Going to Oregon! Need beer...
In a couple weeks I'll be going to Oregon for an 8 day road trip. I'll go through Bend, Portland, then down the coast. Being that I will be in the heart of craft brew country I was hoping to get some suggestions on the best breweries in the area.
Any places I shouldn't miss? Any general suggestions?
I recently visited Rogue, Upright, and Deschutes in Portland.
Rogue's alehouse in the Pearl District has a massive taplist, including just about every Rogue beer available for sale and many beers from their subsidiary brewpubs. They also have the full line of spirits, allowing you to indulge your desire to know what hazelnut rum tastes like without shelling out for an entire bottle. As Rogue is based in Newport, it may be a better use of your time to visit them there if your Portland itinerary is already full.
Deschutes, like Rogue, started elsewhere. Both the Portland and Bend pubs pour everything you've ever had from them before and then some. Visit both locations if you have the time, since they serve different beers at each pub. The Portland pub feels a bit tourist-y, but it's a small price to pay for great beer.
Upright is a very different experience. There's no "pub", just a couple of taps in the brewery (check the hours online). Their beer definitely has an experimental feel to it - not everything is a winner, but everything is certainly interesting (wild yeast, novel styles, etc). Although the bottles are ridiculously expensive, drinking at the brewery is dirt cheap.
I was not able to visit the Cascade Barrel House and am a bit sad about that. If you like sour ales, it should be on your list. I am also interested in checking out Heater Allen in McMinnville. Be sure to report back if you do.
Keep an eye out for beer from Hair of the Dog, a very small brewery in Portland which is one of the most distinctive breweries there. They brew ales with very distinct character, and the brewmaster Alan Sprints is remarkable in any measure. They have a tasting room open from 2 to 8 pm from Wednesday to Sunday. But should you drink in any of Portland's better beer establishments, Hair of the Dog is certain to be available. My favorite is Fred, but Adam is also excellent. These beers are high in flavor (and alcohol) and are thoroughly satisfying. Let me emphasize that this is a world-class brewery in every respect. Hair of the Dog is certainly worth searching out as a one-of-a-kind brewery.