Ultimate Guide to the Best Breweries in Oregon for Craft Beer Lovers

If you’re asking where to find the best breweries in Oregon, look no further. Dive into this straightforward guide to the state’s top craft beer makers, from innovative alehouses to traditional brewpubs.

Here, you’ll get an authentic taste of what makes Oregon a revered craft beer destination, all without the fluff.

Key Takeaways

  • Oregon is a craft beer paradise with a rich brewing history dating back to the 1850s, contributing significantly to its economy and hosting some of the best breweries and beer festivals in the nation.
  • From award-winning Barley Brown’s Brew Pub to the artisanal Ale Apothecary, each Oregon brewery offers unique flavors, with special beers like the Cerveza Negra Caliente and the sour ‘Be Still’, capturing the essence of the Pacific Northwest.
  • Oregon’s craft beer scene is not just about great beer; it’s a full experience with dog-friendly brewery patios, gift shops offering brewery memorabilia, and breweries near historic sites like the Oregon Trail Center.

Exploring the Craft Beer Haven of Oregon

Imagine a place where:

  • The brewing heritage traces back to the 1850s
  • Early commercial breweries were small and dynamic, and the names changed as frequently as the seasons
  • The brewing industry has flourished over the years, giving birth to over 311 operating craft breweries by 2019
  • It has contributed a whopping $6.6 billion to the state’s economy in 2016

Welcome to Oregon – a haven for craft beer lovers and home to some of the best craft brews.

The Oregon Brewers Festival, established in 1988, is one of the longest-running and largest craft beer festivals in the nation. The Pink Boots Society, supporting women in the brewing industry, took root in Oregon in 2007, encouraging diversity and inclusion in the brewing scene. Some of Oregon’s breweries include:

  • Barley Brown’s Brew Pub
  • Fort George Brewery
  • De Garde Brewing
  • Double Mountain Brewery

Oregon’s best breweries offer an eclectic mix of craft brews that are as varied as the state’s stunning landscapes.

A Toast to Barley Brown’s Brew Pub

We begin our journey at Barley Brown’s Brew Pub, nestled in the historic Baker City, close to landmarks like the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center.

This brewpub is not just famous for its breathtaking views of the Cascade Mountains but also for its Cerveza Negra Caliente, a hot black beer with a winter jalapeno ale twist, featuring hints of chocolate, roast, and a warming spice finish.

The Pub has earned prestigious awards including the title of Very Small Brewing Company of the Year at the 2013 Great American Beer Festival and their Pallet Jack IPA being crowned Champion at the Brewing News National IPA Championship in 2013.

From the jalapeno-infused Hot Blonde ale to the Vanilla Porter enriched with vanilla beans, their distinctive beer selection promises to take your taste buds on a delightful journey.

The Unique Charm of Fort George Brewery

We then move to the Fort George Brewery, located in the early 20th-century Lovell Building in Astoria. This historic building, once an auto dealership and service station, now houses a brewery that is known for its cozy and rustic atmosphere, offering stunning views of the bay.

The brewery is celebrated for its wide beer selection, including stouts and IPAs, with their signature ‘Gone Pecan’ stout standing out for its unique flavor profile. Apart from the delectable brews, Fort George Brewery also offers a diverse dining experience, making it a popular local hangout.

Savoring the Wild Ales at De Garde Brewing

Tasting wild ales at De Garde Brewing in Tillamook, Oregon

We proceed to Tillamook, where De Garde Brewing is located. This brewery stands out with its unique mashing technique for less fermentable worts, combined with ingredients such as:

  • unmalted wheat
  • Idaho-grown barley malt
  • hops
  • fruits
  • spices

This combination captures the essence of the Pacific Northwest coast.

Founded by Linsey and Trevor Rogers, De Garde Brewing is dedicated to the craft of spontaneously-fermented beers. They often allow their beers to age for extended periods to enhance flavor complexity. One of their notable beers is the Château, a blend from four years of brewing. It is distinguished by its:

  • Complex aroma and taste profile
  • Brettanomyces funk
  • Hints of lemon
  • White wine grapes
  • Delicate, lively texture

Double Mountain Brewery: A Hood River Gem

We then find ourselves in the heart of Hood River at the Double Mountain Brewery. Known for its ‘Bullwheel IPA’, the brewery offers a perfect balance of pineapple, citrus, and evergreen flavors, creating a pleasing brew that isn’t too bitter.

The brewery’s year-round beer selection caters to a range of beer aficionados, featuring creations like:

  • Turn the Haze IPA
  • IRA (India Red Ale)
  • Kölsch
  • Hop Lion
  • Juicy IPA

Seasonal beers, including craft options, as well as unique reserve beers like Devil’s Kriek, further enrich their beer menu, promising a new experience each season.

Farmhouse Flavors at Wolves & People Farmhouse Brewery

Following this, we head to the rustic and elegant Wolves & People Farmhouse Brewery, nestled in the heart of the Willamette Valley. This brewery has developed a chocolate beer that is a favorite among patrons, featuring rich cocoa flavors that complement the farmhouse style.

In addition to their chocolate beers, Wolves & People Farmhouse Brewery is also celebrated for its unique IPAs that push the boundaries of traditional beer styles with innovative brewing techniques.

Ale Apothecary’s Artisanal Brewing Mastery

We keep moving and reach Bend, Oregon, where we find Ale Apothecary. Here, the oud bruin ‘Be Still’ exemplifies the brewery’s artistic brewing approach, with its complex array of flavors presenting a wild, sour taste with notes of:

  • wood
  • vanilla
  • tannins
  • sticky raisin
  • date
  • tobacco
  • lemon
  • toffee

The non-conventional use of cascara in Be Still contributes to its unique taste, which includes elements of raisin, black tea, and coffee, and is further enriched by cocoa nibs, adding a bitter dimension.

The combination of rye whiskey and wine barrel aging introduces a rye spiciness with supporting fruit notes, reminiscent of port with sugar and a hint of booziness.

Beachcrest Brewing Company’s Coastal Tunes and Brews

We then venture to the vibrant Beachcrest Brewing Company in Gleneden Beach. Here, patrons are treated to a vibrant ambiance with live music events taking place every Saturday and Sunday.

The brewery boasts a craft beer menu with a mix of American and European styles, including:

  • Siletz Bay Hazy IPA
  • Blonde the Beachcomber
  • Lincoln City Logger
  • Herbie’s Hazy Pale Ale
  • Mayan Mole Stout (uniquely spiced)

The beachside taproom and beer garden offer a scenic view of the Salishan golf course, where guests can enjoy hand-crafted pizza from a wood-fired oven and special dishes like Curried Dal & Masala Cauliflower.

Boneyard Pub’s Innovative Elixirs

Following this, we visit Boneyard Pub, makers of the Boneyard Elixir, a specialty CBD brew designed with health-conscious consumers in mind. Their range of CBD beverage flavors includes:

  • King Cola and Grape Soda with caffeine
  • Passion Orange with turmeric
  • Lemon Ginger
  • Tropical Lime

Beyond their unique beverages, Boneyard Pub also caters to food lovers with a variety of tasty food options. Patrons can enjoy meals like:

  • Burgers
  • Fish & chips
  • Soups
  • Salads
  • Appetizers
  • The Spicy Firecracker Chicken Bowl

at Boneyard Pub.

Ferment Brewing Company: Nordic Design Meets Pacific Northwest Flavors

We then proceed to Ferment Brewing Company, where Nordic design meets Pacific Northwest flavors. The brewery’s major attraction, its outdoor patio, boasts heaters, a fireplace, different seating options including a large fire area, and rustic industrial touches to enhance the experience.

Enjoying craft beers on the patio is further valued for the picturesque views of river and cliffs, as well as the opportunity to watch kite boarders and wind surfers on sunny days. Patrons can choose from an array of about 15 beer selections, including lighter lagers and ales, as well as IPAs like the Silverspot IPA.

Discover Sunriver Pub’s Award-Winning Brews

Our next destination is Sunriver Pub, located in Sunriver, Oregon. This pub offers signature craft beers such as the Cocoa Cow Chocolate Milk Stout and the Fuzztail Hefeweizen.

Their Fuzztail Hefeweizen is noted for its refreshing qualities and unique blend of flavors, including hops, lemon, and grapefruit. The Cocoa Cow Chocolate Milk Stout features a dark brown to black appearance with a tan head, and boasts a chocolatey aroma complemented by a smooth and mild roasted malt taste.

The Sour Sensation of The Ale Apothecary

Our exploration carries us further to The Ale Apothecary, a Bend, Oregon based sour brewery known for sourcing ingredients exclusively from Oregon and delivering a pure taste of the Pacific Northwest.

Their beers, often referred to as homemade brew, are naturally carbonated with Oregon honey or fruit juice, without any processing aids, maintaining their organic promise. The Ale Apothecary’s beers, often compared to wine, have complex flavors with notes of tartness that attract both beer and wine enthusiasts.

The Craft Beer Flight Experience

We now dive into a craft beer flight experience. Beer flights in Oregon offer a variety of local craft beers in one sitting, allowing enthusiasts to sample and compare a range of brews.

Companies that offer beer tasting and sightseeing tours include:

  • Pedal Bike Tours
  • Cycle Portland
  • BrewCycle
  • City Brew Tours

These tours provide a mix of beer tasting and sightseeing, each culminating in a memorable pint of brew. BrewCycle and City Brew Tours enhance the beer flight experience with unique offerings like group rides, all-inclusive brewery visits, and comprehensive tasting guides.

The Portland Microbrewery Tour and Oregon Tour Co.’s Gold Medal Beer Tour provide a more in-depth exploration with additional perks like brewpub dinners and access to award-winning breweries.

Dog-Friendly Patios and Pints

Many Oregon breweries also accommodate canine companions by providing dog-friendly patios, welcoming beer enthusiasts to enjoy their craft brews without having to part from their four-legged friends. In Portland, establishments like:

  • StormBreaker Brewing
  • Ex Novo Brewing
  • Breakside Brewery
  • Migration Brewing
  • Gigantic Brewing

provide welcoming patios for dogs. Rogue Ales & Spirits offers dog-friendly pubs throughout Portland and along the Oregon coast, and Deschutes Brewery in Portland happily accommodates dogs.

Cycle Dog Tavern features an indoor and seasonal outdoor dog park, and Schilling Cider House provides a dog-friendly patio, catering to both beer and cider enthusiasts who are dog owners.

Shopping for Brews: Gift Shop Finds

Following the exhilarating brewery tour, you can take home unique brews and merchandise from various Oregon brewery gift shops to commemorate your experience. At Double Mountain Brewery, visitors can purchase bottled beers to enjoy the taste of Hood River’s unique brews at their convenience.

Hair of the Dog Brewing Company features beers like Adam and Fred, which have carefully tailored and distinct characteristics as part of their unique beer offerings.

Taking home bottled beers or brewery-exclusive merchandise turns local Oregon brews into cherished memorabilia from a craft beer enthusiast’s journey.

Oregon Trail Center’s Nearby Breweries

Finally, we explore some breweries near the Oregon Trail Center that offer unique beers and historical connections. Prodigal Son Brewery and Pub in Pendleton incorporates Western themes into their brewery ambiance, resonating with the historical Oregon Trail.

Side A Brewing in La Grande is adding a back-alley beer garden to their historically rich location of a converted firehouse. Steens Mountain Brewing in Burns is a nanobrewery run by a local family, crafting beers that pay tribute to landmarks in Harney County.

These diverse breweries not only celebrate the flavors of craft beer but also immerse participants in the vibrant beer culture of Oregon.

Summary

In conclusion, Oregon’s rich brewing history, diverse range of breweries, and unique craft beers make it a paradise for beer enthusiasts.

Whether you’re savoring a pint on a scenic patio, indulging in a beer flight experience, or shopping for unique brews, Oregon’s breweries offer an unforgettable journey of flavors. So, raise your glass to Oregon, where every sip tells a story.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is unique about Oregon’s brewing history?

Oregon has a rich brewing history dating back to the 1850s, and it’s currently home to over 311 craft breweries, making a significant contribution to the state’s economy.

What is a beer flight experience?

A beer flight experience allows you to sample a variety of local craft beers in one sitting, providing the opportunity to compare different brews and find new favorites. It’s a fun way to explore the world of craft beer.

What are some of the unique brews from Oregon breweries?

Oregon breweries have a variety of unique brews, such as the Cerveza Negra Caliente, ‘Gone Pecan’ stout, wild ales, and ‘Bullwheel IPA’. Check out these distinct flavors on your next visit to Oregon!

Are there dog-friendly breweries in Oregon?

Absolutely! Many breweries in Oregon have dog-friendly patios, so you can enjoy a cold beer with your furry friend by your side.

Can you take home brews from Oregon breweries?

Yes, you can take home brews from Oregon breweries like Double Mountain Brewery and Hair of the Dog Brewing Company. Enjoy!