If You Love Beer You’ll Love Portland, Oregon
What’s not to love about Portland, Oregon? Not only is it a beautiful city with beautiful bridges, rivers, and the best restaurants to enjoy, it’s also known as Brewtopia or Beervana! In fact, representatives from the Oregon Brewers Festival declared that Portland has 40 microbreweries located within the city limits, more than any city in the world. In 2006, the city’s official nickname was changed to BeerTown . Not surprising at all given the number of breweries and the fact that the region supplies beer ingredients such as hops and 2-row barley to brewers all over the world. Yes folks, Portland is the beer capital of the world and has been for a long time!
If this doesn’t excite all you beer drinkers out there that would be surprising! I for one am a beer drinker. I was enjoying one of Portland’s most well know breweries when it first opened in 1984, Bridgeport Brewing Company. Back in the 80’s it was pitchers of great tasting beer and excellent Pizza. Located at [mqMap key=”Jrze” width=”350″ height=”310″ src=”http://www.mapquest.com/embed?icid=mqdist_mb_wp&c=Jrze&maptype=map&zm=12&cr=45.52938499999998,-122.66990000000001&projection=sm&showScale=false”]My New Map[/mqMap], it’s the perfect downtown address. Bridgeport Brewing Company is one of the top specialty brewers in the state of Oregon. Bridgeport’s brewing capacity went from its 600-barrel beginnings to over 100,000 barrels per year. Distribution has grown from Portland to 18 states, and the brewery’s emphasis on producing quality, innovative ales has provided it with an international following and numerous awards. Bridgeport offers great food and is near the Pearl Blocks. The Pearl is a wonderful place to wander around. There are many upscale shops, restaurants, and more breweries of course!
Another great and well known brewer of beer is Widmer Brothers. They also opened their brewery in 1984. Widmer houses a state of the art 250 barrel brew house. Their brewing capacity is 220,000 barrels per year. For the first time in the brewery’s history they also installed a bottling line, capable of producing 500 bottles of beer per minute. In 2008 they added six new 1500 barrel fermentation tanks that increased their capacity to 450,000 barrels per year, and added a new keg filling line capable of filling 300 kegs per hour! Imagine that!
For fantastic brews and beautiful art, McMenamins is still one of my all-time favorites hand’s down. Being an artist myself, I really appreciate how they do things. Not only do all the McMenamins pubs, theaters, and inns have beautiful amazing art work, so do their breweries, wineries and distilleries!
McMenamins currently has 24 breweries — the newest located in Wilsonville Oregon — opened in August 2011. Each year, the breweries produce more than 200 new and unusual recipes. Since their first brew, in 1985, they have handcrafted more than 54,000 different batches of beer. In 2010 alone, they brewed more than 47,700 kegs of beer, which is an astounding 5.9 million pints! McMenamins also believes in brewing “green”. One of my personal favorite McMenamins brews is Hammerhead. You can find great McMenamin pubs, Inns, and theaters in downtown Portland and the outer surrounding areas, however, when in the downtown area Ringlers, next to the famous Crystal Ballroom, is very handy and is still one of my favorites. The bar design and art work all around you is just simply beautiful! Plus, there is a public parking garage across the street and right around the corner!
Bridgeport , Widmer, and McMenamins offers so many different types of beer it’s hard to choose and it’s rather amazing just thinking about it! For example, IPAs, ales , darks, lights, seasonal, stouts, and more. They have a brew for any connoisseur’s taste buds.
So, to sum things up, Portland is a fantastic place to enjoy a huge variety of wonderful beers, artwork, and good food in the pubs and breweries that surround our beautiful great NW.
Words by Glenda photos by Brian
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Products you may be interested in:
Craft Beers of the Pacific Northwest: A Beer Lover’s Guide to Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia
Oregon Brew Tour: Craft Beers…Microbrews, Nanobrews, Festivals, & Homebrew Info
Mr. Beer Premium Gold Edition Home Brew Kit
Gold Complete Beer Equipment Kit (K6) with 6 Gallon Glass Carboy
The Homebrewer’s Garden: How to Easily Grow, Prepare, and Use Your Own Hops, Malts, Brewing Herbs