Cascade Brewing Photo: David Neff
Portland, Oregon, is called Beervana for a reason: With its four-decade legacy of sumptuous suds and a current count of more than 75 breweries, PDX is the craft-brewing capital of America. As in most large metro areas, bars and restaurants are currently closed, but many of the Rose City’s finest taprooms are still doing takeout and delivery. Here are three pitch-perfect pints to try.
Founded in Bend in 1988, Deschutes has for decades been one of the most popular craft breweries on the West Coast, and since 2008 it has operated a bustling taproom in Northwest Portland’s Pearl District, just a block north of Powell’s City of Books. Mirror Pond, one of the brewery’s original creations, is a Goldilocks of a pale ale that’s not too potent (5 percent ABV) and not too bitter (40 IBUs), with a perfect blend of citrus, caramel malt, and Cascade hops.
Not even a full decade has passed since Breakside produced its first batch, but the brewery has already grown to include three taprooms in PDX (in Northeast, Slabtown, and Milwaukie), and in January The Oregonian declared it the best brewery in Portland. Breakside’s flagship brew is a quintessential Pacific Northwest IPA: It’s got a little kick (6.2 percent ABV), it’s fairly bitter (73 IBUs), and it’s full of Citra and Chinook hops, balanced with a touch of tropical fruit flavor. It has also won numerous medals, including a gold at the North American Beer Awards in 2014.
Sour beers aren’t for everyone, but those who have acquired the taste swear by the barrel-aged funk-fests at Cascade, which has an always jam-packed taproom on Southeast Belmont Street. This beer, created in honor of Portland, is a blend of wheat and blond ales that’s aged in wine barrels—with rose petals sprinkled in, no less—for 14 months. If that description doesn’t have you feeling rosy enough, 750 ml bottles of the 2016 vintage are currently marked down.