Thank You Portland! 15 breweries and 1 rum bar in 2 days...

05 November, 2018

To sum up the DME scouting team in one word: tenacious. We had a list of 25 breweries in the greater Portland, Oregon area to hit. We had two days. We hit 15 of them with a bonus Rum Bar (literally the namesake) to break it up. Hey, when Pleepleus wants Rum, you get Rum.

Let's break down the Portland journey:

Arrival: Thursday


We converged on PDX bright and early as to not waste one day of the trip. We took the MAX (light rail) to downtown Portland at the SW 1st stop. One common theme of our trips beyond the beer & booze is sweets & coffee. So being right in the area we fueled up with a VooDoo Doughnuts and some Stumptown coffee.

By the time we got our bearings it was opening time for the first stop (and earliest open location) Rogue Ale House.


Rogue Ales



We've always been fans of their beers from way back in the day up to the recent quirky creations and collaborations. A very impressive beer menu awaits your decision(s) inside a pretty cool mix of a brick & Northwest wood beer hall setting. 

Fav: Open the earliest, a huge board of beer options and if you're mood, they make spirits too.


10 Barrel



Literally across the street from Rogue on the edge of the Pearl District. While some give 10 Barrel a rough time for being AB sell outs it's important to remember, when you're at the local/original brewery, you're drinking their original recipes. The roof top bar setting is a must on a blue sky/sunny day and being the second stop right around 11:30, the small bite offerings are a perfect fueling.

Fav: Rooftop bar with solid appetizers


Von Ebert



Still right in the Pearl District area is Von Ebert Brewing, this eclectic brewhouse resides in the old Fat Head's location. The Beer list boasts a wide array of styles which spurred us to go with the paddle. Our personable beer tender walked us through the beer board and we were highly impressed with each brew.

Fav: SABRAGE - Brut IPA with Yakima Citra, Oregon Chinook, and New Zealand Nelson Sauvin.


Backwoods Brewing



Another stones throw in the Pearl - this town is dangerous. This is the second Backwoods location (first one is up in the Gorge). Beer - top notch. Food - Amazing. It was not planned to make this a lunch stop but it was time and we struck gold. No one had it in them to take on the Hungry Logger but the Little Town Burger is silly good. If you're an Impossible Burger fan, they do it right (so we were told by our neighbor).

Fav: The Burgers. When you can pair great beer with great beers you have a place that is a must visit.


Intermission (a break, not a brewery)


From here we took a small break and checked into our beautiful AirBnB right on SW 9th, grabbed some provisions at Target right around the the corner, cleaned up and headed right back out.

It should be noted for the first 1.5 days of the trip we walked everywhere. We saw those new eScooters all over the place but being creatures of habit we knew a strong walking regimen would keep us going (but we did give into the scooters - more later).

Our next leg of day one took over the river via the Burnside bridge and into the Buckman district. Right over the bridge was an unplanned next stop.


Hair of the Dog Brewing



Immediately one of the team noticed that the staff seemed a bit uneasy, like the boss was there and the boss was unhappy. We really dislike knocking anyone's hard work but the beer was pedestrian at best. We quickly moved on.

Fav: ...


Rum Club



Yep, it was National Rum Day so this was our intended destination. Our mixologist (bartender for the lay person), was Tyler and Tyler was a showman for sure. We celebrated Rum Day in style among the 200, 300, 400 bottles of Rum (we can't be expected to remember at this point). We did ask "what's up with Hair of the Dog" and we got the real lowdown. If you want to try what they're passionate about, you have to catch them on one of the semi-annual special releases.

Fav: The staff, the classy but "hole in the wall feel" and the true quality of mixology put into each cocktail created.


Wayfinder Brewing



Down the road there is a beautiful Beer Garden otherwise known as Wayfinder Brewing. We were instructed by our Rum Club guide that Wayfinder specializes in German style beers. This usually means German style food is right behind and without fail Wayfinder delivered. The beer was spot on great German style brew to a T. We made this our pre-dinner spot and took down pretzels and select German sausages.

Fav: Atmosphere on the outdoor patio and the solid, solid German style beers

Note - after Wayfinder things get a little hazy. We did grab an Uber on our way to some place in Laurelhurst to get dinner but hopped out at a red light when a local BBQ joint The People's Pig. At this point we were joined by a local friend who reassured us we couldn't go wrong in either direction. A few Pabst's and killer BBQ plates later and we decided it was best to back over the river and get ready for day 2. Then Deschutes happened.


Deschutes Portland Public House



We knew we're nowhere near Bend but it's Oregon, you have to have a Deschutes. Still in the hazy period of the evening two things stuck out here - the dessert menu and the Dissident. Dissident, a Belgian brown ale fermented with wild yeast and brewed with cherries and aged in oak pairs damn well with the (local) Marrionberry Cobbler.

Fav: Having an iconic brand right from the source - so good.


Day 2: Friday


We woke up fresh and early thanks to midnight Totino's and one of those anti-hangover pills. We get asked if those really work all the time. If everyone getting up a 7am and heading for Blue Star Doughnuts is any sign that they work then, yes, they work.

This day was going to take us to the cool little Mississippi District direction. We milled about the morning with some urban hiking but as soon as 11am was close it was on to the first stop.


Ecliptic Brewing



Very cool outdoor patio on the edge of the Mississippi District, Ecliptic Brewing was a fantastic kick-off and welcome to Day 2.

Fav: Good lunch spot on the outdoor patio area


Stormbreaker Brewing



This one was another unplanned stop, just happen to see it while walking up the main drag of the Mississippi District. A very Portland/woodsy feeling outdoor patio greeted us leading to an open air beer bar area. A chill spot (you might feel like you're in Puerto Rico for a second) with a solid beer selection. Our waitress wasn't in the best of moods but when you just stop for one beer before wandering on you don't need A+ service.

Fav: Garden style setting for an outdoor pint





This place looked very promising from the outside and the inside. Sort of remote spot, big bright and vibrant brewhouse but the beers were less than impressive. Again, we hate knocking the hard work of any brewery/brewer but something was amiss and the beer left us feeling we just asked how our buddies first home brew batch tasted.

Fav: ....


Ex Novo



Ex Novo came highly recommended and we can see why. This thin brewery was packed with people and impressive sounding beers. One of the few stops we had multiple beers, all of them impressed us. The only thing, and mind you only thing, that was a bit troublesome was the brand new elementary school they were constructing right across the street. Busy craft brewery on a small street with school traffic just didn't sound like the execution of a well laid plan.

Fav: When a highly rated brewery delivers on all fronts


Kells Brewery



Originally Kells Brew Pub, the setting is a Irish Brew Pub as it gets. A solid beer menu offering of the classics and safe beers but they also go out on a limb with a peach mango kolsch and blood orange wheat.

Fav: Wild Rosie - a wild sour raspberry ale aged in oak barrels since 2014

From here we found pizza, went back to the home base, enjoyed a few cans and snacks and somewhere along the line - passed out.


Day 2.5

Okay, so we're cheating the "two days" a little but when you have a little extra time, you have a little extra beer. You fans steered us to Tasty n Sons for breakfast. Good idea in theory but the 75 minute wait deterred us from checking this out. Silver lining - Lompoc Brewing is right around the corner and they just added breakfast/brunch!


Lompoc Brewing



This was not on the list (for some reason) but it was a like stiking gold. We took the eScooters from outside our front door all the way out to the Boise district for Tasty n Sons breakfast. When that failed we Google mapped what was right around us and low and behold Lompoc Brewing with a sandwich board right outside mentioning "we now offer brunch/breakfast." Good enough for us became "good for us!" The breakfast burrito was huge and awesome and the outdoor patio was quiet and relaxing.

Fav: The Red Eye (not available right now) - basically a golden ale meets a spicy bloody mary. Freaking amazing!


Breakside Brewing



Back on the eScooters and straight up Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway over to Breakside Brewery (NE Dekum Pub). Getting as close as we could to PDX on the eScooters while grabbing one more (ok, two more) pints before heading home. Breakside resides is a cute little community in the Piedmont district. You're way out there but if you find yourself there, grab a pint and pull up to one of the beer garden benches in the warm sun on their extensive outdoor patio area and just chillllllll. 

Fav: Outdoor beer patio on the edge of cool crossroads between a weed store, breakfast joint and a Saturday morning farmer's market.


That's it. Time to call our Uber and within 15-20 minutes hit PDX and head home to take three months to write this article!