Top 10 Best Breweries In Oregon
Welcome to Oregon!
While you are exploring the fun adventures in Oregon, be sure to add breweries to your itinerary! (That is if you are a lover of craft beer.)
All craft beer lovers know that a brew from the tap is, by far, more flavorful to the palate than the watered-down, mass-produced beers that often sit on grocery store shelves.
I am sure you have tried name-brand craft brews at popular restaurants and bars. They are certainly a step up from the watered-down, mass-produced beers – but they aren’t Oregonian homemade craft brews.
And I am almost certain that you have tasted locally made craft brews in other locations around the country or world. However, they aren’t Oregonian homemade craft brews. I’m not trying to sound cocky; although, I realize my choice of words runs the risk of prompting that thought in you. But Oregonian craft brew is something that every beer lover MUST taste at least once.
Therefore, I have compiled a list of what I believe to be the top 10 best breweries in Oregon. While these breweries are my personal favorites, all of the Oregonian breweries are fabulous and offer a unique experience that cannot be emulated anywhere else. So, we shall think of this list as a “beginner’s guide” to Oregonian craft beer. Then, YOU can decide which breweries are your top 10 best in Oregon.
You will see from my list where I notate the details in which I find the most attractive or appealing. Let’s take a look at some of the best breweries in Oregon.
1. Barley Brown's Brew Pub in Baker City, Oregon
When I first rolled into Baker City, my eyes were immediately charmed by the spectacular scenery. The city is located in a valley and surrounded by mountains: the Wallowa Mountains and the Elkhorn Mountains. The beautiful Powder River flows through the downtown area and offers a sense of liveliness and adventure.
Before I scoped out the infamous Barley Brown’s Brewery, I could not help myself by checking out two other cool locations: the Oregon Trail Center and the haunted Geiser Grand Hotel. (It’s the Old West. Of course, you will find haunted hotels!) Once I had my fascinating history lesson and my thrill with ghost stories, I treated myself to tasty brew and nachos at Barley Brown’s.
Those who know me personally know that I enjoy trying contrasting flavors. (And I CAN NOT say no to chocolate. Just saying.) So, I ordered the brew, Cerveza Negra Caliente, and it did not disappoint. Many local folks prefer to drink this homemade brew during the colder months because it literally warms the body. In fact, Barley Brown’s has given it the nickname, “Hot Black Beer”.
So, I had to try it!
This brew consists of jalapenos, chocolate, and warming spices which offer a hot, spicy, and sweet flavor that is sure to please every range of your taste buds. The owners of Barley Brown’s invent their recipes, so you cannot get this anywhere else! (Unless you have some copycats out there somewhere.) And might I add: Their nachos were pretty darn good as well. The jalapenos in my nachos were the perfect complement to my jalapeno and chocolate beer. I most definitely recommend this place.
And before I forget! While I tried the Cerveza Negra Caliente brew, Barley Brown’s is best known for its hops brews. You name it; they have it.
2. Sunriver Pub in Sunriver, Oregon
Believe it or not, I left Baker City and traveled southwest 250 miles, a scenic five-hour drive, to the resort town of Sunriver. I had heard rumors of the fantastic craft beers at the Sunriver Pub and needed to see for myself if they were true. Folks kept telling me that the pub offered a wide variety of uniquely flavored brews that are difficult for other breweries to emulate.
Located in Deschutes County in the heart of Central Oregon, this tiny community of 1,300 residents is nestled at the base of the breathtaking Cascade Mountains. If you thoroughly enjoy relaxing to a smooth, flavorful craft brew, the scenic landscape in Sunriver only adds to the value of the experience.
Sunriver Pub is more than just a place to drink the greatest craft beer in the country; it is also a fabulous restaurant where you can take your children with you as well. I cannot say enough about the cozy atmosphere!
During my visit to Sunriver Pub, I practically swallowed their juicy bacon brew burger with a side of potato wedge fries. What did I down the burger with, you ask? My choice of craft beer was the Cocoa Cow – Chocolate Milk Stout. (Yes, I have a secret love affair with chocolate.) This dreamy drink consisted of hops (chinook), sugar, milk, chocolate bits, and caramel malt. This was, perhaps, the yummiest chocolate craft brew I have ever tasted. In fact, I purchased several bottles of it when I learned that the Sunriver Brewing Company sells them beyond the tap!
Just in case you are not a chocolate lover, another unique brew from their menu is the Fuzztail – Hefeweizen. This is, actually, their award-winning craft brew and is in popular demand. It is a refreshing wheat beer flavored with hops, lemon, and grapefruit. How can that description not make your mouth water? It is the perfect rendition of an American Hefeweizen!
3. Boneyard Pub and Brewery in Bend, Oregon
While I was in Sunriver, I drove down the road to nearby Bend to check out another treasured pub I kept hearing about: the Boneyard Pub and Brewery. Not only does this place serve tasty food, but they serve incredible beer.
Food-wise, I tried out their Spicy Firecracker Chicken Bowl, and it did not disappoint. My brew of choice was the Big League Chew Wheat. If you are thinking that this sounds like a sack of shredded bubble gum, you are almost correct! I have a massive sweet tooth and enjoyed chewing the Big League Chew bubble gum when I was a kid. It felt like I was in a dream when I saw on their menu that they had invented a craft beer recipe with my favorite bubble gum!
The taste was superbly delightful and sweet. Made from American wheat, it was perfectly fruity and full of bubblegum flavor with a beautiful light golden color. I will be honest: This drink beat out my two previous chocolate brews at the prior pubs!
Boneyard Pub and Brewery also prides itself in making top-notch CBD brew called the “Boneyard Elixir”. This stuff is made from the purest water from the Cascade Mountains and mixed with hemp extract that is also locally grown in Oregon. The goal at Boneyard Pub and Brewery is to provide a brew that contributes to your overall well being. If you enjoy CBD products, you may be interested in giving this homemade craft brew a taste.
4. Double Mountain Brewery and Cidery in Hood River, Oregon
After I finished up business in Bend, I traveled three hours north to the port town of Hood River. Not only would I get to soak in the views of the majestic, white-capped Mount Hood, but I could do so while sipping on a tasty glass of craft beer at the infamous Double Mountain Brewery and Cidery.
Did I say “cidery”? Why, yes, I did. If you enjoy an alcoholic cider, this place can hook you up!
Hood River is situated in the extreme northern part of Oregon on the Columbia River. It has a population of 7,000 peeps and is the ONLY city in Oregon where alcohol can be consumed publicly! Yes, this means you can enjoy your favorite craft beer in the park, or while strolling down the street, or while sitting and waiting for a cab.
Double Mountain Brewery offers a huge range of craft beer choices that should fit the desires of everyone. If you prefer a dark, bold craft brew while your spouse prefers a sweet, light brew, Double Mountain Brewery will have it available for you! This place exists to please EVERYONE.
They offer seasonal beers, five core beers, krieks, and so much more. During my visit to Double Mountain, I, of course, scouted out the sweet brew. (Don’t worry, I didn’t choose a chocolate brew this time.) I enjoyed their flavorful, sweet “Bullwheel IPA”. It boasted flavors of pineapple, citrus, and evergreen. It was not too bitter as it tasted perfectly balanced. It went down easily and relaxed me instantly.
I loved how most of Double Mountain Brewery’s beers were bottled! So, I purchased a few to enjoy later. I highly recommend this diamond in the ruff as well!
5. Beachcrest Brewing Company in Gleneden Beach, Oregon
From Hood River, I ventured three hours southwest to the beachy town of Gleneden Beach. It was refreshing to see the Pacific Ocean after spending days trekking across the mountainous regions of the Beaver State. Located in Lincoln County, Gleneden Beach is within walking distance from the hustle and bustle of Lincoln City.
Beachcrest Brewing Company sits in the heart of the small, unincorporated community.
When I first walked into this adventurous, seaside pub, my ears were greeted with live music! The owners of the Beachcrest Brewing Company were professional musicians prior to embarking on a craft beer business venture. They support musicians by allowing them to play at the pub. Every day, you can view the list of musical acts and events for the pub and plan your visit with friends and loved ones accordingly. It is such an awesome experience to have a tasty brew and listen to live music.
I’m sure you are wondering about the craft beer menu. Yes, it is awesome, too. Beachcrest Brewing Company makes a mix of American style craft brews and European style brews. Since I had tasted only American style brews from my previous pub stops, I thought I would give their European homemade recipe a try.
And it did not disappoint!
I tried the London Winter Olde Ale because I have strong British roots. To me, it felt like I was stepping back into Olde England on a chilly, foggy day. This dark ale boasted hops, yeast, and malt with British molasses known as “Black Treacle”. The brew came fresh from the tap and warmed my heart. It was the perfect recipe after an evening of strolling the windy seaside.
6. Hair of the Dog Brewing Company in Portland, Oregon
Once I completed my British experience at the Beachcrest Brewing Company, I backtracked to Portland to check out an insanely popular brewery that is set to close in late 2022. I was told that I needed to experience this place at least once before the owner shut the doors for good.
I was like, “Sure! What is the place called?”
They said, “Hair of the Dog Brewing Company”.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a bad taste in my mouth from hearing the name of the brewing company; but after some time, it grew on me! In fact, I believe the name is ingenious.
1. The unique name has helped their brewery to become known worldwide. It is so odd that it is easy to remember!
2. Nearly all of their beers are named with four letter names after people they know. The owner says this proves that each beer is carefully tailored and created uniquely. In other words, you know you will be drinking a one-of-a-kind brew.
So, I went to Portland and visited Hair of the Dog and enjoyed a craft brew from the tap. As you might have guessed, I found myself a chocolate craft brew! It was called the “Adam – Old Ale”. This brew was of medium strength and had flavors of chocolate and figs. It was the first craft brew that had a combination of chocolate and figs. Yes, it was simply divine. If I make it back to Portland before they close, I will absolutely order the same brew again.
I was especially pleased to see that Hair of the Dog sold my favorite Adam – Ole Ale brew in bottles. So, I bought a collection of them to savor until I can return. (I really hope they continue to make their popular brews for distribution!)
I was also pleasantly surprised they had a brew which consisted of the flavors rye malt and toffee. If I can’t have chocolate, toffee is the next best thing! This craft brew is called “Fred – American Strong Ale”. You may want to take a friend or two with you if you decide to have a glass of that stuff.
7. Inner Fire Brewing Company, Portland, Oregon
Since I was already in the grand Oregonian city of Portland, I checked out the amazing Inner Fire Brewing Company. While this place no longer has an original website, it is still very much alive and cooking up a tasty brew.
During my short visit to the Inner Fire Brewing Company, I can honestly say that their brews live up to their name: They warm you up! I personally liked the Staycation as it went down powerfully, but it ultimately relaxed me. The “Staycation” boasted malt, yeast, and hops and tasted like the traditional craft beers you can get most anywhere. However, it was one of the BEST traditional craft beers I had ever had!
I highly recommend the Inner Fire Brewing Company if you love the traditional flavors of craft brews and tap beer. This place will not leave you hanging or leave you cold.
8. Wolves and People Farmhouse Brewery, Newberg, Oregon
After my time in Portland, I scooted twenty miles down the road to the heart of wine valley in a town called Newberg. It was there where I stumbled across the brewery with a fabulous name: Wolves and People Farmhouse Brewery. On one hand, I expected to walk into a fairy tale and was on the lookout for Little Red Riding Hood while on the other hand, I expected a Little House on the Prairie experience. The name of the place somehow made the brew taste better!
Wolves and People Farmhouse Brewery has an elegant beer garden where you can sit outside, soak in the views of Willamette Valley, and sip on your brew as the sun sets. It was a pleasant, calming experience. I chose to taste two separate craft brews from their dainty menu, and it did not disappoint. This place is top-notch and worth the visit.
You already know that I tried a chocolate brew. It was called the “Nut Farm” and boasted flavors of chocolate, hazelnut, sugar. The brew was a chocolate hazelnut porter, to be exact, and it tasted delicious.
Then, I wanted to try something new that had a flavor in which I have never tasted in a craft brew. That drink was the delightful “Honeycone”. It was an IPA that boasted flavors of locally produced honey, hops, and a tad bit of fruity goodness.
If you are ever in the Willamette Valley, this place is a must!
9. De Garde Brewery In Tillamook, Oregon
From Newberg, I drove another 70 miles west to the cheesiest town in Oregon: Tillamook. I had heard great things about the tasting room at the de Garde Brewery in Tillamook and had to check it out for myself. Their beer menu offered more traditional and classic brews than some of the exotic flavored brews I had experienced on my Oregonian taste trail.
Another unique thing about de Garde Brewery is once you partake in beer tasting in their taste room, you get to walk away (after you have paid, of course) with bottles of your favorite brew. I wanted to try something different, so I tasted the “Nectarine Premiere”. And yes, it tasted just as citrusy as it sounds. While this brew had higher alcohol content than my previous reviews of tasty brews, it was special in that it was aged for a year in oak barrels and boasted purely of juicy nectarines and sugar. It almost tasted like an orange juice brew!
I also tasted “The Law of Motion” brew. This brew was a wild ale that boasted of cider apples and cinnamon. It had a lower alcohol content than the “Nectarine Premiere” but still fairly stout. It was aged in oak barrels for two years and tasted quite exquisitely.
If you are ever in Tillamook hunting for the best cheese, please do not forget to check out the best craft brews at de Garde Brewery.
10. Fort George Brewery in Astoria, Oregon
Finally, when I completed my visit at the de Garde Brewery in Tillamook, I drove 65 miles north to the coastal port city of Astoria. While there, I visited the amazing Fort George Brewery.
I found in love with a craft brew called “Gone Pecan”. Before you ask, no, it did not have chocolate in it. However, it did boast of flavors such as pecans and brown sugar. It makes my mouth salivate just thinking about it! This American Stout consisted ofpecans that were toasted in the wood-burning oven at Fort George. I could taste a bit of the toastiness as well!
Overall, it was a great place near the river side where you could have a drink and wind down from a long, busy day. If you are ever in Astoria, please check this place out. You won’t regret it.
While I may be a bit biased one way or the other, these are just my thoughts after traveling around Oregon and trying all the amazing breweries myself.
I am always open to further ideas and thoughts so please be sure to leave those below and if for nothing else, get a shout out for your favorite brewery 🙂