Not to be confused with the other Portland, Portland, Oregon is known for its coffee, bicycles, bridges, and quirks. It’s the subject of Fred Armison’s Portlandia, a hipster mecca still clutching to the nostalgia of the ’90s. And, especially in the past few years, it’s come to be synonymous with beer. But what are the best breweries in Portland? It’s a tough question.
Whether looking for quantity or quality, the city ranks among the top cities in the nation for craft beer. Sprinkled throughout the bustling West Side and eclectic East Side are an abundance of daring and delicious breweries. Here are eight of the best breweries in Portland, Oregon.
The Best Breweries in Portland, Oregon
2326 N Flint Ave | (503) 894-8251
Ex Novo is still a newcomer in terms of its tenure, but it certainly doesn’t act like one. The founders quickly expanded from their garage to a beautiful new pubhouse and solidified a top-quality flagship lineup. “Better beer for the greater good,” their bottles read. And they follow through on that: the brewery donates 100 percent of its profits to charity.
820 NE Dekum St | (503) 719-6475
Breakside is the most critically acclaimed brewery of the bunch. Two of their beers have brought gold medals at the GABF, they were named on Men’s Journal’s “Best Beers in the World” list, and they were dubbed the “Best Beer in Oregon” by The Oregonian. It’s safe to say stopping here wouldn’t be a bad decision.
240 N Broadway Suite Two | (503) 735-5337
Upright Brewing is a farmhouse-focused brewery that sources its inspiration from traditional French and Belgian beers and combines these traditions with Pacific Northwestern flair. It’s a cash only, casual spot for drinkers interested in intimately enjoying their beers.
Great Notion Brewing
2204 NE Alberta St #101 | (503) 548-4491
These cats are on another level. Not only have they developed their own augmented reality app, but they donated $30,000 in profits from beer sales to help frontline workers fighting coronavirus.
Great Notion only opened its doors in 2016, but has made a name for itself by becoming — arguably — the most visited in the city for those seeking bold flavors and a lot of hops. Their speciality is fruit-forward, hazy IPAs and gastronomical sours and stouts. The variation is executed perfectly.
2117 NE Oregon St | (971) 254-9114
Sustainability is the keystone to Culmination’s existence. “Great beer, with good food and community can be brought together in one concept, under one roof,” Tomas Sluiter, their brewmaster, says; hence the name: “Culmination.”
Little Beast Brewery
3800 SW Cedar Hills Blvd, STE 300E | (503) 329-5107
The Little Beast project is far from little. It’s an experiment in resourcefulness and creativity. Using Portland’s “edible landscape,” founder Charles Porter showcases the untamed beauty of nature’s abundant cultures. The operation is old-wordly and delicious.
Cascade Brewing Barrel House
939 SE Belmot St | (503) 265-8603
Cascade Brewing’s Barrel House is a sour beer lover’s dream. With the northwestern sour movement steamrolling forward, Cascade has found its place in the conductor’s seat; they’re not only a pioneer but a constant introducer of change and innovation.
Although they’re one of the older breweries in the area, they’re still one of the best. In fact, just last year, our founder visited Cascade and waxed poetic about their sour beer offerings. Stop by their space to see what’s on tap or to grab a vintage bottle from their shop.
New For 2020: The Best Breweries in Portland, Oregon
Hopworks Urban Brewery
2944 SE Powell Blvd | (503) 232-4677
Count of Portland, Oregon, to deliver beer that not only tastes good, but does good. As a registered B Corporation (just like The Alchemist Brewery in Vermont), Hopworks has a legal responsibility to consider the impact of all their decisions on their suppliers, customers, employees, and the environment.
If you visit, try the flagship Powell IPA (pictured above) or snag the Golden Hammer Organic Lager. And come hungry — the brewpub offers down-to-earth American fare like salads, burgers, pizza, and out-of-this-world chicken tenders.
RIP: The Best Breweries In Portland, Oregon No Longer
The Commons Brewery
630 SE Belmont St
A previous version of this article named The Commons Brewery as one of our favorites; their floral beers were once mainstays in the culinary community. But the brewery has permanently closed. Beginning in 2018, Modern Times took over the space to create the Belmont Fermentorium – a coffee shop, brewery, and a restaurant in a food hall setting.