Beervana: Craft Microbreweries of Portland’s Pearl District

Portland, Oregon has been touted as a top microbrewery destination of the nation, if not the world. Portland’s trendy Pearl District – home to Powell’s City of Books, boutique shopping, and elegant dining – is a must-visit spot (for more information about all that the neighborhood has to offer, see

“The Pearl” contains a concentration of brewpubs that offer fantastic food that pairs well with the brews, tours where you can learn more about the process of craft microbrewing, and a variety of atmospheres for connecting with your friends. Is there a better way to pass the rainy season in Portland?

Deschutes Brewery:

210 NW 11th Ave.
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 296-4906

Deschutes Brewery is currently offering up a sample tray of Fresh hop beers! They have 6 different fresh hop offerings, until they are gone. They have also been pairing a fresh hop beer with farmer’s specials, sourcing from our local purveyors.


On November 15th, Deschutes will release “The Abyss”, 2012. The launch of this annual reserve beer is always a blast. Deschutes Brewery will be offering a sample tray of five vintages of this world famous beer. Deschutes Brewery’s third annual Chef’s Challenge will be on December 10th. This event is a fund raiser for Morrison Child and Family Services, and features several top chefs from the Portland area. Each chef is tasked with designing a dish to pair with one of our beers. There is a panel of judges, as well as a people’s choice award.

(Images courtesy of Michael Mathers.)

Bridgeport Brew Pub:

1313 NW Marshall Street
Portland, OR 97209

Bridgeport Brew Pub and brewery are one in the same. A key stop on Portland Walking Tours’ Epicurean Excursion (, the brewery/brewpub is right on the streetcar line ( If you want a private tour of the brewery, call ahead for arrangements. It’s a fantastic way to learn about the process – and passion – of craft microbrewing. Signature recipes available at the brewpub and in retail outlets this season include the “Summer Squeeze” (for a nostalgic taste of sunlight during Portland’s impending “monsoon season”), “Dark Rain” (apropos to the current season), and “Witch Hunt”. Bridgeport’s tasty menu offers many delicious bites to pair with your brew, including burgers, pizza, salmon, salads and sandwiches, all made with high-quality Northwest ingredients. Bridgeport Brewpub’s attractive upstairs event space is a great place for your company party or family celebration.

Rogue Distillery & Public House (Portland Branch):
1339 NW Flanders
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 222-5910


Rogue Brewery, originally founded in Southern Oregon, has facilities throughout the state. Their Pearl District location is a favorite for work happy hours among the creative class who have offices throughout the Pearl District, and guys’ night out. The Pearl location is also home to Rogue’s distillery, the first rum distillery in Oregon (tours are offered daily at 5:00 pm).

Signature recipes on the long, long list include “Voodoo Bacon Maple Ale”, which was inspired by the notorious Bacon Maple Bar offered by Portland food destination Voodoo Doughnut, and created in partnership with the famous treat peddlers (, “Mocha Porter”, and “Hazelnut Brown Nectar”. See Rogue’s web site for fascinating You Tube videos about the brewing process.

An important part of the Rogue creed is “We build relationships, not just ales”, and that’s evident in the friendly, welcoming atmosphere of their Pearl District pub.

Henry’s Tavern:

10 NW 12th Avenue
Portland, OR 97209

Henry’s Tavern opened in the original Blitz-Weinhard Brewing Complex in 2004. Henry’s offers more than 100 local, regional and international beer and hard cider offerings, and a plentiful tavern menu with seasonal menu items. Enjoy your drink cold on Henry’s ice bar!

This fall, Henry’s will present a spectacular 4-course dinner featuring Ninkasi Beers, with a beer pairing for each course. Meet & Dine with Ninkasi owner Jamie Floyd and Henry’s Executive Chef Jerome Duncan!

Henry’s will be open for Thanksgiving Day, with a special Turkey Day feast, and will also be open Christmas Day an New Year’s Day with special menus presented on those Red Letter Days as well. Watch for Henry’s winter beer list!


(Images courtesy of Henry’s Tavern.)

McMennamin’s Crystal Hotel & Zeus Cafe:

303 SW Stark St.
Portland, OR 97205
(503) 384-2500

The Crystal Hotel and its 1950’s, ‘60’s style restaurant, Zeus Café, are a more recent addition to the vast bohemian Pacific Northwest McMenamins empire of microbreweries, pubs, restaurants, movie theaters, concert venues and hotels. The McMenamins brothers have a tradition of taking historic buildings (including a school, mental institution, and even a mortuary!) and transforming them into delightfully unique attractions. See their web site for more about all things McMenamins.

The Crystal Hotel was created as an overnight location for concert attendees of the Crystal Ballroom next door, a famous venue in the Pacific Northwest music scene. The building has a fascinating history, which staff are happy to recount. Rooms are decorated (in the traditional McMenamins mural fashion) with lyrics from songs that have been performed by famous acts at the neighboring Crystal Ballroom.

But what does this all have to do with microbrews? The Crystal Brewery, one of 24 McMenamins microbreweries in the Pacific Northwest, is the concert venue’s former dance rehearsal hall. Try famous recipes like the “Hammerhead”, “Crystal IPA”, and “Irish Stout”. Want to take beer home with you? Bottles, growlers and kegs are available.

Merlin Varaday Written by:

Merlin Varaday was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, raised in Ashland, Oregon – home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival – and has spent the last ten years in infamous “keep it weird” Portland, Oregon. With a B.A. in Tourism Marketing from Portland State University, Merlin’s day job is to answer questions for visitors to Portland and tell them about everything awesome in the grey-skied City of Bridges. Additionally, Merlin has contributed to the writing, editing, and layout of the Old Town Chinatown Crier ( Currently working on a blog about Living the Good Life on the Cheap in Portland (web location to be announced shortly), Merlin’s immediate plans are to stay in her hometown and write about all that the quirky metro has to offer. Which is a lot: leading developments in sustainability, an award-winning transit system, eccentric annual traditions like the Santacon, and culinary anomalies such as Voodoo Doughnuts. Because of this, Merlin considers herself a “stay-put writer” (as apposed to a travel writer). “Maybe sometime soon I’ll get to travel some place fantastic,” she says, “and then I will be a travel writer. For now, Portland offers a tremendous amount of material.”