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Best beer bar in Portland, Or.?

jwbarth Nov 22, 2009 10:05 PM

I'll be in Portland for a few days soon, first time in 15 years. My favorite pub then was Bridgeport, which I plan to stop by again. What else is good? I'd particularly like a pub with a great selection of NW beers. Casks would be nice also. For reference, my favorite beer bar is Toronado in SF.

  1. scarmoza Nov 23, 2009 08:11 AM

    You should visit Saraveza. You won't love it for the same reasons you love Toronado - but there's still a lot to love about.


    1. Insidious Rex Nov 23, 2009 10:43 AM

      Best beer bar? I guess the popular answer would be the Horsebrass pub (horsebrass.com) which is world renowned and probably right up your alley if you are a Toronado man. Theres also Bailey's Taproom which is decent too. And Henry's 12th Street Tavern brags of having taps in the triple digits. But Portland is a brewpub town! So you eliminate so many cool places by limiting yourself to "beer bars" only. This is where craft brewing was born!

      And I might also suggest checking out The Biercafé at Belmont Station if you want to pick up a couple bottles (and its around the corner from the Horsebrass pub anyway so make it a single trip). The variety there is fantastic both for purchase and on tap. Concordia Ale House also has a great tap list and you can buy bottles there as well.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Insidious Rex
        jwbarth Nov 23, 2009 12:50 PM

        Thanks for the info. Horsebrass sounds great. I'm open to brewpubs, but with a limited amount of time, I do also want to go someplace where I can get a good overview of the local beer scene, and Horsebrass will probably do that for me. Who's making the best beer in town? I tend towards the Strong Ales, Imperials, Belgian styles, etc...

      2. s
        Shaggy Nov 24, 2009 06:43 PM

        Henry's is great, it's got a great beer list and amazing food. Tons of local brews on tap. Probably one of the best beer bars I've ever been to. It's right down the street from Deschutes, which is also pretty awesome.

        8 Replies
        1. re: Shaggy
          nkeane Nov 27, 2009 11:31 AM

          Bailey's Taproom all the way! constantly rotating taps, and super knowledgeable owners/bartenders.

          As for Henry's, if you like seeing 100+taps of MACRO beers(ie, beers you can get anywhere and aren't special or rare in the least) and eating decidedly horrible food(think McMennamins without the local charm....truly terrible. Really.) well then.....

          Horse Brass is a local institution. Now that the smoking ban has been in place almost a year, its tolerable. Definitely one of the good beer bars in town.

          If you happen to be here on a weekend, I highly recommend hitting the Upright Brewing tasting room. They are doing something pretty unique here in PDX. Open fermentation, farmhouse style beers. So good....

          for places I have yet to be that people are talking about: Saravesa, Prost, The Beermongers.

          1. re: nkeane
            SauceSupreme Nov 27, 2009 12:28 PM

            Perhaps you should peruse Henry's beer list, because I would disagree with the notion that it's a bunch of beers you can get anywhere or aren't special or rare in the least.



            1. re: SauceSupreme
              nkeane Nov 28, 2009 10:43 AM

              while I agree that there are SOME nice selections on that list, I will say that their menu is swollen with macro swill and pedestrian(for the PNW and Portland anyways. Widmer? Deschutes? Rogue? those are all available just about everywhere...) micros.
              just take their pilsner category: Bud Light, Coors Light, Heineken, Pabst, Miller Lite...? what self respecting beer bar is going to put that list forward with a straight face? that is literally shameful.

              But lest we make this thread about terrible beer bars, lets keep it about the places TO go to, not the ones to avoid.

              Bailey's, I promise you, isn't going to be putting Pabst on draft anytime soon.

              1. re: nkeane
                Shaggy Dec 2, 2009 09:07 AM

                Having lived in several areas of the country and the world, I'd have to disagree. The beer list is regional, and I defy you to find Deschutes "just about everytwhere". Having a few macro brews available doesn't make a bar bad, it just means it has a few macro brews. God forbid a bar is clean, has televisions, serves food, and isn't playing hipster music. I promise you that the best "beer bars" in New York, London and Brussels serve bud light, although I doubt you would know that.

                1. re: Shaggy
                  nkeane Dec 2, 2009 10:17 AM

                  SInce the OP wanted to know about bars in PORTLAND, I left NY and Europe out of my considerations. Now, if the atmosphere of a TGI Fridays is what you want in a bar, well Henrys will suit you just fine. I am sure you are familiar with that type of place.....

                  It is not the addition of Bud LIght that makes Henrys a less than desirable option, it is the light years better choice of Baileys, Horsebrass, Saravesa, etc., within a short distance.

                  1. re: nkeane
                    Shaggy Dec 2, 2009 10:25 AM

                    That's fine, so maybe you should say that next time, instead of talking down to people who were offering their opinions.

                    1. re: Shaggy
                      nkeane Dec 2, 2009 11:32 AM

                      I apologize, I did not mean for my response to be directed to you. I meant to respond to the topic and OP. I simply clicked the wrong 'reply' button, I am sorry if it seemed I was talking to you directly, that was not my intention.

                      As far as my opinion of Henry's goes, that remains the same.

                      1. re: nkeane
                        Shaggy Dec 2, 2009 12:36 PM

                        No worries, everyone is entitled to their opinion, I'm sure Bailey's is awesome.

        2. m
          MichaelG Nov 27, 2009 11:14 AM

          I'd go to Horse Brass for the best selection of draft beers and great ambiance. I'd also go to Descutes in the Pearl District for a brewpub to rival what Bridgeport used to be in terms of quality. The best pint of beer you taste just might be one of those at Descutes.

          1. porky pine Dec 2, 2009 08:34 PM

            Horse Brass and Belmont Station are a couple of blocks from eachother and both have ridiculous beers.

            Saraveza and Concordia Ale House are kind of close and are both worth checking out.

            If you happen to be in town on a Tuesday, the East Burn has really good pints for $2.

            1. route99west Dec 3, 2009 10:57 PM

              My advice would be Produce Row on the inner east side. If you really want a diverse and highly local selection that would be close to the top of the list. Definitely a bit more funky Portland vibe but lots of micro and submicro brews.

              1. SauceSupreme Dec 9, 2009 10:04 AM

                My favorite right now is the recently opened Spints on NE 28th just down a block from Pambiche.

                2 Replies
                1. re: SauceSupreme
                  porky pine Dec 9, 2009 02:27 PM

                  I walked by Spints the other day. Do they have good beer on tap? How is their food?

                  1. re: porky pine
                    SauceSupreme Dec 9, 2009 04:36 PM

                    Some early reports can be found here, including a look at the tap list:


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