15 Best Breweries to Visit in Portland, OR
In 2021, Portland, OR, topped the charts on the Untappd app as the city with the second most number of venue check-ins at 326.6k. The third West Coast city to make the top cities list, Portland, OR has been well regarded as one of the best craft beer capitals in the U.S.
Since the 1980s, Portland has enjoyed a dynamic craft beer scene, earning the city the nickname "Beervana." With about seventy breweries inside the city, Portland has one of the highest concentrations of craft breweries in the world. Heavyweights like Great Notion Brewing, Breakside Brewery, and Hair of the Dog Brewing Company lead the way.
Known also for its coffee, bicycles, bridges, and keep-it-weird spirit, Portland has delicious and daring breweries from the bustling West Side to the eclectic East Side. If you're looking to bike and hike your way through the Rose City, make sure you consider stopping at the 15 top-rated breweries in Portland, OR.*
*The list shows the top breweries, based on our weighted average formula, which effectively rates all breweries against each other and gives weight to their beers with higher rating count. A brewery must have at least 1,000 ratings and at least 5 beers in their portfolio to qualify for this list. For more information on our rating system, please view our ratings explainer.
Untappd's 15 Top-Rated Breweries to Visit in Portland, OR
1. Great Notion Brewing - This brewpub on Albert Street just does things differently. Co-founders James Dugan, Andy Miller, and Paul Reiter opened Great Notion on January 1st, 2016. Their creativity and passion has driven the brewery forward with great success over the last six years, launching a second taproom—Great Notion Brewing Northwest—in 2019 and two new locations in Seattle, WA, in 2020. That same year Hop Culture named Great Notion one of its "12 Best Craft Breweries of 2020." Here is what Great Notion does so well: They're always pushing forward, whether that's hazy IPAs and culinary-inspired sours and stouts such as their iconic Double Stack imperial breakfast stout made to taste like pancakes or a new app with a fan reward program and augmented reality feature. Go to Great Notion and you'll be rewarded with so many great things.
2. Ruse Brewing - Shaun Kelis and Devin Benware opened Ruse Brewing after a stint as gypsy brewers. The brewery made a name for itself in a city known for excellent West Coast IPAs by focusing on…hazy IPAs. And it's worked. Papyrus Iris won a gold medal in the Hazy IPA category at the Oregon Beer Awards. And Hop Culture named Ruse one of its five breweries you should be drinking IPAs from in 2019. But if hazies aren't your thing, Ruse also makes great farmhouse ales and barrel-aged sour and wild beers.
3. Hair of the Dog Brewing Company - For those that don't know, the phrase "hair of the dog" comes from an old English belief that to treat a wound from a rabid dog you just had to take a potion with some of the dog's hair. Nowadays "hair of the dog" means nursing your hangover with a tonic of alcohol. The brewery of the same name in Portland started with a simple premise: to brew new and unusual beers. That philosophy has led to recognition not just in the Rose City, but around the world. Hair of the Dog was one of the first breweries in America to produce high-alcohol bottle-conditioned ales. And they've been barrel aging beers since 1994. Plus, ninety-nine percent of all ingredients brewers Quinton Bradley, Isaac Sprints, and Alan Sprints use are from within a 350-mile radius of the brewery. No matter if you try the iconic Adam old ale or the Fred American Strong Ale you, can be sure that you're drinking an impeccable beer. And certainly one that will be good for that "hair of the dog."
4. Wayfinder Beer - Amongst a sea of West Coast-, hazy-, and sour-powered breweries, Wayfinder stands out for doing something completely different. A lager powerhouse, Wayfinder has been pushing the boundaries of lagers by blending new world techniques with old school traditions. And they've been recognized all across the country, winning awards for everything from Best Oregon Brewpub at the 2018-2019 New School Awards to Best New Brewers in the World by Ratebeer in 2018.
5. Ex Novo Brewing - Throwing its doors open in 2014 in the Eliot neighborhood, Ex Novo has since expanded to Beaverton, OR, and Corrales, NM. From the very beginning the mission has been more than just brewing great beer. Ex Novo is dedicated to giving back, donating 100% of its net profits to various organizations. Founder Joel Gregory calls it a "Drink Beer, Do Good culture." Beerwise, Ex Novo excels on the hop-forward and malt-forward. On the hop side, you can't go wrong with any of the various West Coast IPAs always on tap. On the malt side, Hop Culture named The Most Interesting Lager in the World one of its "Best Craft Lagers You Can Buy Right Now."
6. Breakside Brewery - One of the most critically acclaimed breweries in Portland, Breakside Brewery seems to continually churn out award-winning beers. Let's start with the multiple gold medals they won at The Great American Beer Festival (GABF). Followed by Paste Magazine naming Breakside one of its "Top 20 Breweries of the Decade" and ending with The Oregonian, which named them "Brewery of the Year" in 2020. And that's just a smattering; the list goes on and on. Opened in 2010 in Northeast Portland as a brewpub, Breakside has expanded to four additional locations. They make killer West Coast IPAs, but even their lagers ranked highly in Hop Culture's Blind Tasting of 30 of the Best Pilsners.
7. Culmination Brewing Company - Two words: innovation and collaboration. That's what drives this award-winning microbrewery. As the brewery writes on its website, "Where great beer, with good food and community can be brought together in one concept, under one roof." What does innovation and collaboration look like? How about a beer made with Threshold Brewing & Blending (see number ten on this list) called Dwellers on the Threshold, a pastry stout with orange, vanilla, molasses, and cocoa nibs. Or The Conjuror, a stout with cinnamon, candy cap mushrooms, and cacao nibs.
8. Upright Brewing Company - Although this farmhouse-inspired brewery focuses on traditional French and Belgian beers, Upright Brewing still adds its own Pacific Northwest spin to everything it brews. The name Upright comes from an instrument used by a musician named Charles Mingus. Apparently Mingus created music outside the bounds of logic. As the brewery writes in its Untappd profile, "At Upright the recipes and processes are decidedly unbound, making for true hybrid styles that share Mingus' spirit of exercising creativity and craft." Visit this quirky brewery for beers that are unique, inspirational, and very creative.
9. Threshold Brewing & Blending - Launching in January 2019 in the Montavilla neighborhood of Portland, Threshold Brewing & Blending does it all, churning out IPAs and experimental ales, funky farmhouse-style beers, sour and mixed-culture creations, and strong barrel-aged dark beers. The brainchild of life and business partners Sara and Jarek Szymanski, Threshold has mainly flown under the radar. But in the past year or so, the secret has started to get out. The brewery made Condé Nast Traveler's list of the "8 Best Breweries in Portland" in 2020, and Jeff Alworth, author of the Beervana Blog and The Beer Bible, named them one of "Portland's Best Underrated Breweries in 2021."
10. Little Beast Brewing - Little Beast Brewing may have "little" in the title, but it's become a big name around Portland. Founded by Brenda Crow and Charles Porter (formerly of Logsdon Farmhouse Ales), who are partners in life and work, Little Beast focuses on wild and mixed-fermentation beers, often barrel aging many to perfection. For this reason they picked up a nod from Hop Culture as one of its "12 Favorite New Breweries of 2017." Perhaps the brewery's Untappd page says it best: "By harnessing the little beasts that ferment our beer, we capture their untamed beauty and produce farmhouse beers that are diverse in flavor and rare in character."
11. Baerlic Brewing Company - Originally located in the Hosford-Abernathy neighborhood of Southeast Portland, Baerlic Brewing Company now has a taproom in the Alberta neighborhood and at The Barley Pod in the Northeast. With three locations to choose from you have plenty of opportunities to try one of Baerlic's constantly rotating beers. Such as Dad Beer, a lager; Oat Soda, a Bohemian Pilsner; Blippopils, an Italian pilsner; or Cavalier, a cream ale. We just named a ton of lagers, but we'd be remiss if we didn't say that Baerlic makes plenty of ale-forward beers too. Such as Stay Fresh, California-style IPA, Good Vibes Only hazy IPA, and many more.
12. Gigantic Brewing Company - This brewery in the Southeast of Portland follows one rule: Never give an inch. Gigantic started small and wants to stay small. In an industry where we constantly see breweries growing bigger (and there is certainly nothing wrong with that), there is a sort of romanticism to hearing Gigantic's fierce dedication to just providing exceptional beer to its community. Brewmaster and native Oregonian Ben Love, who has Pelican Brewing and Hopworks Urban Brewery in his pedigree, founded Gigantic to make his dream of owning a brewery come true. Combined with Gigantic Master Brewer Van Havig's dedication to "make the best darned IPA you've ever had," as it says on the brewery's website, Love has built something really special in Portland.
13. Away Days Brewing Co. - It's not too often that you find a brewery like Away Days. One focused on combining English and European styles with Pacific Northwest beers. That means on one tap list you'll find beers like Cheeky Pint Lager and Vienna Lager right next to Home and Away IPA.
14. Level Beer - If we said Level Beer takes beer to the next level we wouldn't even be too on the nose. This Portland-based brewery has three locations—the Brewery & Beer Garden, Buckman Kerns, and Multnomah Village. Across all taprooms, Level Beer balances a tap list rife with pale ales, hazy IPAs, and West Coast IPAs along with barrel-aged imperial stouts and even a plethora of lagers.
15. Von Ebert Brewing - The accolades at this brewery have racked up since opening its original location in 2018 (the brewery now has four locations across Portland). Everything from 2021 Medium Size Brewery of the Year in Oregon from the Oregon Beer Awards to 2020 Innovator of the Year from the Oregon Brewers Guild to a place on Hop Culture's list of "The 21 Best Beers We Drank in 2021." Undeniably, this local favorite has won the hearts of people in Portland and across the country for its award-winning IPAs, ales, mixed-culture beers, and even lagers. Heck, they even make beer without hops.
Looking for more state- or city-based craft beer guides? Check out the Travel section at Hopculture.com to see their recommendations for the best places to visit across the country, from "The 11 Best Breweries in Chicago" to "The 7 Best Breweries in Austin."