We were stoked to find out this week that Shermans Travel and MSN named Portland one of the “Top 10 cities for beer lovers.” Confirming what beer lovers in Oregon already knew, the article says: “In Portland, there are plenty of drafts to go around. Indeed, with 28 breweries based here – more per capita than any other city in the country – this Pacific Northwest city clearly boasts the motherload of American microbrews.” (You can read the entire article at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15642039/)

Of course, good beer isn’t limited to just Portland. Being the beer aficionados that we are, here are some of our local favorites from around the state (as picked by Travel Oregon staff and friends):

Full Sail (Hood River): Named one of the top 20 breweries in the world – the independent and employee-owned Full Sail brewery is perched on a bluff in Hood River, Oregon, overlooking the most epic wind and kite surfing spot on earth. Swing by the tasting room and sample their awarding winning brews, grab a bite to eat from the pub menu and soak up the view from the deck. (Suggested by: Kevin, Mo)

Terminal Gravity (Enterprise): After a day exploring Hells Canyon, North America’s deepest river gorge, head to this famed Eastern Oregon watering hole where hoppy IPA and refreshing stouts welcome you. (Suggested by: Karen V.)

Deschutes Brewery (Bend): Oregon’s second-largest brewer is located in Central Oregon, where craft brewing is as much a part of the landscape as clear skies, hiking trails and Mt. Bachelor. Top brews include: Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Black Butte Porter, and Jubelale, to name a few. (Suggested by: Dixie, Kevin, Sean, Mo)

Rogue Ales (Newport): Brewed on the coast in Newport, Rogue’s beers are made with the finest hops and barley malt, free range coastal water and Pacman top fermenting proprietary yeast. We suggest: BullFrog Ale (American style wheat ), Chipotle (American Amber spiced with smoked jalapeno chile peppers) and Dead Guy (a German-style Maibock). (Suggested by: Dixie, Kevin, Sean, Mo)

- Wild River Brewing (Grants Pass): With four locations (Grants Pass, Medford, Brookings, Cave Junction) to retire to after a day of riding the rivers or hiking, you can’t go wrong with this inviting family-run restaurant/brewery. Order up a tasty pizza and try the hand crafted Double Eagle Imperial Stout…sensationally smooth! (Suggested by: Dixie)

- Laurelwood (Portland): With two locations in Portland (NW and Hollywood District), this is a local favorite – especially for those of us looking for a “family friendly” brewery. Laurelwood includes a diverse menu, free WIFI, play areas for the kids, brew house viewing and of course, terrific beer for the adults. We suggest the “Stumptown Stout” that’s brewed with Stumptown Coffe espresso…. so creamy and tasty. (Suggested by: our friend Stephen at opus:creative)

Lucky Lab (Portland): Located in an old roofing and sheet metal warehouse with high wood trussed ceilings, the Lab’s warm rustic ambiance encompasses everything great about Portland – unpretentious, great food and beer and an inviting atmosphere. We recommend the “dogs and cheap beer” Monday night special! (Suggested by: our friend Dermot at TenBridges.com)

McMenamins (Choose your location!): With its ubiquitous “recycled” locations (old theater, railroad stations etc.) that bring art, music and history to life through nostalgic decor, McMenamins is a quintessential Oregon icon that consistently serves up eclectic food choices and delicious brews. Head to Corvallis to their latest pub, “McMenamins on Monroe” and check out the gigantic sink fountain that adorns the east wall and order up a pitcher of Terminator Stout (if you are looking for something powerful) and cajun fries. For something lighter, try Ruby or Edgefield Wheat. (Suggested by: Carole, Karen, Kevin and Mo).

Other staff favorites: Widmer (Hefeweizen – need we say more?), Bridgeport (try the IPA), Pyramid (Apricot Ale and Curve Ball), Pelican Pub (Kiwanda Cream Ale or Doryman’s Dark Ale)

~ Cheers! (Please…don’t forget to designate a driver on your travels down the “Oregon Ale Trail”)

More information:

Oregon Brewers Guild
The Story of the Oregon Beer Lover

(Contributors: Ashley, Carole, Dermot, Dixie, Emily, Karen M, Karen V., Kevin, Stephen, Sean & Mo; who are these people?)

about author Mo Sherifdeen

Mo is Travel Oregon's content publisher and loves to hike the forests and mountain trails of Oregon with his wife, daughter and dog. He is also known for getting lost inside a maze of books at Powell’s, sipping an IPA (or two) and seeking the best fish 'n chips along the Oregon Coast.

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  1. Dylan says…

    How could you leave off the greatest of all time, Bridgeport Brewing from this list. I know with 100s of ones to list, you just covered the bases, but a India Pale Ale from Bridgeport is a TRUE Oregon beer. Hoppy and….. I need to walk up the street now to the brewery and drink one. thanks for the news, made me thirsty.

    Written on November 15th, 2006 / Flag this Comment
  2. Mo says…

    Dylan – I do agree with you; Bridgeport IPA is one of my favorite beers of all time as well. However, with so many good Oregon beers in the mix, we ended up placing it towards the bottom in the “other” section.

    Save me a seat at Bridgeport!

    Written on November 15th, 2006 / Flag this Comment
  3. Gen says…

    RIGHT ON! Portland is most definitely a premier destination for the beer lovers of the world – but kudos to the Travel Oregon staff for noting the there’s great beer to be found throughout our entire wonderful, brew-lovin’ state!
    Full Sail Brewery is the heart of Hood River and I can personally attest that the brewery tour is a HOOT! Have you ever nibbled barley and hops BEFORE it becomes beer? There are a couple microbreweries around here that would also be a great stop on any beer tour of the state.

    AND… don’t forget the Hood River Hops Fest, happening every year the first weekend in October in downtown Hood River, right in front of Full Sail! Don’t forget your liederhosen!

    In any case – Rock on Travel Oregon – keep on tippin’ a glass all over Oregon!

    Whoop! Whoop!

    Written on November 15th, 2006 / Flag this Comment
  4. Jerry says…

    I had the pleasure of living in Eastern Oregon for 4 years.

    Barley Brown’s Brewpub in Baker City, OR brews the best beer you have never heard of; until now:

    The Tumble Off Pale Ale (named after one of the best ski runs at Ski Anthony Lakes) won the Gold Medal in Denver this year, out of 84 pale ale beers.

    If you headed east on I-84, stop in at Barley Brown’s in Baker City. Tell Tyler, the owner/brewer, congrats and sample some of his fine craftsmanship!!

    Written on November 15th, 2006 / Flag this Comment
  5. Scott W says…

    My favorite breweries in Portland are Bridgeport for an IPA and Hillsdale McMenamin’s for a Rubinator. Well, and then there is Lucky Lab and I enjoy nearly all their beers. Although I haven’t been, Terminal Gravity in Enterprise is supposed to be a great place. I love their IPA.

    Written on November 15th, 2006 / Flag this Comment
  6. Teresa O says…

    Alameda Brewpub, located on NE Freemont, awesome food and great service.

    Written on November 15th, 2006 / Flag this Comment
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