The Best Craft Beer Bars in Portland

Move over, Voodoo Donuts. Portland’s tastiest claim to fame is made of malt, hops, water and yeast. With some 80 breweries (and counting), Portland’s status as the world’s best beer city is now tattooed into permanence.

After a decades-long beer boom Portland’s is now home to everything from nationally-known brands (Widmer, Deschutes, Rogue) to regional and city favorites (Breakside, Gigantic, Hopworks) to brewpub food trucks, like the summertime go-to Captured By Porches. You can even fill a growler with local IPA or buy 750mL bottles of world class farmhouse ale at the Portland airport. Best of all? The beer itself. Portland brewers are continually pushing the standard of quality ever higher and are winning all the prestigious industry awards to prove it. Here are just a few (of about 500) worthy beer spots. —Christian DeBenedetti

  • 1

    Bailey's Taproom

    One of downtown Portland’s few craft watering holes, Bailey’s gets crowded and the huge windows can amplify conversation to ear-splitting levels. No matter: Bright, flat screen monitors display the (mostly local) goods and the brew is fresh and well-kept. When you get hungry, order from the tasty Santeria taqueria across the alley (which itself adjoins the iconic Mary’s Club strip bar, where Courtney Love twirled around for some time) and they’ll gladly deliver to your table.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • craft beer
    • day drinking
    • outdoor / patio
  • 2

    The Big Legrowlski

    Portland’s Chelsea-esque Pearl District can be a bit of a Tesla traffic jam. Which is why this hideout—located on the edge of the Pearl near Chinatown—is the perfect, chilled-out spot for a fresh pint or growler fill to-go from an ever-rotating, 15-tap list.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • craft beer
    • cheap date
  • 3

    The Commons Brewery

    Founder Mike Wright’s brewery, launched in his garage a few years back, has gone gangbusters, but in a wonderfully low-key way. Visitors mingle among shiny tanks and French oak barrels with tasters or full glasses of beer, while hip hop plays on the hi-fi. Brewmaster Sean Burke studied in Germany, so don’t miss his pilsners and other Bavarian offerings.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • craft beer
    • day drinking
    • singles scene
  • 4

    Gigantic Brewing Company

    Opened in the late spring of 2012, Gigantic is a little brewery with big ideas. Brewers Ben Love (formerly of Hopworks Urban Brewery) and Van Havig (formerly with Rock Bottom Brewing) lead this critically adored Southeast Portland operation, named RateBeer.com’s #5 top new brewery in the world in 2013. The list here is eclectic and ever-changing and the tasting room is complete with an excellent beer garden and a "Champagne Lounge" (you’ll see).

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    KNOWN FOR

    • craft beer
    • day drinking
    • singles scene
    • sports
    • outdoor / patio
  • 5

    Velo Cult Bike Shop

    Equal parts urban-chic bike shop, cycling museum and craft beer taproom—with a music stage built from an old castle drawbridge that cranks down for shows—Velo Cult might sound like the setting for a Portlandia gag. There’s a vintage cooler, house-roasted espresso bar with vintage ceramics (really), 45-seat theater, bowling-lane wood communal table and even a photo booth. Beer flights are served on—what else?—’70s skateboard decks. But what may sound well overcooked is simply a fun, community-driven, welcoming place for a beer and some live bluegrass.

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    KNOWN FOR

    • craft beer
    • singles scene
    • sports
    • live music

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