Today, there are over 50 breweries located in Portland. With the number of Portland breweries per square mile, it is easy to understand why the city is considered the Craft Beer Capital of the nation. In fact, the modern craft beer industry in the United States was started by Oregon State University when they released the Cascade hop in 1972. The Cascade hop would go on to be a major ingredient in the two beers that started the craft-beer boom and the backbone of many of the first breweries in the states.
Travelers from around the world visit the city to go on a Portland brewery tour where they can try out some of the best craft beers in the country. However, it can be difficult for visitors to narrow down their options with so many breweries to choose from. To make things easier for beer lovers visiting the city, we have compiled a list of some of the best breweries in Portland.
Breakside Brewery is almost 10 years old now and it has become a cornerstone for craft beer in Portland. Breakside puts out an impressive number of award-winning beers each year and is one of the most consistent breweries in the area. In 2019, Breakside Brewery won awards in 10 different categories and went on to be named Brewery of the Year for its size division at the Oregon Beer Awards.
Now with three locations in the city, there’s no reason not to stop by one of the best breweries in Portland for a pint or two. The brand-new brewpub located in Slabtown is two stories and always has in-house brews on rotation for guests to try out. No beer tour of Portland is complete without at least one visit to the iconic Breakside.
After working for some time at major breweries such as Full Sail, McMenamins and Deschutes, John Harris went on to found Ecliptic Brewing. Harris quickly mastered crowd-pleasing brews and began to add nuanced flavors into his new craft beers. Many of his brews can be enjoyed by all beer-drinkers while still offering a subtle taste that is instantly recognizable by anybody. Since it was founded, Ecliptic Brewing has been a favorite amongst Portlanders and visitors to the city.
Ecliptic is one of the best breweries in Portland, Oregon because they have a lineup of diverse craft beers like the Orbiter IPA or the Carina Peach Sour. These delicious beers go great with the tasty food on the Ecliptic’s menu. The beer and burger combination is a timeless classic that guests at Ecliptic have been ordering for years, making it perfect for any beer tasting tour.
If you are looking for the best IPA in Portland, then you can’t miss out on a visit to Gigantic Brewing and their great selection of flavorful beers. You’ll want to keep coming back because Gigantic brews many of their exciting seasonal beers only one time. This brewery is a staple in Portland, even hiring local independent artists to create the labels for their craft beers. Many of their labels are even available as full-sized posters, so you can take home your favorite designs. The owners of Gigantic Brewing strive to stick to their small-business focused principles and continue to express their creativity with their craft brew creations.
Gigantic Brewing has a Gigantic Taproom and Champagne Lounge with a gravel patio where guests can order champagne along with their beers. Whether you hang out at the lounge or take some bottles home for later, Gigantic Brewing is a must-see stop on every beer tour in Portland.
Lovers of gaming and craft beers will be at home at Level Beer, a video game themed brewery located near the Portland airport. Level Beer has also grown in popularity due to its location which makes it convenient for travelers to grab a beer upon arriving in Portland or before they have to catch their flight back home. The refreshing and varied beers available at Level have been a notable beginning and end to many Portland Brewery tours.
The beers at Level have names like Ready Player One or Game On! IPA and they are great during any time of the year. Although Level Beer is located in a rustic barn, there are video game themed decorations all around the brewery. There are also food carts located right outside for something to eat while you are enjoying your craft beers.
Families in the nearby neighborhoods even love Level because it is a great place for the whole family despite primarily being a brewery.
Great Notion Brewing
Great Notion Brewing is a family-friendly pub with award-winning beers and great food for everyone to enjoy, like garlic mac and cheese or crispy, fried chicken sandwiches. They are also famous for their sour beers and their New England-style IPAs. Visitors can drop by the bar for a quick drink or they can receive full table service at this expansive brewery.
Portlanders have been on board with the brewery since it opened, and they keep coming back for crowd-pleasing beers like the Super Ripe IPAs or the Heart of Gold American Wild Ale barrel-aged sour. The Heart of Gold won silver in the Great American Beer Fest in 2016 and it continues to be a staple brew at Great Notion Brewing.
If you are a real beer connoisseur who is focused more on the brew than the ambiance of the location, Culmination Brewing is the place for you. Culmination is known for its consistently unusual but high-quality small-batch beers. This brewery hosts events like vegan kitchen takeovers or collaboration parties with other breweries in the area.
Although it offer a rotating selection of tasty IPAs, beer fanatics will want to try out the more adventurous brews offered by Culmination Brewing. Some of its more unique offerings include the Sauv Blanc Tart IPA, which is made with Sauv Blanc grapes, or the Sour Flower with Red Raspberry and Lime.