12 Stellar Oregon Breweries Where the Locals Like to Drink Beer
October 3, 2019
When it comes to craft beer, Oregon is king. Okay, well at least royalty. According to World Atlas, Oregon sits at number 7 when it comes to the number of breweries in the state (266). But when it comes to breweries per capita? Oregon sits near the top with 8.5 breweries per 100,000 people (21 and over). That’s a lot of beer to go around!
Unless you’re from Oregon or the Pacific Northwest, you’ve probably never heard of many of these craft breweries, which is honestly just a shame. Sure, you might be familiar with names like Deschutes, Rogue, or 10 Barrel, but Oregon has so much more to offer when it comes to breweries that are crafting some unique, tasty, and creative beers.
Next time you’re exploring the beautiful state of Oregon, be sure to check out these 12 lesser-known breweries that are worthy of a visit.
1. Ruse Brewing – Portland
Ruse Brewing might be one of the newbies in town, but they’re certainly making their mark. Already culminating somewhat of a cult following, Ruse’s specialties are tasty, full-bodied hazy beers. Their menu offers multiple IPA options (obviously, it’s the Pacific Northwest) as well as other craft beer classics like saisons, pilsners, and lagers. This is a brewery where you’ll definitely want to order the sampler tray.
2. Thunder Island Brewing Company – Cascade Locks
A trip to Oregon wouldn’t be complete without a scenic drive through the Columbia River Gorge, hiking and visiting waterfalls along the way. And what better way to relax and get off your feet than with a stop at a small brewery right on the river? Located in the small town of Cascade Locks, Thunder Island says they make “crushable beers inspired by a love of outdoor adventures.” Keep an eye out for their new larger location opening in 2020 and be sure to taste their popular Remember the Forest IPA.
3. Reach Break Brewing – Astoria
Quaint, charming, and chill. These three words pretty much sum up the small coastal town of Astoria as well as Reach Break Brewing, located in the heart of downtown. Tourists usually flock to Astoria to visit famous scenes from the movie Goonies but the history-filled city has so much more to offer – including beer. Reach Break is substantially smaller than the larger breweries in town like Buoy and Fort George, however, their small-batch beers are made with serious love. Their menu changes often, so you can expect rotating options like sour beers, IPAs, barley wines, and more. Be sure to bring your dog and enjoy the large outdoor patio if it’s not raining.
4. Crux Fermentation Project – Bend
Bend, Oregon is quickly becoming well-known for some of the best craft breweries on the West Coast and Crux Fermentation Project is one of the most up and coming. Crux is known for their non-traditional brewing methods like open fermentation and decoction mashing. You’ll find over 20 beers on tap including a handful of IPAs, classic pale ales, stouts, and porters. Grab a pint and take a tour of their one-of-a-kind brewery after a day of snowboarding on Mt. Bachelor.
5. The Prodigal Son Brewery – Pendleton
Eastern Oregon usually isn’t the first location that tourists visit but that’s only because many people don’t know about all the hidden gems you can find! East of the Cascade mountains, Oregon turns into a desert landscape, but you can still find gorgeous sights all along the way. Take a road trip to the Painted Hills, visit some hot springs, then head up to Pendleton for a small town brewery visit at The Prodigal Son. Not only will you taste some great beer using regional ingredients, but their chef cooks up some killer pub food as well.
6. Common Block Brewing Company – Medford
The city of Medford, located near the California border, isn’t exactly the most well-known Oregon city, but it’s definitely not lacking when it comes to creative craft brews. Common Block Brewing Company is a great spot for families, cooking fresh food, and brewing Pacific Northwest beer staples like IPAs, stouts, lagers, and...more IPAs. Can you tell Oregonians like their hoppy beers?
7. Ancestry Brewing – Portland
Portland is full of adorable neighborhoods, each with their own unique personality. Be sure to visit the eclectic Sellwood neighborhood in southeast Portland and make a pit stop at Ancestry Brewing. Priding themselves on detail and quality, this small brewery is all about the hops. In addition to over five IPAs, beer lovers can also taste their fruit wheat, cream ale, and Irish red.
8. De Garde Brewing – Tillamook
After you’ve stuffed your face full of cheese and ice cream at the Tillamook Cheese Factory, wash it all down with a pint at De Garde Brewing. This tiny craft brewery draws on experimentation and historic traditions when it comes to their unique recipes. Most of their beers take anywhere from six months to five years to make—talk about some serious beer pride. Expect to taste some of the most wild and intense flavors you’ve ever had in a craft beer.
9. Wild Ride Brewing – Redmond
Located north of the more well-known city of Bend, Oregon is the smaller city of Redmond. And while Bend might outnumber Redmond in the quantity of breweries, they certainly aren’t lacking in quality—thanks to breweries like Wild Ride. Started by a group of lifelong friends, this indoor/outdoor brewery makes delicious year-round brews as well as seasonal offerings like coconut porter, pineapple pale ale, and maple brown ale.
10. Falling Sky Brewing – Eugene
Falling Sky opened in 2012 and began with their flagship beer Bare Hands NW Bitter. Since then, the beer has taken off in popularity and they’ve created dozens more craft selections ever since. Not only have their small-batch beers earned multiple awards, but their food is phenomenal too. Enjoy a slice of their delicious pizza and pair it with a pint of one of Falling Sky’s 42 beers on tap.
11. Public Coast Brewing – Cannon Beach
Public Coast Brewing in the tourist beach town of Cannon Beach celebrates Oregon’s free and open public coastline – one of the only true public coastlines in America! Their goal is to make craft beer that is “both delicious and approachable” and they welcome beer lovers of all kinds. IPAs galore are being poured from the taps (duh) but you’ll also find blonde ales, honey ales, red ales, and more. They also have a great patio for those glorious sunny Oregon coast days.
12. Ferment Brewing – Hood River
After a day of hiking, mountain biking, skiing, or windsurfing – Hood River is the perfect location to kick back and relax. With a number of breweries located in the small town, beer lovers have plenty of options to choose from, but Ferment Brewing is one of Hood River’s best hidden secrets. Head up to their second floor tasting room with stunning views of the Columbia River Gorge where you can peek into the brewery below and watch kiters on the water. Offering signature beers as well as seasonal offerings, Ferment prides themselves on using local ingredients.
Written by Ashley Brewer for Knockaround.