BridgePort Brewery in downtown Portland

Oh, summer! What’s better than a cold beer after a day on the trail, on the water or just wandering the neighborhood? How about an Oregon microbrew that’s been handcrafted for the season? This time of year we see the return of some long-pouring favorites as well as new mugs on the block.

Deschutes Brewery in Bend has brought back Hop in the Dark for summer. This combo of dark malt, Belgian candied sugar and bright hops won this beer the No. 2 spot on Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s list of Top 25 Beers in 2010. Ninkasi Brewing Company’s crisp and clean Radiant Ale makes a great addition to the summer picnic basket. Just in time for summer, Rogue Ales releases American Amber Ale — tawny, drinkable and smooth — a silver medalist in 2011 at the World Beer Championships. Full Sail Brewing Co. starts pouring its pilsner-style LTD 03 in June. (That stands for limited addition as well as Live The Dream.) The folks at Beer Valley Brewing Company in Ontario might have gone fishin’, but not before leaving us with a summer brew of the same name — malty, mild and drinkable. Caldera Brewing Company in Ashland offers up Hibiscus Ginger Beer — brewed with real hibiscus flowers, fresh ginger and Belgian candied sugar. Yum! And Portland’s BridgePort Brewing Company has Summer Squeeze, infused with lemongrass and yuzu (an exotic Asian citrus fruit, in case you didn’t know either).

In other brew news, microbreweries continue to bubble up around the state. Earlier this year, Gigantic Brewing Company opened in Portland, inviting people to “Taste the Awesome.” Solera Brewery recently took over the former Elliot Glacier Public House in Parkdale. At this writing, Pfriem Family Brewers was on the cusp of opening its tasting room on the Hood River waterfront. Seaside Brewing Company will soon open the doors to a nano-brewery and pub in the historic city hall building. And the Bend area, which has been getting beer-flavored accolades from The New York Times of late, welcomes Sunriver Brewing Company, Crux Fermentation Project, Boneyard Brewing and The Ale Apothecary.

If you need more reasons to celebrate the season with an ice-cold Oregon beer, please visit http://


about author Eileen Garvin

Eileen Garvin lives and writes in Hood River. When she’s not hunched over her keyboard or digging in the garden, you can find her mountain biking, kiteboarding, hiking, skiing or camping somewhere in Oregon.

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  1. Jessica says…

    While these breweries are excellent, I am disappointed in the fact that you included some large names. Most people know Deschutes, Rogue, and full sail. They have excellent brews no doubt about. But one highly impressive and excellent brewery that keeps getting passed up, forgotten about, or overlooked is Calapooia Brewery in Albany, Oregon. Every season brings new brews. From ultra dark to super light. Food is excellent, beer is amazing and the people, well, they are the best! So, please, check them out and add them to your list. You won’t regret it!

    Written on June 21st, 2012 / Flag this Comment
  2. Janet says…

    You didn’t mention 10 Barrel Brewing! I hadn’t even heard of it yet and found it at Winco in Boise. The IPA was very good. Next time I am in Bend it will be on the “pub list”

    Written on June 21st, 2012 / Flag this Comment
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