They say that Oregonians bleed coffee in the morning and beer at night, so it should come as no surprise that stellar breweries exist in all parts of the state. Following are just 10 of the best, although the list could go further. If you’re a beer lover, these breweries must be visited.
Drawing inspiration from the Trappist Monk breweries of Old Belgium, pFriem family brewing produces artisan beers that prove that the old ways are often still the best. Nonetheless, the family’s Pacific Northwest roots show through everything they do. This family is truly dedicated to the art of brewing the best possible beer no matter what the century or the setting.
At first glance, this small Eastern Oregon ranching community doesn’t seem the place for an up-and-coming star on the craft beer scene, but Barley Browns proves that good beer isn’t just about Portland anymore. This place has been winning awards right and left in recent years, and they’ve only just gotten started. Baker City’s historic Main Street provides a lovely location for enjoying a pint by the window.
IPA lovers often think that the only place to go to indulge their love of big, hoppy flavors is whatever the latest brewing sensation is in Portland, but Bend has them beat with Boneyard Beer. Boneyard’s got its unconventional start in the craft beer business as an afterthought in an auto shop. Its name comes from the way one of the current owners collected old brewery equipment as a hobby and then pieced together his own brewery from his finds.
If you’re a fan of barrel-aged artisan beers with a tart, even sour tang, Cascade Brewing was made with you in mind. Considered a pioneer in Pacific Northwest sour beer brewing, Cascade is making converts to the sour side every day.
The brewers at De Garde in Tillamook never add yeast cultured in a laboratory to the creations—only wild yeast that occurs naturally is used to ferment vats of beer left in the open air for that purpose. De Garde offers extremely limited release only, so be prepared to stalk them when you fall in love with their magic potions.
Portland icon Hair of the Dog Brewing bears responsibility for many converts to the cult of craft brewing. Its inception in 1993 makes it almost a dinosaur. The experience and well-cultivated expertise make hair of the Dog one of the top breweries on the West Coast. And because repertoire is a little larger than many craft breweries, you’ll probably find something you like here no matter what your taste.
No list of Oregon breweries would quite be complete without Rogue. Even though the company has individual locations in several Oregon cities, including Ashland, Eugene, and Portland, it’s the one in Newport that really stands out. After all, it was started in 1989 when one of the founders was stranded in the coastal community as the result of a freak snowstorm. The view from the Newport pub is beautiful, and the beer is more than just there. Try Dead Guy Ale and you’ll understand why every Oregon town wants their very own Rogue.
You’d expect to find at least one great brew pub in a small college town, and Block 15 Brewing doesn’t disappoint. However, Block 15 is far more than just a college hangout. Cultivating community is almost as important here as creating good beer. Come in for a bright, hoppy IPA and leave with a new pet cause and a few new friends.
Every wine country destination needs at least one stellar microbrewery, and Heater Allen Brewing fits the bill nicely in the heart of Oregon’s Yamhill wine region. You won’t find a varied beer menu here, though—this small artisan shop specializes in lagers, so if you’re a lager lover, Heater Allen Brewing is your personal paradise.
With an ambitious name like Center of the Universe, a place is either a star or a flop. Center of the Universe shines brightly on Ashland’s craft beer scene. Pay them a visit for a sip of their French Saison and stay to experience the eclectic fare provided by one of the local visiting food trucks.