Congratulations on the wedding! The McMenamins pubs are definitely worth checking out — they have some of the most interesting properties in the region. (I have my favorites.) Beyond that, there are literally dozens of breweries in Oregon (six dozen, last I counted). Unless you’re planning for a very long honeymoon, you may not be able to see them all. Because we drink so much of our own beer, a lot of it never leaves Oregon, so most of our breweries are considered obscure to people even a state or two away. Here are my recommendations for the most interesting ones in Portland:
- Breakside. Consistently one of the best, Breakside has a wide range of beers for all tastes and their Northeast Portland pub has great food. Another good brewery, Ex Novo, is just around the corner.
- Deschutes. Downtown in the Pearl District, Deschutes is possibly the most accomplished brewery in Oregon, and they also have an extensive taplist of beers you won’t find outside that pub — plus great food. (Try the elk burger.) Not far from Deschutes is Pints, which has a German-trained brewer and does great German beer.
- Cascade Barrel House and The Commons. These two breweries are about five blocks from each other. Cascade is famous for its barrel-aged sours, and even if you don’t like that type of beer, it’s worth having a sample or two. The Commons focuses on farmhouse beers and especially for the non-hopheads, do some of the best ales in town.
- Culmination. This is a new brewery in the inner Southeast Portland that has exceptional beer — and I bet no one in Texas has ever heard of it.
- Upright. Located in the Lloyd District, Upright has limited taproom hours, but does wonderful European styles and some barrel-aged specialties.
- Gigantic is in an industrial part of town, but they make up for it with their amusing “Champagne Lounge,” where you can get a nice range of their beers.
- Finally, for the ultimate Portland vibe, stop into the Lucky Lab for a pint (go to the Hawthorne location). It is about as Portlandia a place as you can find (and beloved by locals).
I think the ones I mentioned will give you a good sense of what Oregon and Portland have to offer, but they are certainly only the tip of the iceberg.