Surviving 6 Craft Breweries in Portland... One Beer at a Time

by - 6:01 PM

Portland is well known for their craft beer scene, so no trip to PDX is complete without a round-up of breweries. That said I'm still not sure how we survived / are standing / actually RODE BICYCLES while doing some of this?! 6 Breweries over 2 days + cocktails in between. #toughlife. 

Also I've listed everything we tried from left to right :). 

Upright Brewing

This was easily our favorite brewery out of the whole trip. Hidden in the basement of a building, this gem is totally worth tracking down! Once you've finagled your way through a mess of closed doors and random stairways - you're greeted by a small brewery where you can sit and drink amongst the barrels while snacking on some Slim Jim's and playing a round or two of cards with new friends.

#1 - Special Herbs (ABV 5.7%) - This was easily my favorite beer of the weekend hand's down! A super unique brew that incorporated wine and gin barrels into the aging - this suds recipe included lemongrass, sweet and bitter orange peels, hyssop (an herbaceous plant from the middle east that's medicinal & aromatic), and Sichuan peppercorns.
#2 - Golden Goat (ABV 6%) - This was a light bière de garde with some herb and minty qualities. Very drinkable lager.
#3 - Four Play (ABV 5%) - Aside from the obvious amusement from the name this funky cherry sour was an interesting addition to the mix. Interesting and fun it was a nice to sip beer that would be perfect after a hot day sitting in a breezy air conditioned living room.
#4 - Seven (ABV 8%) - A modern saison that had a decent amount of hops and a slightly dry finish. I'll confess - my partner in crime drank most of this one.

Ex Novo Brewing Co.

We love cheese. Like LOVE cheese. So when we saw that this airy and industrial brewery / restaurant / bar had a pairing tasting menu we knew we had to try it. Honestly the cheeses were better than the beers! But that didn't stop us from drinking everything :).

#1 - Stiff Upper Lip (ABV 5.5%) - This English malty ale was very easy on the palate and paired with a 1655 Gruyere that had a very bright, creamy and fruity flavor with some nuttiness and those little bits of crystals in a semi-firm cheese that give it a lovely toothsome texture.
#2 - At Her Majesty's Pleasure (ABV 5.2%) Sensing a bit of a brit theme here this english brown ale had a strong caramel & toffee flavor with a lot of yeast. They paired it with a creamy goat's milk Quesa Majorero that almost melted in your mouth with each bite.
#3 - Jacked Up Farmhouse (ABV 7.5%) Now this was the beer we were most looking forward to trying - a tart farmhouse beer made with 8 gallons of Jackfruit, I think we were expecting something even more funkier than what showed up. With this they served a fresh sheep's cheese that was very rich, clean, and palate cleansing. Maybe they thought it would serve to cover up some of the funky flavor? But at least the sheep was local. They told us it was raised in Washington!
#4 - Eliot IPA (ABV 6.6%) Interestingly enough they served their beers darker to lighter ending with a hoppy IPA tinged with a lot of tropical fruit flavors. Now personally had they served their Sweetberry Wine in this tasting, I would have loved to see it paired with the Glacier Bleu, but they were clearly thinking the fruit flavors in the IPA would work well with a rocky blue cheese.

Widmer Brothers

This is where things start to get fuzzy and I wish I'd taken better notes. Onto our next tasting room - and this one was complete with a giant amazing pretzel and cheese fondue!

Ginger Barrel Aged Brrrbon '13
KGB Russian Imperial Stout
Smoke on the Lager
Kill Devil Red
Smooth Cream-N-Ale
Drop Top Amber Ale

Rogue Ales & Spirits

No visit is complete to PDX without visiting Rogue Brewery... I can't say that I loved their beers, but I do love their creativity - and their packaging. Overall the Black Obi was our favorite of the 4!

Fruit Salad Cider
Morimoto Black Obi Soba
Hazlenut Brown Nectar
Rouge Farms Honey Kolsch

Base Camp Brewing Co.

The next morning we woke up semi-sober and decided to get right back to it... having heard about this S'mores Stout at Base Camp, we headed over and boy did it deliver! This was the nitro version of their classic creation - I really appreciated the smooth sip and very filling flavor. Plus the charred marshmallow for the garnish was the perfect way to finish this glass!

Cascade Brewing Barrel House

And our last stop was for some fruit sours (not my favorite) but my friend absolutely loves them. The Elderberry was the only one I really enjoyed, but if you're a fruit-y sours fan then this is a MUST try!

Apple Crisp (ABV 8.1%)
Honey Ginger Lime (ABV 6.52%)
Elderberry (ABV 8.2%)
Grapefruit Lime (ABV 7.1%)

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