: Pelican Brewing

Oregon Ale Trails

Happy trails to everyone sipping refreshing craft beers across the state.
June 10, 2015 (Updated June 7, 2023)

Freshly brewed beer is more than a refreshing beverage in Oregon — it’s part of our culture. With more than 300 breweries across the state, regional tap trails are a great way to try new styles and enjoy the classics, especially on sunny patios in warmer months. In some cases on official trails, you can even win prizes for visiting certain pubs. Here are some of Oregon’s best-loved clusters of breweries — along with suggestions for forging your own trail in areas that lack official ones — this summer and all year-round.

woman wears sunglasses and holds plastic cup of beer
Find great beer and a sweet summer vibe at the Waterfront Blues Festival. Courtesy of Waterfront Blues Festival

Portland, City of Breweries

Oregon’s largest city doesn’t have its own dedicated ale trail. But with roughly 70 breweries across Portland, seemingly the entire city is one long ale trail. Occidental Brewing Co. specializes in German-style beers, with a lineup that includes a hefeweizen, a kölsch and a pilsner. The space-themed Ecliptic Brewing churns out an impressive lineup that revolves around lagers, IPAs and fruited sour beers. Breakside Brewery pours a little of everything at its handful of pubs across the Portland area, and the Cascade Brewing Barrel House features some of Portland’s best-loved sour beers. Each of these brewpubs hosts sunny patios suited to sipping.

If you’re looking to celebrate the 4th of July weekend in Portland, look no further than the Waterfront Blues Festival. The Blues Fest is a world-renowned music festival featuring 100+ acts of soul, funk, R&B and of course, the blues. In addition to all the great music, the festival is an awesome place to try craft brews including the festival’s official beer: Barrel of Blues Pale Ale, a limited edition collaboration with 10 Barrel Brewing Co, which has locations in Portland and Bend. Check out the festival lineup and get your tickets now.

And last but not least, stay safe while you’re partaking in some of Oregon’s finest brews. Choose a designated driver in your group or travel by taxi or the ride share service of your choice.

Couples eating and drinking on an outdoor patio on a sunny day.
Courtesy of Thunder Island Brewing

Raise a Glass to Mt. Hood and the Columbia River

Sip your way through the Columbia River Gorge — and bask in the glow of Mt. Hood — along the Breweries in the Gorge tap trail. You’ll find eight Oregon breweries along the way, including Thunder Island Brewing Company, which pours award-winning beers in downtown Cascade Locks, and Working Hands Fermentation, crafting old-school beers and ciders in Hood River. Don’t miss Solera Brewery in the Parkdale on the Hood River Fruit Loop, where the back patio shows off wide-open views of Mt. Hood.

In the communities around Mt. Hood, the Mt. Hood Territory Tap Trail offers a free mobile passport that features more than a dozen breweries, cideries and distilleries. Highlights include Bent Shovel Brewing — home to a forested beer garden just outside Estacada — and Mt. Hood Brewing Co., known for its house-made ales and lagers in the heart of Government Camp. Discounts and prizes are available to visitors who visit certain stops along the tap trail.

Prizes and Fire Pits in Central Oregon

The Bend Ale Trail offers a thorough introduction to Central Oregon’s legendary craft-beer scene, bringing together roughly 30 sip stops across the entire region. Craft beer fans can win special beer glasses for visiting participating breweries, and there are even prizes for designated drivers. Start with a patio hang at Boss Rambler Beer Club in Bend, where you’ll find flavorful IPAs, fruity sour ales and boozy slushies. Wild Ride Brewing serves its small-batch suds at pubs in Redmond and Prineville, both featuring sun-kissed patios, fire pits and food carts. Sunriver Brewing Company offers its award-winning beers at three locations: One in Sunriver and two in Bend.

Mountain Brews in Eastern Oregon

In downtown Pendleton, The Prodigal Son Brewery and Pub pours classic ales, porters and lagers; it infuses its hefeweizens with seasonal berries throughout the year. Across the Blue Mountains in Baker City, Barley Brown’s Beer is best known for its citrus-tinged Pallet Jack IPA but also crafts a well-rounded menu of balanced ales and lagers. In Enterprise you can sip several full-bodied IPAs at Terminal Gravity Brewing Company on the family-friendly patio — you’ll feel like you’re at a neighborhood party with views of the surrounding Wallowas’ mountain peaks.

A group eating outdoors on a shaded patio.
Courtesy of Melanie Griffin / Eugene, Cascades & Coast

English Pubs and Pinball in the Willamette Valley

More than 30 breweries, taphouses and cider makers comprise the Eugene Ale Trail. Sample a mix of year-round offerings and small-batch beers on the leafy back patio near downtown Eugene at Ninkasi Brewing Company’s Better Living Room. Under an hour away and well worth the trip, enjoy cask-conditioned beers at the English pub-inspired 3 Legged Crane Pub and Brewhouse in the forested small town of Oakridge.

While Salem doesn’t have its own tap trail, Oregon’s capital invites visitors to create their own pub crawl with a high concentration of breweries across an industrial neighborhood at the southeastern edge of the city. Some of the fun stops include Gilgamesh Brewing — where the old-school ales and lagers go down easy on the cheerful patio — and For Tomorrow We Die Brewing Co., which opened in 2022 with a breezy taproom, several pinball machines and a rotating lineup of excellent beers.

Sand and Suds on the Oregon Coast

Oregon’s North Coast Craft Beer Trail brings together more than a dozen breweries between Astoria and Cannon Beach. In Astoria Fort George Brewery + Public House hosts three pubs across one city block — as well as a summertime patio (open on weekends) at its primary production facility along the Columbia River. Pro tip: While in Astoria, hop off the official Craft Beer Trail to visit Obelisk Beer Co., which opened its oak-adorned taproom in late 2022. In Cannon Beach, ask which of the beers on tap at Public Coast Brewing Co. include ingredients from the brewery’s own farm.

A group toasting with beer.
Courtesy of Discover Klamath

Pints, Pizzas and Patios in Southern Oregon

In Grants Pass, pair your easy-drinking microbrews with hearty pizzas at Wild River Brewing and Pizza Co. Medford’s Common Block Brewing Company pours nearly a dozen beers from two bars — one indoors and one in a shipping container outside. The creative tap list at Ashland’s Caldera Brewing Company runs 40 deep, with roughly a dozen IPAs on tap. In Klamath Falls, The Falls Taphouse spotlights ales and lagers from regional producers, hosts a few food carts and keeps the good vibes going with outdoor fire pits and rooftop seating.

About The

Matt Wastradowski
Matt Wastradowski is a travel and outdoors writer living in Portland, Oregon. He’s written about the outdoors, craft beer, history, and more for the likes of Outside, the REI Co-op Journal, Willamette Week, 1859, and Northwest Travel & Life.

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