Portland Dec trip --- Breweries?

Old Nov 27th, 2009, 03:19 PM
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Portland Dec trip --- Breweries?

Hello everyone,
My partner and I are planning a trip from the SF Bay Area to Portland in mid December. We want to drive and can take spend a night or even two on our way up and back. Several questions -- we want to avoid the snow/ice and so plan to take a coastal route. And ideas of the route and also places to stay along the way? Ideally, we'd stay different places on the way up and back, just for variety. Once in Portland we want to stay 2 or 3 days. Our main goal is to sample to local micro brew scene. Any ideas on places to stay downtown? We want to walk or take transportation, of course, since we'll be drinking beer. And any favorite brew pubs? I know it will likely be cold and rainy in Portland, but we are okay with that. Thanks for any help!
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Old Nov 27th, 2009, 07:15 PM
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Will you make it up in time for the holiday ale festival?

I don't drink so I can't offer you tips on great microbreweries - but there are plenty of them. Do some googling for a guide.

The Hotel Monaco is frequently recommended as a central place to stay in downtown Portland. It's a 4-star boutique hotel and not always cheap - try for some discounts. You'd be right on the MAX line and be able to walk or take the trains to things. Others recommend the Inn at Northrup Station in NW Portland (NW Portland is a great neighborhood); that hotel is right on the Portland Streetcar line. Portland is a small town and very easy to walk and the streetcar and MAX trains help, too.

I would base your driving routes up and back on the weather, if you can be flexible. There's nothing wrong with I-5 in the winter if a recent snowstorm hasn't closed the passes. I-5 is a major west coast arterial and thus has to be kept open most of the winter for trucks especially. Driving the coast will take a lot longer - not so bad since it can be gorgeous scenery if it's not fogged in. If you do one direction via 101/the coast route, you could stop in Newport or Bandon for example - but since it's off season, expect both towns to be kind of dead, but if you're lucky it might be kind of mild in December.
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Old Nov 28th, 2009, 07:58 AM
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Thanks Andrew. Wow, I wish I were going to be there in time for the Winter Ale Fest, but we'll be later than that --more like mid December. I appreciate the hotel recommendations!
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Old Nov 29th, 2009, 08:38 PM
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There are so many breweries these days that it's really difficult to point any out in particular. I haven't been to the Rogue Brewery in years but their Dead Guy ale is probably my favorite beer in the world. My son is a Deschutes Brewery fan. Bridgeport is one of the oldest large scale breweries. Widmer isn't downtown but it's on the max line. Mcmenamins. These are just the larger and most established businesses I can think of off the top of my head. There are a number smaller ones just across the river, namely Roots and Lucky Lab.
There are pedicabs for distances you don't want to walk.
Here's a nice little map:
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Old Dec 8th, 2009, 04:21 PM
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Hi There,

I'm not sure if it is too late for any tips (I'm not sure when in mid-December your trip is) but I love the brew scene here! Great idea!

I gotta tell ya - when you cross the border you will be in some decent sized mountains so honestly, I would definitely rather be on I-5 than the 101. Having said that, if you do decide to take the 101, the Humboldt area might be a great place to stay overnight. That's about 7 hours south of Portland (I think about 4-5 north of SF). I love Mad River Brewing, in Blue Lake, about 10 min east of Arcata . .
I agree with the PP that the coastal towns of Oregon will be pretty quiet. You can check out Rogue's main facility in Newport, pretty cool tour.

Once in Portland, I would 100% recommend Hopworks Urban Brewing. It's fairly new - all organic, sustainable, etc. They are a brewpub so you can great a great meal while tasting your beers. Check out

I would also recommend Bridgeport in NW Portland - primarily because it is one of the oldest breweries in Portland (the other being Widmer, and I would definitely prefer Bridgeport beer). Their old brewery has been remodeled a bit to be a more upscale - so you can get a good meal here too.

I also really like Laurelwood Brewing (also a brewpub) three locations, a small public house in NW Portland, their main facility in NE Portland, and their pizza place in NE Portland.

(Oh yeah, warning, both Hopworks and Laurelwood are really family friendly - so if you don't like kids running around while you are drinking your beer I'd skip prime dinner hours or stick to the bar)

If you skip Rogue in Newport there is a Rogue in NW Portland too. Previous posters mentioned Lucky Lab and Roots. Both are great and local. Lucky Lab is one of my favorites - 3 locations, one of which is in NW Portland. Deschutes is also great - they are really from Bend, OR, but within the last year opened a pub in NW Portland. They brew some specialties at this facility too. New Old Lompoc is also another great brewpub - best on on NW 23rd.

Hair of the Dog has some really strong unusual beers - they are open by appointment only.

Some other great breweries along I-5 include Ninkasi in Eugene and Caldera in Ashland (both also only open by appt).

I think Hotel Monaco is a great option, as is the Nines, Hotel Lucia, or Hotel Vintage Plaza (wine themed). All are jsut a couple blcoks from eachother and very close to the MAX line if you want to leave the car at the hotel.

If you stay at one of these downtown places, you can easily get to Deschutes, Bridgeport, Laurelwood NW, Lucky Lab on Hawthorne, Roots, Rouge, and New Old Lompoc on NW 23rd - they are all within a couple miles (maybe 2?) miles of eachother and those hotels. Hopworks and Hair of the Dog aren't much further.

If you do stay at those hotels, there is a beer bar (I don't know what else to call it!) just a few blocks up on the corner of Broadway and Ankeny called Bailey's Taproom. They have 15-20 rotating taps, and a really knowledgable staff - not just about the beer they are pouring but also the beer here in Portland. I'd reccommend popping in for a taster tray!
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