I know it’s been a while since I wrote anything, and there’s a ton to tell about Virginia craft beer. But for now, I’m in Portland with the wife for spring break so I only thought it appropriate to write about my experiences at the many, many amazing breweries out in the Pacific Northwest. My first day featured visits to Voodoo Doughnut, Deschutes, Fat Head’s, 10 Barrel, and Rogue Public House.
22 SW 3rd Ave, Portland, OR 97204
OK, so this place is probably touristy as hell, but it was amazing. It’s a tiny little doughnut shop that accepts cash only but the doughnuts are incredible. I got the pot hole, which was a bar doughnut with chocolate icing topped with Oreo crumbles and stuffed with cream. It was delicious and I could barely finish the whole thing by myself. I paired it with a nice Stumptown coffee for a balanced breakfast.
Deschutes Public House
210 NW 11th Ave, Portland, OR 92209
The Deschutes Public House was a delight. Rustic, but not pretentious, this popular spot in the middle of the Pearl District was a great place for a few beers, an appetizer, and lunch. I got an Inversion IPA and a 6-taster sampler, and we ordered a charcuterie plate and beef tortilla soup that were both fantastic.
The atmosphere was great and the service was friendly. This is definitely a place I will visit again before I leave Oregon.
Fat Head’s Brewery
131 NW 13th Ave, Portland, OR 97209
Fat Head’s Brewery started in Pittsburgh a long time ago and has roots in Cleveland and Harrisburg, PA. They opened a Portland location a little while back and this place rocks. Their IPA’s are to die for and the location and atmosphere are fantastic.
The taster sampler I got featured a couple of the highest rated IPA’s in all of Portland and their soft pretzel was amazing. This a must for any beer lover in Portland.
10 Barrel Brewing
1411 NW Flanders St, Portland, OR 97232
I was excited to visit this place. When I walked in and saw the rustic setting and laid-back atmosphere, I was hoping to hang out here for a while. I got a Pearl IPA which was really solid, and the food and beers on their menu looked great. And then the server told us that 10 Barrel sold to AB Inbev a few months ago and my image of this place was shattered. Look, I don’t want to get on a soapbox and I have to try to respect when a brewer does what he or she thinks is right by making a bunch of money off of a great thing. But if these brewers who sell out can tell me that they think that they will still have creative freedom, I can also not believe that it’s that easy. I have worked in big business for long enough to be skeptical about a small company being bought by a much larger company. It may seem for a while that the small company has control but eventually I fully believe that Budweiser will take control over this company and exert their authority over them. Enough said about this place. Suffice to say that I wish I could have stayed and tried some more of their beer, but knowing that they are owned by the big guys turned me off.
Rogue Distillery and Public House
1339 NW Flanders St, Portland, OR 97209
We only spent enough time here for one beer, but this place was cool. They had a huge tap list of all Rogue beers and the atmosphere and service was cool. I’ll probably stop back here before I head back to the East Coast. In case you’re wondering, that’s a Double Chocolate Stout and it was delicious.
1355 NW Everett St, Portland, OR 97209
We hit this place on our way back to the hotel for some food. And the food was fantastic. The tap list was small but really solid. I got a sour from a local Oregon brewery and some amazing beef brisket with fried cheesy tots and onion rings. The tots are to die for and the brisket was surprisingly delicious and tender with a great slightly tangy and savory BBQ sauce.
Takeaways from day #1 in Portland: this place is exactly as weird as I have heard it is, but also strangely charming. I can’t wait to see more of this magical city.