is an awkward juxtaposition, like an 18th-century farmhouse in the packing district, but the genuine affinity for craft brewing is infectious and you’ll soon be imagining wooden fences and open pastures.

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8. Coalition Brewing 2705 SE Ankeny, Suite C, Portland, OR 97214 (Kerns)

Only open Friday-Sunday, Coalition offers limited tastings and tours on the weekends. It’s a great opportunity to meet some of the hardest-working brewers in the game, as well as a chance to taste some of the fun experiments they won’t let out of their sight.

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9. Hair of the Dog Brewery 61 SE Yamhill St, Portland, OR 97214 (Se Portland)

Hair of the Dog works to obtain local ingredients for all of its brews, which is great for the community. It's also great for the people who drink their beers, with 8 on-tap selections to choose from at their taproom. Growler refills are available for 5 of them, in case you're the kind of person who likes to stock up for the winter.

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10. Fire on the Mountain 3443 NE 57th Ave, Portland, OR 97213

With a few of their wing locations scattered around town you’re probably already aware of these guys. But their location on Fremont doesn’t stop at the city’s best buffalo wings, they decided what goes great with wings? Pizza! Yeah, okay, so they make pizza too, so what goes with pizza and wings? Beer! And some damn good brew too.

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11. Breakside Brewery 820 NE Dekum St, Portland, OR 97211 (Concordia)

Despite its rapid growth, this spot hasn’t slowed its roll on innovating, spitting out tons of experimental beers (in 2013, the brewmaster came up with 100 different varieties, including salted caramel stout) to go along with flagships like the habanero-infused Aztec and a GABF gold-medal IPA, a brew that stands out in a region obsessed with hops.

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12. Sidebar 3901 N Williams Ave, Portland, OR 97227 (Ne Portland)

This tasting room adjacent to Lompoc is where you can enjoy their speciality/seasonal brews, or even purchase a keg to-go!

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13. Burnside Brewing Co. 701 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214 (Ne Portland)

Beers produced at Burnside Brewery are unfiltered and cleaned of particulates using a lagering process. In layman's terms, this means that the beer takes longer to make but tastes like liquid sunshine. The menu features a selection of cured meats and charcuterie that has been meticulously paired with the beers on offer.

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14. Upright Brewing 240 N Broadway, Portland, OR 97227 (N Portland)

NoPo's Upright Brewing is a brewery that specializes in farmhouse-inspired beers with roots in France and Belgium, although they're all made with PNW ingredients and a local twist. In house they have a tasting room where you can sample various drafts & bottles, take a case home, and watch Blazers home games.

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15. Base Camp Brewing Company 930 SE Oak St, Portland, OR 97214 (Se Portland)

For Base Camp Brewing Company, it's not just about the beer. Okay, so maybe it's mostly about the beer, but that's a good thing! They're constantly devising new recipes and strategies for their brewhouse, and the extensive selection of beers they've concocted should speak for itself.

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16. StormBreaker Brewing 832 N Beech St, Portland, OR 97227

This newish brewpub took is serving some dark and tasty seasonal suds, also, there’s a full menu of “Stormburgers,” sandwiches, and share plates to be enjoyed out by the fit pit.

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17. Ecliptic Brewing 825 N Cook St, Portland, OR 97227 (Mississippi Ave)

John Harris's newly opened spot has classic American bar eats like sandwiches, and starters and mains like sweet & spicy chicken drumsticks and fish & chips. Oh, and beer. They've got 4 of their own on tap right now, with seasonal rotations.

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