2017 RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP RANKING BEST BREWERIES IN PORTLAND
Finding the Perfect Portland Brewing Company
At the end of a long work day, there’s nothing better than heading out to experience the finest Portland beer at one of their many microbreweries. These locations are famous for their unique recipes and types of beers, along with the atmosphere associated with their laid-back venues.
Award Emblem: Top 6 Best Portland Breweries & Craft Brewers
Portland craft beer can take on any number of forms: hoppy IPAs, dark amber ales, and citrus blends that have been aged in barrels for months. Portland, Oregon breweries know how to bring out the best flavors in their beers for experienced connoisseurs and enthusiasts.
The best Portland breweries have signature beverages, high-gravity beers, and more to keep guests coming back time and time again. Do you know how to find the best breweries in Portland on your next trip to this illustrious city?
AdvisoryHQ did some of the hunting for you, coming up with some of the top breweries in Portland, Oregon that you will want to add to your itinerary. If you haven’t already experienced the flagship beers and atmosphere of these locations, you’ll want to make it a priority.
AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best Breweries in Portland
List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the breweries below to go directly to the detailed review section for that Portland brewery):
- 10 Barrel Brewing Company
- Culmination Brewing
- Deschutes Brewery
- Hair of the Dog Brewery
- Rogue Ales Brewery
- The Commons Brewery
Top 6 Best Breweries in Portland | Brief Comparison & Ranking
Popular Beers to Try
10 Barrel Brewing Company
Phaedrus American IPA
Black Butte Porter
Hair of the Dog Brewery
Rogue Ales Brewery
American Amber Ale
The Common Brewery
Brotherly Love Belgian Dark Strong Ale
Table: Top 6 Best Portland, Oregon Breweries | Above list is sorted alphabetically
How Are Breweries in Portland Contributing to the Economy?
It may be tempting to think that a delicious IPA straight from the tap of a local bar isn’t really contributing to the economy much. However, breweries in Portland are taking their craft to the next level and making a big dent within the industry. Many consumers are probably wondering just how popular these Portland breweries are in the grand scheme of things.
Image Source: Pexels
According to the Oregon Brewers Guild, the beer consumed in the state of Oregon is largely produced within its own boundaries. In 2016, approximately 3.04 million barrels of beer were consumed, with 23.3% of that amount being produced by Oregonian and Portland breweries.
Compared to the numbers from 2015, this represented an 8.7% increase in beer produced by Oregon brewers, including Portland brewers.
With the industry seeing more business than ever, that means that Portland brewers and others throughout the state are able to offer more employment opportunities. It’s estimated that jobs within this industry supply 31,000 Oregonians with employment both directly and indirectly.
Portland, Oregon breweries comprise the vast majority of the brewing facilities throughout the state. Of the 261 operations in Oregon, Portland brewers comprise seventy locations. They’re followed by Bend, Oregon breweries, which have just 26.
Overall, the beer industry has a $4.49 billion impact on the economy in Oregon, with Portland brewers certainly contributing to that number.
These breweries in Portland, Oregon do comprise a large percentage of sales and production volume in the state. Any travelers looking for some high-quality Portland craft beer may want to consider adding one of these locations to their list. They can sample some Portland beer and contribute to the economy all at the same time.
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Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Breweries in Portland
Below, please find the detailed review of each brewery on our list of Portland brewers. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these Portland, Oregon breweries to score so highly in our selection ranking.
10 Barrel Brewing Company Review
Still relatively new to the scene of Portland brewers, 10 Barrel Brewing Company was founded back in 2006 with the help of three individuals. Their motto is simple and popular among those who favor this Portland brewing company: Brew beer, drink beer, and have fun doing it.
10 Barrel Brewing Company has more locations than just their Portland brewery, including spots in these popular cities:
- Bend (original location)
- San Diego
What makes this one of the best breweries in Portland? The atmosphere at this Portland brewery easily rivals all of the popular bars in town with stunning views from their rooftop patio. In the heart of the Pearl District, this brewery in Portland is manned by brew master Whitney Burnside.
Acclaimed for her work throughout the fermentation industry at some of the best Portland breweries, she now creates fresh beers for the 10 Barrel Brewing Company’s Portland location. There are twenty taps available at this Portland brewery, ensuring that you always have something new to try.
Their extensive menu of beers is impressive, with many of them being made right in Burnside’s space in their top brewery in Portland. Drinkers who favor beers with plenty of hops will enjoy the extensive list, but they also offer darks, wild cards, and ciders depending on your preferences.
They are perhaps best known for their flagship IPA, the Apocalypse IPA. These Portland brewers offer a hoppy flavor to their balanced beer with an overall ABV of 6.5%.
Some reviews of this Portland, Oregon brewery also note that the food served as part of the pub is delicious. Famous for excellent pizza as well as being one of the best Portland breweries gives 10 Barrel Brewing Company a definite leg-up on their competition.
Image Source: 10 Barrel Brewing Company
Culmination Brewing Review
Culmination Brewing may be a new edition to the popular Portland microbreweries, but it boasts a rather impressive start in the industry. With just a couple of years under their belt in a new and popular Portland outlet, this brewery in Portland is quickly gaining recognition for their down-to-earth location and business style.
While not much is posted regarding the history of this Portland microbrewery, they do note that their business revolves around sustainability. The idea behind the Culmination brewery in Portland is to bring great beer, good food, and community together inside of their large location.
Beer is, of course, the staple item that all travelers want to consider when they stop by to cool off in the summer. This pick among best breweries in Portland has a lengthy tap list, with their current recommendation being the Phaedrus American IPA (6.7% ABV). Other appealing menu items include their Sour Flower Hour, Choco Mt. Stout, and their flagship 4 & 20 Imperial Black IPA.
In addition to the brews offered off of a large tap list, their menu has plenty of selection as well. The menu at these breweries in Portland, Oregon changes seasonally, focusing on locally sourced ingredients that are available throughout the year. It does note that it changes often, which means your favorite dish may not be available next time you stop by.
Even those with the strictest of diets can find something to partake in at Culmination, with Sundays reserved for vegan fare. The rotating and all-inclusive menu is definitely a part of what makes Culmination one of the top breweries in Portland.
One review notes that there is a possibility of expanding their offering to include house-made sake and mead. Owner Tomas Sluiter is a Certified Sake Professional, and there is some speculation that they may begin this process at their Portland brewery, as well as starting a collaboration with Stung Fermented, a Portland-based dedicated meadery on the same property.
Deschutes Brewery Review
Beer drinkers in Portland can rejoice at the Deschutes Brewery, one of the best Portland breweries around. Their extensive selection of beers offers an impressive 26 taps worth of new flavors for guests to sample, including several that are brewed right at their location.
Much like 10 Barrel Brewing Company, these Portland, Oregon breweries can trace their roots back to Bend in 1988. One of the most unique aspects of this best Portland brewery is their ownership: they are both a family and employee-owned brewery in Portland that focuses in on sustainability.
Sustainability is a key component to what makes this Portland brewer so popular. The Business Intelligence Group even named them as a global sustainability leader in 2016. In particular, this Portland, Oregon brewery works heavily with the Deschutes River Conservancy to offset the water they take to brew their original beers.
Even the menu at the Deschutes Brewery is an attractive draw for guests at this top brewery in Portland. Their executive chef works hard to create unique dishes from scratch using as many local ingredients as they can.
One of their most popular selections, the Black Butte Porter is one of their original brews that really put Deschutes on the map. This selection at their Portland brewery tastes of both chocolate and coffee, with an overall alcohol by volume of just 5.2%. It has won awards including:
- America’s Silver at the 2014 World Beer Awards
- Gold at the U.S. Open Beer Championship
- Gold at the International Brewing Awards
- Bronze at the Australian International Brewing Awards
Hair of the Dog Brewery Review
Hair of the Dog Brewery is just what many travelers and beer enthusiasts are looking for: a creative location with a large selection, high volume production, and a history of crafting beers with locally sourced products. Started in 1993, this Portland, Oregon brewery has built an entire business around providing guests with new and “unusual” flavors.
Specializing in high alcohol by volume and bottle-conditioned beers, Hair of the Dog certainly has a large selection to boast about. Each year, they produce more than 600 barrels of beer (not including the amount that they bottle).
What should you try at this best Portland brewery? You may want to sample their very first beer that was ever produced when the company first opened. Adam is a dessert beer, complemented by cigars and chocolate with high alcohol by volume (10%). There are also several variations on this same flavor from this Portland brewer:
- Adam From the Wood: Aged in American oak barrels
- Cherry Adam From the Wood: Aged with black cherries in bourbon and sherry casks
- Little Dog Adam: Made from second runnings of Adam
Lonely Planet reviews of this Portland brewer note that all of their offerings are highly popular among locals and travelers alike for their unique creations. They feature not often-seen elements, such as aging in the bourbon and sherry casks, as seen in the Cherry Adam From the Wood selection.
The menu is equally impressive, a perfect match for the high-gravity beers offered at these best Portland breweries. Gluten-free and vegan options are available for their appetizers, sandwiches, and sweets.
Rogue Ales Brewery Review
Rogue Ales is one of a handful of Portland brewers who have an extensive beer selection, distillery tours, great food, and a pizza and beer delivery service. Founded back in 1987, the extensive history and success of this Portland, Oregon brewery makes them a force to be reckoned with. Vowing to do things differently than many of the other best Portland breweries, Rogue gives back to the community in addition to brewing some of the best beers and crafting ciders and spirits.
If you plan to visit this best brewery in Portland, you should be prepared to sample their American Amber Ale, a flagship product for which they are well-known (5.3% ABV). In recent years, the toffee aroma, hops, and roasted malt taste of this beer has been recognized as:
- Best of the NW Pacific Region at 2016 Beer Tasting Championships
- Silver at the 2016 World Beer Championships
- Gold at the 2015 World Beer Championships
- Silver at the 2014 World Beer Championships
This ale was one of the first items brewed at their original brewery, located in Ashland, Oregon.
Image Source: Rogue Brewery
There’s no shortage of options for travelers who want to visit the best Portland breweries. Rogue has several locations within the city, including a distillery and public house, Rogue Hall, a Rogue Ales location at the Portland Airport, and Eastside Pub and Pilot Brewery.
This Portland brewing company prides itself on offering convenient locations that are suitable for the entire family to visit. Open 365 days per year, you can make the most of their food and fare, merchandise, kids menus, and of course, their 38 taps.
Guests interested in where their ingredients come from in their Portland microbreweries may want to consider a trip to Independence, Oregon. Here, you can see Rogue Farms, where all of their hops, malting barley, rye, pumpkins, and honey originate.
The Commons Brewery Review
Another of the best Portland breweries, The Commons Brewery is the result of garage experimentation and Portland microbreweries that reached great success. Started in 2010 out of owner Mike Wright’s garage, it expanded to commercial operations in 2011 and eventually reached its current location as one of many Portland, Oregon breweries.
Guests can sample twelve of their beers at any given time at the Tasting Room. The Commons also offers one additional tap to give space to guest brewers, usually a rotating cider to give samples of beverages other than beer. Some will be available year-round, while other flavors are only available seasonally or as creativity strikes the three-man team that operates The Commons.
One of their year-round selections of Portland craft beer comes highly recommended from Lonely Planet reviews, known as the Urban Farmhouse Ale. With an ABV of 5.3%, this golden ale has a floral nose, hop bitterness, and crisp finish for the avid beer-drinker.
You may also want to sample their Brotherly Love Belgian Dark Strong Ale, released only during February each year. Flavors to note in this offering include:
- Northwest-grown sour cherries
- Ecuadorian cacao nibs
- Second-use bourbon barrels for aging
One review notes that The Commons is mostly known for a combination of their farmhouse, sour, fruit, and barrel-aged beer.
Food is available at The Commons through the Cheese Annex, a small offering from a larger restaurant known as Cheese Bar that functions from a small pop-up style kitchen in The Commons. Enjoy cheese and meat plates, sandwiches, and a wide variety of plates and sides with their famous beers and brews at these Portland, Oregon breweries.
Conclusion—Top 6 Best Breweries in Portland
Top breweries in Portland are simple to find, with popular selections scattered throughout this prominent city. Locals and travelers alike want to know where they can go to sample the best Portland beer, preferably brewed locally at one of these Portland brewers. No matter whether you want to sample a hoppy IPA or a dark amber ale from these Portland craft beer providers, the best breweries in Portland are never far from where you are in the city.
With an illustrious history for having the best Portland breweries, travelers will want to mark some of these spots down on their must-do travel itineraries.
The beer list is extensive from any of the top breweries in Portland, but you’ll still manage to find unique and creative selections at each location. From menus featuring hearty meals or small snacks, you’ll find something from these best Portland breweries to match every taste.
You won’t want to miss out on any of these Portland brewers during your next trip around the Pacific Northwest.
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