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The craft beer scene in Oregon has been booming for a long time now, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down or losing steam. According to the latest statistics from Oregon Craft Beer, there are around 230 brewing companies operating 261 brewing facilities in 73 cities across the state. What this means for beer lovers is that Oregon is an incredible place to live and travel through!
It’s no secret that Oregon loves its breweries, but each one has something a little different to offer locals and visitors. Some are housed in industrial warehouse spaces, while others are upscale gastropubs downtown or iconic institutions with loads of merchandise. Many breweries also offer yard games, tours, food trucks, and are kid- and dog-friendly. Portland is the well-known mecca for breweries, but there are a lot of other small towns and mid-sized cities that can hold their own too.
Whether you like IPAs, stouts, sours, or just the brewery atmosphere, here 10 of the best breweries to visit in Oregon.
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Deschutes is probably the most famous name in Oregon beer, and this brewery is based in Bend and has a brew pub in Portland. The brewery has been around since 1988, and today it embraces experimental and hop-happy small batch brews. The Bend location typically has 19 taps and highlights local ingredients on its food menu. You can take a free tour with a brewery expert when you visit and receive beer samples as part of the experience. This powerhouse of a brewery has become known for light and drinkable classics, like the Mirror Pond Pale Ale and Black Butte Porter. But in Bend, you can try some of the brewery’s more experimental brews as well and stock up on fun merchandise and bottles.
A home-brewing hobby turned into a massive enterprise for the Widmer Brothers. This brewery was a national pioneer in producing a four-seasonal lineup of beers, and they helped to launch the Oregon Brewer’s Festival in 1988. You can visit the Russell Street location to see where hundreds of thousands of barrels of beer are pumped out per year. There’s an extensive food menu here, which makes this a favorite brewery stop for foodies. Widmer was once the largest draft-only brewery in the nation, and it’s still at the top today. Try the brewery’s hefeweizen because this is what put it on the map among beer lovers.
Hood River is another great place to visit if you love great beer. Full Sail Brewing Co. is based here, and this is an employee-owned and operated brewery that found its home in a converted fruit cannery. This is an eco-friendly brewery that places a high priority on using all-natural ingredients, non-GMO hops, and ingredients from local farms. The beer is even made with spring water from Mount Hood. You can take a tour of this brewery when you visit, or simply sit outside and enjoy views of the beautiful river. You can also see the impressive volcano peaks from here. Order up some salmon fish & chips or smokehouse karubi ribs to go with your delicious Full Sail beer. The Session Black Lager and Wassail Winter Ale are recommended brews.
The friendly and inviting town of Eugene is also a beer lover’s paradise, especially if you get to know Ninkasi Brewing Company. This is a popular brewery that was named after a Sumerian goddess. This is a fun brewery to visit to take a tour, look at local art on the walls, grab some food truck fare, and sit outside on the patio. It’s located in the historic Whiteaker neighborhood of Eugene and has a rotating roster of food trucks from local businesses. Before your visit, you can book a free and guided brewery tour online, and these tours take place every afternoon.
Hands down, the Pelican Pub & Brewery enjoys one of the most beautiful beer-drinking locations in the Pacific Northwest. While breweries along the coast don’t tend to get as much notoriety as ones in Portland and Bend, this one really stands out because of its perfect location right on the beach. This brewery’s brick building sits on the beach and offers amazing views of the Pacific Ocean. Some of the favorite brews here have been the Kiwanda Cream Ale and MacPelican’s Ale. For dessert, try the Beer-a-Misu, which is made with Tsunami Stout. Stop at Pelican Pub & Brewery while taking a road trip up or down the stunning Oregon coastline.
The town of Bend is a mecca for outdoors lovers, and there’s nothing quite like celebrating the end of an epic adventure than a cold, local brew. Bend Brewing Co. is a beloved local brewery in town that has won lots of awards for its beers. It’s been around since 1995 and is located in downtown Bend. Recommended brews are the Wicked Medicine and the Ching Ching American Sour. The brewery overlooks the Deschutes River and Mirror Pond, so go for a walk around the area once you’ve tried the brews you’re curious about. Bend Brewing Co. is open from 11:30am to 10:30pm daily, and there are happy hour specials on weekdays from 4-6pm. There are also brewery locations in Cannon Beach, which is also a restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating, and Tillamook, which is an intimate tap room where you can view the brewing process.
Brewers are always interested in trying something new and discovering the next big thing. The latest major movement in craft brewing has been sour beers, and Cascade Barrel House has been at the forefront of this. The brewery is a dream for sour beer lovers or the adventurous drinker. Some of the famous brews here are Vlad the Imp Aler and Sang Rouge. You’ll typically find more than 18 rotating taps here and tart brews that are aged in Northwest wine barrels and French oak barrels. The brewery also serves food if you’re looking for a snack or sandwich. Stop by on Tuesdays for the weekly live barrel tapping!
BridgePort was the very first brewery in the state of Oregon, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s lost its edge. Come here to experience where Portland’s brewing scene kicked off. BridgePort has been known for its awesome IPA, so get ready for a hoppy punch with a pleasing flavor. To really experience this place’s hops, try the Hop Czar, which is a triple-hopped Imperial-style IPA – not for the faint of heart! Another beer to try is the Blue Heron Pale Ale. During the day, this place has a more touristy and family-friendly vibe, but it’s more of a local party scene at night.
Rogue is another huge name in Oregon beer, and no trip to the state would be complete without visiting this brewery. The Newport location offers beer flights and specialty food dishes like Mo’s clam chowder and spruce gin oyster shooters. Rogue is known for its super-creative been flavors, so come here in the mindset of experimentation. After all, it isn’t every brewery where you can try Voodoo Doughnut Chocolate and Peanut Butter & Banana Ale. Rogue also makes small-batch artisan spirits, like whiskey and gin. This makes Rogue an attractive place to visit for groups of friends with some non-beer drinkers in the mix. You can also find Rogue locations in Portland, Astoria, and Independence in Oregon, as well as San Francisco in California and Issaquah in Washington.
Many people who aren’t from Oregon haven’t even heard of Baker City, but this town is home to one of the best breweries in the state. Barley Browns has a tap house with lots of brews to try and a brew pub with a few less but a more family-friendly vibe. This is a family-owned brewery that’s well worth stopping by. One of the recommended brews here is a hot blonde jalapeno ale, which pairs well with nachos or fried pickles. However, the brewery is most famous for its IPAs, double IPAs, and triple IPA, so come ready to try hops for the best experience!