Portland Breweries Head to the Neighborhoods
Have you noticed that Portland breweries are breeding like rabbits lately?
And I’m not talking about new breweries really. These are mostly existing breweries, setting up shop in another location.
Now you might be thinking “doesn’t Portland already have like 80 breweries already?!” Yes, but we’re generally not talking about your traditional mass-production operations. Most aren’t canning and kegging everything in sight so as to distribute outside of the region.
They’re feeding off the high demand and under-served neighborhoods that currently exist – mostly the outer pockets of Portland proper and into the suburban reaches.
And it makes sense because today’s growth in craft beer is happening predominantly in the retail sector – taprooms, local keg distro to restaurants/bars/taprooms, and small batches of can releases for self-distribution.
So with that in mind, here are 12 new locations that have recently opened, are opening very soon, or are in the planning stages, with most being second taprooms or slightly larger production facilities.
Stormbreaker Brewing St. John’s
Location: St. John’s Neighborhood
Address: 8409 N Lombard St, Portland, OR 97203
Date Open: May 16th
Hours: Tues-Thurs 11am-11pm
Amenities: Outdoor Patio, Full Kitchen, 20 Taps, Full Bar, Production Facility
Why You Should Check It Out: St. John’s, aside from the stalwart McMenamin’s location, has had very little going on brewpub-wise. Having this beautifully remodeled, cozy spot with all the great beer and food that Stormbreaker has become known for, is a no-brainer destination in North Portland.
Little Beast Brewing Beer Garden
Location: Richmond Neighborhood
Address: 3412 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202
Date Open: May 21st
Hours: Mon-Thurs 3pm-10pm
Amenities: Small Plates, Sandwiches & Salads, Barrel-aged Belgian-inspired Beers, Patio, Lawn
Why You Should Check It Out: The second location for Little Beast occupies the former Lompoc Brewing Hedge House. It’s an ideal, pastoral setting for the delicious offerings provided by owners Charles Porter and Brenda Crow – each a co-founder and partner in the operation. Enjoy a lazy afternoon on their shady lawn that fronts the property, their beer garden space, or cozy interior. More details can be found in the article I wrote this May and there’s more about their future production facility below.
Location: NW Gresham
Address: 18188 NE Wilkes Rd. Gresham, Oregon 97230
Date Open/Opening: Open since June 6th, Grand Opening July 14th
Hours: Sun-Thurs 11am-9pm
Amenities: Full Kitchen, 20 Taps, darts, Production Facility
Why You Should Check It Out: As locals in the area know, there’s a minimal craft beer presence in the area, but they’ve hit the jackpot with former HUB brew Trever Bass at the helm and a delicious menu featuring pizza & calzones, salads and sandwiches. Now that they’re working with a distributor and on a larger system, the focus of the facility is certainly production, but the dining space is very cool featuring murals, darts and more.
Upcoming Events: Grand Opening/Can Release July 14th, Ribbon Cutting July 21st
Baerlic Brewing Beer Hall at the Barley Pod
Location: Rose City Park
Address: 6035 NE Halsey St, Portland, OR 97213
Date Open: June 29th
Hours: 12pm-10pm, Daily
Amenities: 8+ Food Carts, Beer Garden, 20 Taps including cider and kombucha. Soon wine and cold brew.
Why You Should Check It Out: I’m especially biased because I live a short 10 minute walk away, so I’m stoked! The variety of carts on hand (from Korean/Hawaiian to Ramen and Burgers) to the great variety on tap, there’s a little of everything here. Can’t beat the chill neighborhood vibe as well and of course the beer is excellent. Let me know if you’re heading down and I’ll do my best to join you!
Mt Hood Brewing Tilikum Station
Location: East End of Tilikum Crossing
Address: 401 SE Caruthers St, Portland, OR 97214
Date Open: July 7th
Hours: Sun-Thurs 11am-9pm
Amenities: Wood-fired Neapolitan-style Pizza and Spanish Seafood, 8 taps, cocktails.
Why You Should Check It Out: Sure, most of these breweries are going “inside-out,” yet others are expanding from the outside-in. Situated next to the Oregon Rail Heritage Center, this unique location has a dining room that resides within a railcar. It’s a perfect stop for bike and rail commuters, as well as those visiting OMSI or the Portland Opera. Their Italian and Spanish fare is counter-balanced by Mt Hood’s classic beer styles, a brewery in operation, on the mountain itself, since 1991.
Backwoods Brewing in the Pearl
Location: Pearl District
Address: 231 NW 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97209
Date Open: July 9th
Hours: Sun-Thurs 11:30am-10pm
Amenities: Full Kitchen, Full Bar, 14 taps.
Why You Should Check It Out: I know what you’re thinking – this is located downtown and it’s a Washington brewery. True. Though it’s yet another brewery that felt a niche brewery like Backwoods could thrive with another retail location (their original spot is in Carson, and they have a production facility in Stevenson). They’re planning to feature some “Pearl only” taps, plus their menu offers a variety of sandwiches, burgers, salads and appetizers. Really enjoyed the contrasting woodsy decor in middle of the city.
Location: SE Portland (S Brooklyn/ W Reed)
Address: 4784 SE 17th Ave, Portland, OR 97202
Date Opening: This Saturday, July 14th
Amenities: A variety of excellent beers.
Why You Should Check It Out: Ruse’s opening is quite possibly the most eagerly anticipated of the year, yet little is known about the new space for the former Culmination brewers Devin Benware and Shaun Kalis. It’s located in the Iron Fireman Collective building, one block away from an Orange MAX line station, is estimated to be 6,000 sq ft. in size, and will feature a 10 bbl brewing system, with some 20 bbl fermenters. I have a suspicion that the interior will be as intriguing and multifaceted as their complex sours and ales.
Upcoming Events: Ruse Brewing’s Opening Day on Saturday.
Location: Hazelwood Neighborhood – Glendoveer Golf Course
Address: 14021 NE Glisan Street Portland, OR
Date Opening: Next Monday, July 16th
Amenities: Full Kitchen, Full Bar, 20 taps, patio.
Why You Should Check It Out: Well, if you’re a golfer, it’s ideally located on the 10th hole of the Glendoveer Golf Course. Beer will be initially brought in from their other new location in the Pearl, but eventually brewed on-site with a 7 bbl system and 3.5 vessels. Even more exciting is their plan to house “multiple foeders, wine puncheons, barrels, fruiting tanks as well as a coolship” on premise. Considering those implements, it should be no surprise that Sean Burke, formerly of The Commons Brewing, will head up brewing here.
Upcoming Events: While the Grand Opening is officially on Monday, there’s scheduled to be a Brunch Kickoff on Saturday.
Location: North Portland (under Fremont Bridge)
Address: 1211 N Loring St. Portland, OR 97227
Date Opening: TBD
Amenities: Production facility
Why You Should Check It Out: Reverend Nat’s recently expanded their distribution to New York and show no signs of slowing down, especially once they get this new, much bigger production facility up and running. The uncertainty surrounding when it will open is due to the permitting process of the city. Located across the tracks from Widmer Brothers, there are no plans for a taproom on site as they will continue to maintain their original location, just 5 minutes away in NE Portland.
Little Beast Brewing Clackamas
Location: East of Downtown Clackamas
Address: 11517 SE Hwy 212, Clackamas, OR 97015
Date Opening: 2018?
Amenities: Production Facility
Why You Should Check It Out: This 5,750 sq ft former production space for Drinking Horse Brewing will soon replace Little Beast’s current brewing operation in Beaverton. I’ve spoken with co-owner Charles about progress and he seemed optimistic in having their new brewing system in place before the end of the year. There are no plans, as of yet, to open a taproom, but potentially once all the dust has settled.
Location: Central Beaverton
Address: 4505 SW Watson Ave. Beaverton, OR 97005
Date Opening: Late 2018
Amenities: 14 Taps, Full Kitchen featuring Detroit-style pizza
Why You Should Check It Out: The nation’s first non-profit brewery is not only heading West to Beaverton, they’re also working on a Production facility in Albquerque, New Mexico. If the artists renditions of the space turn out to be as beautiful in reality, this historic building should be a perfect location for Ex Novo’s ethos. Not to mention having a legit taproom, that’s offers their delicious Detroit-style pizza being a welcome addition to the Beaverton scene, which has few options in the realm of brewpubs.
All photos by Warren Wills unless otherwise noted.
Beer Events, Brewery Opening, Craft Beer, Oregon Brewery, Portland Oregon, Taprooms, Pubs & Bars, tourism
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