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Portland – My New Favorite City to Visit

November 3, 2013

Portland is a beer city, so it’s no wonder that it quickly moved strait to the top of my list of favorite cities to visit. One hundred and forty craft breweries(!) dot the landscape of Oregon according to the Brewers Association, and ranks #2 in the United States for breweries per capita.  There is one craftbrewery per 26,791 people! That’s insane!

If that wasn’t enough, the city of Portland itself beats out every city in the world with 52 breweries. Fifty-two! That’s just in the city alone! If you count those in the greater metro area, they clock in at 69. With that many breweries, it will definitely take a couple of visits to get to them all, but here are a few to get you started.

Burnside Brewing

Just a five minute walk from our hotel, we end up at Burnside Brewing. This is an example of a brewery doing it RIGHT. The sidewalk sign draws you in, the picnic tables are solid and provide ample outside seating.

The inside has an outdoorsy feeling, decorated with taxidermy, wood, twigs, local art and hop vines. My favorite art piece was a beautiful outdoor nature scene, with a rabid zombie in the foreground. This is my kind of place!

The beer sampler is a big one, containing all the beers that they currently offer. Sweet Heat, an Apricot and Scotch Bonnet Pepper Wheat Beer was the favorite beer of our entire trip. It was only 4.9%, but what flavor! One of our biggest mistakes during this trip was not picking up a few bottles of it. It’s a great excuse to go back!

The food – out of this world! We loved this place so much, that we did go back a second time, and sat at the bar which has a view of the open kitchen. Watching Chef Nate Yovu work his magic was hypnotizing. Tasting it, a privilege. Everything was exquisite, and left you wishing you had an extra tank alongside your stomach.

During both visits we partook in:
Salmon Carpaccio

Grilled Cheese and Fennel Gazpacho

Deviled Eggs

Shrimp Daikon Fries w/ Oyster Sauce

Not pictured were the
Side Salad
Cohiba Cigar
Pork Nuggets

Everything was so, so good. If you have one brewery to check out when you’re in Portland, GO HERE.

Burnside Brewing
701 East Burnside Street
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 946-8151

Deschutes Brewery and Public House

This brewery was grand in every sense of the word. Their brew kettles were gorgeous and immaculate, accolades up to the ceiling, and brews that were on point!

The wood carvings that you see here were all over their enormous dining room, and gave it a real Northwestern charm.

I would have loved to see this bad-boy in action! We visited in the day, and though it was cold for us Southern Californians, I think it was a little too warm for them to start a fire. Perhaps a night-time visit would have warranted a fire!

The place was packed, though lucky for my husband A and I, we have mastered the art of the bar table swoop. Deschutes is definitely a well-oiled machine. We were never in wait for anything. Literally a minute after we ordered our custom beer sampler, it was laid before us by our smiling server. Not too long after that, our pretzel arrived, in it’s piping hot, buttery, salty, slightly crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside – perfection. Creamy white cheese and Black Butte Porter stone ground mustard was the dipper, and if the pretzel wasn’t perfect enough already, this mix of gooey & tangy sent it over the top.

Our server was extremely helpful. We were intent on seeking out adventure, and had heard of some waterfalls in the area that were spectacular. He was kind enough to give us directions, and before we knew it, we were on an adventure to Multnoma Falls!

My gosh, isn’t that just gorgeous!

Deschutes Brewery and Public House
210 NW 11th Ave.
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 296-4906

Hopworks Urban Brewery

We had to hit one last brewery before heading to a good friend’s wedding in Washington, and Hopworks was it. It was very un-assuming from the outside, though we did park around the back of the building. Upon entering, you’re greeted with a colorful bar full of…. bike frames! When we decided to go to this brewery, we had no idea that it’s theme was bikes. You quickly learn, though that they have fused two things that Portlanders are quite fond of – beer and bikes. It’s a natural pairing.

I fell in love with this table! It has a coffee-table-esque feel to it, and totally dig the sides that were left au-natural.

The space combines that natural warmness of wood with edgy industrial touches. It’s definitely my kind of place.

One thing I was quite fond of was the bike wheel sampler! They definitely found every way imaginable to incorporate bikes and beer. What’s even better, is that everything is labeled, so you know exactly what you are tasting! Some breweries don’t do that, and it can get super confusing, especially if you’ve already had a couple! The beer was fantastic, and what really struck a chord with me is that it is all organic. Double-win! They are committed to sustainability, which gives them an A+ in my book.

Just take in these pretzels for a moment. The presentation is so unique! They were delicious too – warm, salty, and served with a trio of mustards and beer cheese sauces.

What a great brewery-adventure! We liked this place so much, we walked away with tons of stickers, two pint glasses, and even a tap-handle for our kegerator!

Hopworks Urban Brewery
2944 SE Powell Blvd
Portland, OR 97202
(503) 232-4677

While there are so many other breweries to visit in Portland, we had great times, good food, and great beer at each of these establishments. If you ever find yourself traveling to Portland, Oregon, do yourself a favor, and visit one or all of these breweries! You definitely will not be disappointed.

View Three Great Portland Breweries in a larger map

Have you ever visited or lived in Portland?

What are your favorite spots to visit there?

Hoppy Trails,


  1. Cathy @ She Paused 4 Thought
    November 3, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    I LOVE Portland and everything looks so amazing. I am stuck on the thought of Fennel Gazpacho! I must figure out how to make this intriguing dish! Thanks for the report!

  2. Susie
    November 4, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    OoOooohhh the pretzel! It’s my go-to snack when drinking beer but I have noticed not many place around where I live serve pretzels with their beers. Looks like an awesome place to visit, I may have to go on a roadtrip.

  3. Lisa
    November 6, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Love reading recaps from people who visit my city!

    So glad you got to check out our awesome breweries. There are a ton more you should go to next time. Amnesia Brewing and Boneyard Brewing is one of them.

    As for Burnside, LOVE SWEET HEAT!!

    • Natalie Wiser-Orozco
      November 6, 2013 at 1:07 pm

      Sweet Heat for the WIN! I’ll definitely put the others on my list, Lisa! Thanks!


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