These places are your average Portland pub or brewpub, which means they are all pretty good and are all places I would go back to if I were the neighborhood. For me they just don’t have the little bit extra that puts them on my top list. There are a few of these places that are more so-so but because of location or because of repeat events I have been to several times made this list.
Rock Bottom Brewery
206 SW Morrison – www.rockbottom.com – Visited on 4/18/2015
I had a chance to revisit this brewpub during the Winter Ale Festival. It is broken up into several seating areas with the upstairs having more of a feel of a sports bar and the down stairs the feel of a restaurant. The place was busy yet the service was good. They do have a brewery on premise. We only tried their winter pilsner that we did not like but they have about ten beers on tap so there could be something drinkable there. They had a restaurant style menu and the food we had was good but nothing exceptional. Price was a little high but for the heart of downtown Portland, not out-of-line. So it was OK but not a place I would go out of my way to go back to.
Ground Breaker Brewery GASTROPUB
2030 SE 7th St. (SE 7th & Lincoln St.) Portland, OR – groundbreakerbrewing.com – Visited 3/29/2015
Ground Breaker Brewery Gastropub is located on the edge of the Inner North East Industrial area. Ground Breaker beer and Gastropub are totally gluten free. The pub was very quite when we visited with very few folk there. They had three nice picnic tables on the sidewalk for outdoor seating but we choose to go inside to a table. They also have a couple of booths and a small bar area for seating. Our server was very attentive and nice. After looking over the beer menu we both went for the IPA ($5 pint).
It was quit good and tasted like a regular IPA except this one is made from chestnuts. All of their food is gluten free. So the food is not the normal pub grub. They pursue a small plate with unique version of gluten free dishes at standard pub pricing. For me not a place I would rush back to for the food. After we finished our IPA’s we each tried a sample of another one of their brews (tasters $.15). I tried a dark ale and Diane tried a pale and fuzzy ale. The dark ale was very flavorful with smoke, chocolate and berry over tones. I would not say that it really tasted like a dark beer but it was good. Diane was less thrilled about the pale ale. So overall I would say the Gastrohouse fills a unique place in Portland beer brewery world for those who need gluten free beverage and food. Or if you live in the neighborhood could be a quit local pub to hang out at.
Old Town Brewery
5201 NE MLK Blvd., Portland, OR – otbrewing.com – Visited 2/14/2015
I had a chance to stop in here during Zwickelmania and have a slice of pizza of lunch. I was not able to give the place a complete evaluation but enough to put the place in my Standard category. This place had been Old Town Pizza but has now added a micro brewery that is starting take over a good portion of the building. We sat out side in a patio area for lunch. Inside there was lots of table and booth seating. I hope I can go back sometime and spend more time evaluating the place.
Ex Novo Brewing
2326 N. Flint Ave., Portland, OR – exnovobrew.com – Visited 12/29/2014
Jeanette and I visited Ex Novo Brewing on one of our pub-crawls. Ex Novo is unique in that 100% of their profits go to charity. They have done a major make over of an old warehouse located in what had been a questionable North Portland neighborhood. The rebuild gives the place a nice contemporary look but with a casual warehouse feel. They offer a range of styles of their own brews and a short but nice selection of food. Jeanette tried a porter and tried a brown. They were fine but not exciting. We order a little something to nibble on. Like the beer it was fine but not exiting. The place is positioned as a small neighborhood brewpub for locals to drop into.
832 N. Beech St. Portland, Ore – stormbreakerbrewing.com – Visisted 12/29/2014
Jeanette and I tried StormBreaker Brewing on one of our pub-crawls. We had a look around and a beer before heading on. Storm Breaker took over the location where Amnesia Brewing had been. It is a small neighborhood brewpub offering OK beer and a limited food menu prepared in a very limited kitchen. I think the biggest attraction of this place is the outside seating. In summer the large outside seating area is often packed with people. In winter the inside seating is pretty limited.
888 SW 5th Ave., Downtown Portland, Or – Yardhouse.com – Visited 12/23/2014
I mostly keep up with new pubs opening in Portland but this one slipped by me. Fortunately the Yard House did a promotional mailing of a $35 gift card that Jeanette received and she invited me to try this place with her. Lucky me! The Yard House is a corporate chain operation. The interior design has clean contemporary design that fits with its downtown location. It also has to be one of the largest pubs in Portland. The corporate formula often can spell disaster but here they stick with some basic pub rules that make the place nice. What they did right:
- A great selection of local and regional beers. Since they are nation wide they could have just use larger national and regional brewers but they found some of the best breweries in our area and offer some of the their best beer. They also go the extra step of making sure each keg of beer is pressurize to the brewers specifications. And they have over a 100 beers on tap broken into major style categories plus a few seasonal specials.
- Even though it is a large place they made the seating intimate. They had lots of booths, a large bar seating, and tables spaced and angled so you don’t feel you are on top of your neighbor. They have large screen TVs everywhere but with the sound off so if someone wants to watch the game they can but it does not interfere with conversation. Plus they did a good job with sound deading the place.
- They had a good range of bar and restaurant style food with their own unique twist on them. We tried three different happy hour items that were excellent and way plenty off food. Happy Hour pricing was half off. The regular price was just a bit over or at what most pubs are charging which is not bad for a heart of the city downtown location. Beer was also just a little higher then average but in line with downtown.
- Our servers were great. Very helpful and friendly in explaining items on the beer list and menu and checked back on us at the right intervals. So they hired good staff and have them trained right.
So the place meets my requirements of good beer, good food and good place to enjoy them with friends. The only problem for me is the location being in the heart of downtown Portland with expensive parking, traffic hassles and crowds. For the downtowners I am sure this will be a popular place.
825 N Cook St., Portland, OR – Ecliptic Brewrery.com – Visited 1/04/2014
I remember visiting this empty warehouse space many months ago that was suppose to become a new brewery. I remember at the time thinking it will take years to get this place built out and more then likely it will never happen. Well, was I wrong. Ecliptic Brewery is up and looking good. Jeanette and I stop in on a pub-crawl of the Mississippi Ave. area and checked it out. We got there for Happy Hour, which is not much of a Happy Hour. A couple of dollars off a couple of the burgers and dollar off the beer but every dollar helps. On the beer Jeanette had their porter and I had one of their IPAs. Both were excellent with lots of complex flavor and tasting like a porter and an IPA and not heard or spice factory. We both had the Ecliptic Burger, which was made with good quality ingredient and definitely had their own twist on a burger. It ran about $4 more then you would pay for an average house burger elsewhere, so you do pay for the quality. The interior was new and was a cross between warehouse and trendy eatery. There was a good selection of booths for private gathering, tables for a bigger group and seating at the bar. They had a divide between the dinning and bar area (so how do you reuse a big chunk of concrete you cut out of a warehouse wall, you make a room divider out of it). So a good quality place done right but not the fun funky place I would go back to.
3947 N. Williams Ave. – hopworksbeer.com – Visited 1/04/2014
This was our last stop on a pub-crawl of Mississippi Ave. area. Part of the décor is a row of bike frames above the bar area so it makes it a biker bar. Also Williams Avenue has become a bike street. We got there at the end of Happy Hour and stuck around until the younger evening crowd started to show up. For beer I had one of their standard IPAs that was OK and Jeanette had their 7 grain stout that was excellent. They also have a good selection of seasonals that they post on a black board behind the bar. We saw people getting taster trays and this would be a good place for that. We had already had dinner so we did not order heavily from the Happy Hour menu. But they do have a pretty extensive happy hour menu and good prices. Jeanette got their pretzel sticks, which were very nice, and I tried a slice of their pizza that was average at best. This place was newly constructed a few years ago in a new muli-store front complex. It has a nice mix of bar, small tables and kind of booth set-ups for seating. The seating allows for them to pack a lot of folks into a not very large space and not feel like you are on top of your neighbor. Service was good and they allowed us to chat for long time without interruption. But once a line started forming up front we cleared out to open up seating and left a nice tip for server as we held her table for a longer time..
1620 NW 23rd – lompocbrewing.com – Visited 6/24/2013
I had a chance to stop into the New Lompoc Tavern for a beer. Jeanette and I caught it on their Miser Monday special so pints were only $2.50. They are running different specials on different days. Food and beer is the usual for Lompoc. So the normal range of pub food at normal price (which seem to be going up everywhere) and Lompoc standard range of beers with a few seasonal specials. So there was nothing new on any of this. The new location is about where the old location was but now it is just one unit in a large retail and multi-family building. They tried to give the place a bit of character with the decor and funky things on the wall but not the Old Lompoc. The large back patio seating is gone but they do have a few tables out front and sliding doors that connect the inside to outside on a nice day. The place fits in more with today’s NW 23rd style and the old iconic pub is more.
Pyramid Breweries Mac Tarnahan’s Taproom & Portland Brewing
2730 NW 31st Ave. – www.macsbeer.com – Visited 6/24/2013
It was Portland Brewing Co. then became Pyramid Breweries Mac Tarnahan’s Taproom and has now semi returned to Portland Brewing. The best part about the place is the great patio it has for summer enjoyment. The beers had been behind the times but on my last visit they are starting bring a few of them up to date with a better IPA and CDA. The food has always been pretty good and moderate price. Service continues to be slow but friendly. You may have to wait 15 to 20 minutes to get your beer and then another 15 to 20 minutes to get you food. So this is not a place if you are in a hurry to drink and eat. One of their standouts on the menu is their bean burger. I have not tried it but on two occasion I have heard from others that it was very good.
Raccoon Lodge & Brew Pub
7424 SW Beaverton Hillsdale – raclodge.com – Visited on 5/27/ 2013
I had a chance to visit this brewpub for lunch. It actually has a pretty good size brewing operation but that may be why it can provide the beer for Cascade Brewing’s sour beers. I had friend tell me the place was rather suburbian and she was right. The main restaurant area is good size with booth and table seating looking more like a family eatery then a traditional brewpub. We sampled three different types of beers and all were fine but nothing exceptional. I had a burger and fries, which were fine but nothing out of the ordinary. The server was attentive but not very friendly.
Concordia Ale House
3276 NE Killingsworth – concordia-ale.com – Visited: March 11, 2013
I got in to check out this neighborhood pub and had a quick beer and some happy hour nachos. The place is bigger then it looks from outside. It has an L shape floor layout with the bar at the inside corner of the L. One leg of the L contains two pool tables with table and chair seating around them. The other leg of the L with the front door is a spacious room with table and chair seating There is also seating at the bar. They had about 20 beers on tap with a good range of styles. The nachos were good and it looks like a good range of pub grub at reasonable prices, They also do a Saturday and Sunday brunch. The service was fine.
5403 NE 42nd Ave – nopo42.com – Visited: March 11, 2013
Popped in for a beer and some happy hour food. This is a nice little neighborhood pub with about a dozen beers on tap and good range of styles. The food was pub grub and all was good and reasonably prices. The place had a mixture of seating with booths, table and chairs and bar seating. They had one pool table. Service was fine.
Sellwood Public House
8132 SE 13th Ave. – www.sellwoodpublichouse.com – Visited: Feb. 28, 2013
For me the biggest attraction to this place is that it has eight dartboards. It also has a pool table and a ping-pong table. This is a second story establishment in an older building. It has a front room with bar seating and table and chairs and the large game room in back where we often have social group meetups. The place is pretty run down and might be consider a dive bar in some respects. But they are happy to host our groups of 70 plus people and even with that crowd keep up pretty attentive service. Food it OK pub group and we often hit it a happy hour which makes the food and beer priced nice. They have a dozen rotating taps of microbrew beer and try to cover the range from light ales to stouts. I am glad I stand when I go to the bathroom, as I would not want to sit.
Deschutes Brewery and Public House
210 NW 11th Ave. – www.deschutesbrewery.com – Visited: Feb. 27, 2013
Went for another visit to Deschutes in the Pearl. We caught them at happy hour this time. I had their sausage on a roll and the fries. They generally do a nice job with the food in that it is unique, tasty and priced reasonably. There is a nice selection of the Deschutes beers. These include their regulars like Black Butte Porter, some of their award winners and some seasonal rotation of special brews. As usual the waitress was attentive friendly and helpful. They even have a fun bathroom with a big old style urinal and futurist hand dryers. You would thinks with all of this going for it I would love the place but I just can’t get pass the large suburb restaurant feel to the place. This is not your cozy local pub. They have tried to do some interesting things with seating with a variety of stool high tables, regular tables, bench style tables, bar seating and bar section but the place is just big and very Pearl.
Produce Row Café – has closed Sept. 2014
204 SW Oak St. – www.producerowcafe.com – Visited: Feb. 16, 2013
When the brewpub movement was getting going around here this was one of the first pubs. As you walk into the place to run right into the bar at the front of the front room. This room has bar seating, table and chairs and a few booths. You progress from this room into the back room that has some great large booths. As you continue you go past the bathroom (there OK) to the cover courtyard area with picnic tables and table and chairs seating. With plenty of heaters this can be a great place to hang even in winter. They menu has change over the years and at time has some great stuff and other times just OK. It is best caught a happy hour. There are about a dozen microbrews on tap with a nice range. Staff has always been friendly and helpful.
Lompoc Hedge House
3412 SE Division – lompocbrewing.com – Visited 2/01/2013
This was our last stop on an evening pub-crawl so we just had a glass of beer. This is one of the Lompoc chain of pubs. So the beer was the Lompoc assortment brewed elsewhere and covers a pretty good range of beers. They had about a dozen beers on tap. I had a stout that had a good smoky flavor. Menu was the standard that is found at Lompocs which is standard pub fair, at a reasonable price and fairly good. This pub is located in an old house so seating inside is squeezed into nooks, which make for a cozy effect. The place was not crowded so the noise level was low. That might be different if the place is packed. There is not a lot of inside seating to make up for this they have a covered outdoor seating area. The area had small picnic tables and radiant heating. It gives a nice winter seating option and in summer when they open it up it will make for a nice beer garden effect. They had two unisex bathrooms which were fine.
Hopworks Urban Brewing
2944 SE Powell Blvd. – hopeworksbeer.com – Visited on 2/01/2013
I first tried to get into this place a couple of years ago when it was the hottest new place in Portland. This time arriving just after happy hour the place was almost full but a nice couple who had just finished happy hour offer us their table so they do have friendly customers. Our servers were also very friendly and personable. This is a brewpub that has won several awards for there beer. They have about a dozen beers on tap and run a pretty good range. I was in a mood for hops and went for one of their hoppy beers that was OK and about average price. The tap list changes as new brews come out of the brewery and new recipes are tried. All we had for food was just fries that were OK. The regular menu had standard pub fair and pizza. Prices for food was little bit higher then you normally find around. It is hard tell if the place was an old warehouse that was completely modernized or a new warehouse. They have a bar area up front with a mix of stool tables, tables, bar seating and booths (plus vault room). The back has the restaurant with booth seating and some balcony seating. So for a new place they tried to have varied and fun options for seating. The bathrooms were clean and modern.
Fifteenth Avenue Hophouse
1517 NE Brazee St. – oregonhophouse.com – Visited on 1/25/2013
We hit this Taproom at on a Friday shortly after happy hour had started. So not much of a crowd but it got busier by the time we left. The folks coming in looked like they were from the neighborhood coming in after work. They had 20 different micro brews and three hard ciders on tap, which cover a good range of styles of beers and ciders. They also had several different wines on the menu and mixed drinks for the none beer drinker. We did a sample tray of six beers and had fun comparing the different types of beer. We had three items from the happy hour menu and all were good. The regular menu had a nice verity of pub food and prices were standard pub pricing. The pub is in a new building and they have done a nice job of breaking up the seating into tables, booths, stool tables and bar seating. They could get a good number of people in the place but you did not feel like you were on top of each other. Service was good and bathrooms were clean.
Moon and Sixpence British Pub
2014 NE 42nd Ave. – no website – Visited on 1/25/2013
We got to this English style pub at the start of prime time. It was pretty full but we were able to find a table. It looked like a local crowd and stayed busy the whole time we were there. Our server and kitchen did a good job of keeping up with the orders and still were friendly. The place looked like it had been there for sometime (bathrooms not very tidy) and had a verity of seating with booths, tables and bar seating. So noisy but we could still carry on a conversation across a two person table. They had about a dozen brews on taps and a list of bottle beers, wines and even a port. They also had a whiskey and scotch menu. It had a short food menu of English style food with meat pies, fish & chips, plow man special and such and all at reasonable prices. We each had a beer and we tried the Welch rarebit on baguette bread that I would not get again. Other food we saw being served looked more interesting. They three dartboards tucked in back and at the time we were there no one was using them.
412 NW 5th Ave – pintsbrewing.com – Visited on 1/19/2013
Pints is located in the changing and continue to up grade Old Town area of downtown Portland. We caught it at the start of Happy Hour and went to the close of Happy Hour on Saturday. So it was a very off-hour time and we were about the only folks in the place at the start. This gave us the run of the place and a chance to talk with the cook and bartender. So as such service was very good. This could be different during prime time when the place gets busy. The place is in an old building but the interior was completely new. They did some interesting things to break up the space with a front bar area and the back being the restaurant area. The back also contains their small brewery that is very much on display on the back wall of the place. So it has a good atmosphere but not top on my list for what I like but judging by some of the regulars that came in while we were there others love it. All of the beers were their own brews. We tried five different beers (four in a sampler and one bounce). All were good quality and distinctive. I think they had ten different beers on tap. We did Happy Hour dishes, which ran three to four dollars a plate. All were pub fair type of dishes and all were good. Normal menu prices were in normal pub range for Portland.
Thirsty Lion Pub & Grill
71 SW 2nd Ave. – thrstylionpub.com – Visited on 1/19/2013
We made it to the Thirsty Lion just after Happy Hour on a Saturday night. The place was busy but we got seated right way. The pub is located in the South West Old Town area of downtown Portland in an old historic building. The interior had the look that it had been there a while with booth lining the one wall and stool high tables and sitting tables filling the rest of the space. The bar is located in the center of a pretty good size room with stool seating. There was a music stage at one end and when we were leaving a band was setting up. By the time we left the place was getting packed and very noisy. They were well staffed and our server was very attentive. This is a taproom with 32 beers on taps. The beers were from well-known northwest microbreweries, a few foreign brews and the usual national pilsners like Bud and such. The micro brews covered a good range of styles of beers and price ran to the high side (five dollar a pint). We had three free samples and settled on two of them for a pint. We did not have any food but seeing what was on the menu (standard pub grub) and what was coming out of the kitchen it looked pretty good. Price was in stand range for Portland pubs.
Base Camp Brewery
930 SE Oak St. – basecampbrewingco.com – Visited on 12/28/2012
This is a fairly new brewpub in Portland being open only two months at the time we visited it. We were there on a Friday even so at about peak hours. The place was just about at capacity, but we were able to find a seat at the bar, which turned out to be a good spot to see how the place operated. The space is a converted inner east side warehouse with the brewery on one side of the building and public house on the other. They have done a fairly nice job on the conversion except for being an old warehouse you have high open beam ceiling (nice effect) and concrete walls with no sound dampening which makes the place pretty load but not so load you could not carry on a conversation. In spite of how busy the place was the staff was attentive and very friendly. We tried a sampler of all of their beers on tap. There was not a bad beer in the bunch but some were more to our liking then others. I especially liked the stout, which was served with a flamed toasted marshmallow on the lip of the glass. The food is a bit different in that they are relying on two food carts that are located outside the front door. So you are getting the Portland food cart experience at the same time as getting the microbrew pub scene. We had a pepperoni pizza that was pretty good. We were able to order this from our server in the pub and it was brought to use so we did not have to go out the food cart to get it. Prices were in line for what you would expect for microbrew ($10 for 8 four ounce samples) and pizza ($10 for a 10 inch single topping pizza). So overall pretty good and I can see the place getting better as they refine their pub space and they have room for a couple of more food carts out front.
6440 SW Capitol Hwy. – Sasquatchbrewry.com – Visited on 11/16/2012
We visited on a Friday night at 6 pm, so the place was packed with a 15 minute wait and by 8 pm when we left there was still a line (We met some friends later who arrived later and did not stay as the wait was going to be an hour). So this place would be best to visit in the off hours whenever that might be. This place is neighborhood brewpub offering food that is a bit more up scale and at a price that is a bit more up scale but not out of reach. They give their own twist to pub staples like a burger, chicken strips or Mac and cheese, which does put them a cut above most pubs. We did a sampler of the seven beers they brew and they were OK with some better then others but none of them I would want a growler of. They do have a good location for the neighborhood and that seem to be their clients with many young families in attendance. The place has all tables that are placed close together. With the noise crowd not the best for conversation and I did learn all about the lady next to use who was on a first date.
2204 NE Alberta St. #101 – themashtunbrewpub.com – Visited 11/3/2012
The place had the feel of a neighborhood brewpub in a newer warehouse building, so nothing real bad but not super. We tried three different dark beers and none were thrilling. We sampled the food for happy hour and buy look of the menu it was all standard pub food so OK but nothing exciting. The place had tables with enough room between then you could carry on a private conversation.
1004 N. Killingsworth St – saraveza.com – Visited 11/3/2012
So this place is a bit different but still meant to be a neighborhood pub. They are tucked in an older building and they left the place a bit funky. They have several coolers of bottle micro brews but also have about ten beers on tap, which appear to rotate with the seasons (when we visited around Halloween they had four different pumpkin beers on tap but I went for a dark Fort George IPA that was very nice). So this would be a hit or miss for what they have on tap. The food was leaning to light and meaty specialty affair (more for tasting treat then filling up on) so not your usual pub food.
Grain and Gristle
1473 NE Prescott – grainandgristle.com – Visited 11/3/2012
The place had a waiting list when we got there so we decided not to stay. By the look of what people had on their tables they were there for the food, so not a hang out pub but more your nice neighborhood eatery. As I remember they had about eight micro brews on tap and all were standard one you see around town.
2828 NE Gleisan St. – migrationbrewing.com
Brewing own beer, Pub food items, Darts, Events, Neighborhood pub feel to the place.
4141 SE Hawthorne Blvd. – hawthornehophouse.com
Tap room, 23 specialty beers on tap, some food
Hair of the Dog Brewery and Tasting Room
61 SE Yamhill – hairofthedog.com
Limit own brews, hoppy, some food
Hawthorne – 915 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Quimby – 1945 NW Quimby St.
Killingsworth – 1700 N Killingsworth St.
Multnomah Village – 7675 SW Capitol Hwy.
The lab is the lab, So-So food and beer but lot of room for get together. The one on Quimby is the regular place we go after the Rambles. Different Meetup groups have meetings here. It is really all about having space to hold a group. Also being to just go up to the bar to get your beer and not having to be waited.
Cascade Brewing Barrel House
939 SE Belmont – cascdebrewingbarrelhouse.com
Sour beers, I just take people here to try sour beers
Cracker Jack Pub
2788 NW Thurman
Funky dive bar, Small selection of micro brews, cheep happy hour, nice outside seating
Laurelwood Public House
5115 NE Sandy – www.laurelwoodbrewpub.com
Family oriented, OK beer and food
Fifth Quadrent – 3901 N. Williams Ave.
Oak Bottom Pub – 1621 SE Bybee
OK on Beer and food
This is the big boy in town. They have many locations, all different but all the same. On average I would say they are OK for food and beer with some being better then others. They have there standard sellection of beers that they try to stay consistant on but they give there various breweries a chance to try special seasonals.
Widmer Brother Gasthaus Pub
955 N. Russell – www.widmerbrothers.com
One of the oldest brew pub operation around. At times the beer and food can be pretty good. Normally busy. They did sell out to a larger brewer several years ago.
Henry’s 12th St. Tavern
10 NW 12th Ave. – henrystavern.com
It had a nice variety of beer and good food for happy hour, had a Pearl District feel to it
Old Market Pub and Brewery
6959 SW Multnomah Blvd – drinkbeerhere.com
It had fairly good pizza and beer.
Broadway Grill & Brewery
1700 NE Broadway – drinkbeerhere.com
This is the city version of Old Market Pub. They have a range of their own beer’s from pale ale, IPA, Reds, Porters, stouts and seaonals (they have the classic taste of each type). They have a nice range of food and nice decore.
4765 NE Fremont St. – alamedabrewing.com
A nice decor and food. Great early evening happy hour. Nice range of their own award winning beers.
1313 NW Marshall – bridgeportbrew.com
4500 SE Stark St. – www.belmont-station.com
Large bottle section, 18 special rotation taps that can have some very interesting beer and that is what makes the place, limit food to snack on. The big draw it is close to the MMC and their interesting sections they make on their rotating taps.