Travel

A brew tour with zero driving

Portland -- aka Beervana -- has more breweries than pretty much any other city in the world, including 50+ micros within the city limits alone. Lucky for people who drink all that stuff, we've also got one of the best and most meticulous public transit systems in the world. Here's how to use our trains, streetcars, and buses to fully experience all the IPAs, IRAs, PNWPAs, ESBs, and even longer acronyms you don't understand. (Note: all of these trips can be plugged into TriMet's trip planner for step-by-step directions so you don't get lost).

Stop 1: Start small, as in the smallest (and oldest) microbrewery in Portland, Tugboat, which makes small-batch English-style ales that are neither pasteurized nor filtered. How small is it? There're only 50 seats in the entire joint, though a lot of that space is taken up by brewing facilities, the 15-keg bar, and old-school jazz bands.

Stop 2: Walk a few blocks North and enter Deschutes, an offshoot of the popular Bend brewery named for the Eastern Oregon river. The place is always packed (often with MILFs taking in a pint with the kid in tow!), so sidle up to the bar and order up a tasting tray of seasonals and standbys like Mirror Pond and Black Butte Porter.

Stop 3: Board the Westbound streetcar and get off at the historic Bridgeport Brewery, which set up shop in an ancient brewery from the boom days, when lumberjacks and scallywags flocked to the area to drown their sorrows, and ended up drugged and hauled off to sea. Good show, scallywags! The two-tier brewery cranks out more than 100,000 barrels a year, including its trademark IPA.

Stop 4: Walk SE to Union Station and ride the MAX Yellow line North to Albina/Mississippi. Get off and walk to Widmer Brothers, the largest microbrewery in the US, which dominates across the nation with its infamous Hefeweizen and Drifter Pale Ale. As with most organizations that try to take over entire nations, they also serve excellent German nosh in the Gasthaus, which you should eat before taking a tour of the city block-wide brewing operation.

Stop 5: Walk SE and board the streetcar heading South to OMSI. Exit at Hair of the Dog, one of the weirdest (and most delicious) breweries ever. Brews like the trademark Fred pack nutty and fruity flavors, with gigantic globs of yeast known to be found in the bottom of each glass. They're safe. Order up a tasting tray, and prepare to be confused and delighted about what you're drinking.

Stop 6: Walk to the Hawthorne Bridge and board bus 10 going toward Harold St. Take a nap... this is the longest ride, but worth it. Get of at 28th and Steele and walk over to Gigantic Brewing, a hidden, open-air brewery where you can sit on picnic tables and slug amazingness like the 7.3% The City Never Sleeps saison. Consider getting a $10 growler to go... the next ride's also a lil' long.

Stop 7: Go back to that same bus and head back from whence you came. Exit at SE Grand & Hawthorne, then take the PSU streetcar and get off at Burnside Brewery, a place so weird and yet so skilled that they can do ish like put charred beef hearts, curry, and ground urchin in beer and still make it good. They've also got normal stuff, but be sure to grab something to eat like the ridiculous lobster burger to start soaking up the barley in your belly.

Stop 8: Walk a few blocks NE and over to the sprawling Base Camp Brewing, which's like an adventure sports junkie's dream-come-true, especially if said junkie's sport of choice is drinking a lot of beer and looking at pictures of other people partaking in adventure sports. Order up the S'more Stout and they'll even blowtorch a marshmallow to the side of your pint to replicate a campfire experience (which is also replicated by the outdoor fire pits).

Stop 9: Time to go North, so pop down to MLK and jump on Northbound bus 6 and exit at Beech. Walk a few blocks West to the rustic Amnesia Brewery, which will make you forget you were ever there with its heavy Desolation IPA and Slow Train Porter that you can watch them brew from the open-air bar. There's also a huge, covered patio where you can pet and eat dogs: the place is Fido-friendly, and they grill sausages on a huge smoker.

Stop 10: Walk a few blocks East to Williams and hit up the Fifth Quadrant, the base of hometown heroes Lompoc, which also rocks a covered patio where you can slug award-winners like C-Note and the LSD (Lompoc Strong Draft), which is sure to make you trip... over your own feet, since it clocks in at about 7%. You can also hit up the adjoining Side Bar, which pours Lompoc's small-batch, barrel-aged brews.

Stop 11: Walk a block South on Williams to the Hopworks Urban Brewery Bike Bar for a slice of pizza and pints of the Organic Velvet ESB and the DOA (Deluxe Organic Ale), then hit up the stationary bikes outside and burn off some carbs while totally not puking. From exertion

Stop 12: Walk to MLK, take the Northbound #6 to NE Dekum, and walk to the magnificent Breakside Brewery. Spice up your tongue with the chili/ chocolatey 9.5% Aztec, then cool it off with some pulled pork nachos before diving into the prophetically named barrel-aged Old Whiskey Dick.

Stop 13: Hop on the Eastbound 75, get off at 33rd, and walk to Kennedy School, a gigantic, renovated elementary school with a brewery inside. Get yourself a hotel room at the front desk (they're converted classrooms), then go to Detention: one of the five bars on the premises. Light up a cigar and order a Rubinator -- their version of a black-and-tan w/ Terminator Stout & Ruby fruit beer -- then roam the grounds until your legs totally fail you. Now get some sleep. Only, like, 43 more breweries to go tomorrow!!

Deschutes Brewery in Portland.
Bridgeport Brewing.
Widmer Bros. Brewing.
Gigantic Brewing.
Burnside Brewing Company.
Base Camp Brewing.
Amnesia Brewing.
Lompoc's Fifth Quadrant.
Hopworks' Bike Bar.
Breakside Brewing.
Kennedy School.