Oregon Microbrews: Beer at its finest!
Home to more microbreweries than anywhere else in the United States, Oregon produces some of the finest brews available. From Deschutes Brewery in the high desert city of Bend, to the Rogue Brewery on the coast in Newport, all the way to the numerous McMenamin’s brewpubs of Portland, finding outstanding beer is never an issue.
Oregonians have a strong tradition of producing flavorful and diverse beers using fresh and natural ingredients. The city of Portland contains 31 breweries alone, more than any other US city. As a native, this is something I take great pride in and has only fueled my love for that nectar of the gods.
There are numerous beers that I enjoy and a great many ways to get them. For enjoying some fantastic and satisfying brews from the Beaver State, your choices are near unlimited. I will go through a list of some of my favorite places and the beers that frequent them.
Home to the Deschutes Brewery, Mt. Bachelor, and enough outdoor activities to satisfy the greatest wildlife enthusiast, there are a number of places to find that satisfying brew.
Deschutes Brewery and Public House
With 18 taps flowing and a creative menu featuring locally grown products, this a great place to end a long day. They have loads of seasonal beers on tap that will only add more conflict to your decision. The original home to the Deschutes Brewery has a homely and welcoming atmosphere that will raise your spirits almost as fast as the assortment of beers.
Black Butte Porter: One of my personal favorites. This beer is exceptionally smooth and makes great use of the dark malts with a superb finish. This beer is exactly what a porter should be.
Inversion IPA: For all of you hop lovers, this is your beer of choice. With caramel weaving its way into the flavor and ending with a burst of citrus, it is a journey that your tongue will wish never ended.
Obsidian Stout: Dark beer lovers can truly appreciate this great stout variation. This rich and roasted delight is so smooth, filling, and refreshing that it caters well to anyone regardless of preference.
There are some other great breweries to check out like Cascade Lakes Brewing and Silver Moon Brewing. So make sure not to limit yourselves to just one, you deserve it.
While making a trip to the Oregon coast, the sea air always seems to make me thirsty for proper dark brew. Luckily, Newport is home to Rogue Ales, which is a top-notch place with a great menu and enormous selection of beers.
Rogue Ales and Public House
My favorite Rogue brewpub has got to be the one contained within the brewery itself. They have daily tours and a fantastic view of the Yaquina bay and marina that you can enjoy while sampling from their 50 taps.
Dead Guy Ale: Rogue’s most popular ale, and one of my personal favorites, never fails to impress. It provides great full flavor and utilizes three malts to provide a savory and satisfying brew.
Hazelnut Brown Nectar: This is one brown ale a cut above the rest. I especially enjoy the unique taste of hazelnut that accompanies the excellent selection of malts that give this beer some real life.
Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout: A dark and hearty beer that is more of a meal in a bottle than a drink. It contains a creamy texture and blends a roasted malt flavor with a taste of chocolate.
Rogue has pubs in other locations including Portland, Independence, Astoria, and Eugene, plus Issaquah, WA and San Francisco, CA.
The selection of brews and microbreweries here is never-ending. You literally could go to a different brewpub every night for about a month. Renowned for its variety of beers and a fantastic Brew Fest during the summer, it is a top destination for any beer-crazed individual.
One of the most prominent figures leading the charge of the microbrewery revolution in the northwest. With around 30 different pubs in the greater Portland area, you can enjoy a handcrafted beer almost anywhere. The pinnacle of their operation exists at the Edgefield Brewery, which is essentially a theme park for beer lovers. With a golf course, spa, restaurant, and hotel to compliment their pubs and numerous outdoor concerts during the summer, the activities are plentiful.
Terminator Stout: It is everything you look for in a stout. The flavor is complex and satisfying with flavors of coffee, chocolate, and nuts to enhance the roasted loveliness. The Terminator is a top seller and a filling beverage to satisfy your needs.
Copper Moon: This is a summer seasonal that will satisfy the greatest thirst of anyone looking to escape the summer sun. My favorite thing about it has got to be the combination of its malt flavor and floral arrangement to bring out its unique pale ale taste.
Oktoberfest: This one is a personal favorite of mine and seems appropriate for any season. Something about its crisp taste and refreshing malty flavor makes it such an irresistible lager. It is quite a beer as I am someone who always favors the darker variety of the porters and stouts.
Another excellent place for some good food and drinks is the Widmer Brother’s Brewing Company. This is one of the more popular brands of beer in Oregon, and rightfully so. They serve a respectful number of good beers regularly as well as some seasonal offerings.
Widmer Hefeweizen: Probably the most well known beer offered through the company. Traditionally served with a slice of lemon, it is a cloudy and refreshing drink with that wheaty taste we love. The floral qualities add to the distinction that makes this award winning beer so excellent.
Drop Top Amber Ale: There is quite a unique flavor to this amber delight. My favorite offering from the Widmer Brothers contains a rich flavor, fruity scent, and a smooth taste that goes great by itself or to go along with an outdoor BBQ.
These few examples I provided are just scratching the surface of the Portland microbrew scene. Some other great places to check out include the MacTarnahan’s, Bridgeport Brewery, and Hopworks Urban Brewery. However, there are many places I have not made it to yet and plenty of exploring left to do.
Continuing the Tradition
Oregon was one of the forefronts for the microbrewing revolution in the 1980’s and hasn’t slowed one bit since then. The strong tradition has imbedded itself into the minds of those creative geniuses who decided making average beer was not itself. You would be hardpressed to find a place that takes its beer so seriously and truly takes the time to turn it into a form of art.
With so many great breweries and hundreds of variations of beer, finding the perfect one can seem near impossible. I certainly haven’t found the one beer that I could have every night from now on. Oh well, if only all searches were this enjoyable. Cheers!
- Oregon Brewers Guild