Post Summary: Roundup of the Best Breweries in Oregon Based on Firsthand Experience
Oregon is known for beer-loving locals that don’t settle for watered-down libations of any variety. So is it any wonder that these (high) standards have propelled the craft breweries in Oregon on a national scale? Hardly.
I’ve lived in Oregon my whole life (I love this state!) and have done my fair share of brewery hopping. I didn’t want the knowledge to go to waste, so here’s a roundup of the best breweries in Oregon based on firsthand experience.
Best Breweries Oregon
Crux Fermentation Project (Bend)
This one gem is reason enough to drive to Bend for the weekend.
The success of Crux Fermentation Project, one of the most awarded breweries in Oregon, are the numerous unique brewing techniques (open fermentation, barrel mashing) they’ve been perfecting since opening in 2012.
The belief behind this operation is simple: there’s a beer out there for everyone. The running joke is that if you can’t find a beer to love at Crux then you may not like beer, period.
The tasting room is beautiful, but it’s the menu that catches the eye. With a plethora of tantalizing options, it’s hard to peel away. Boasting tons of ales, lagers and experimental beers, don’t rush the experience and give yourself some time to get acquainted with the menu.
If all else fails, ask the kind staff. They’re bound to have a recommendation up their sleeve. As for food, small bites are available but the food carts outside may be more filling. Live music plays weekly, bring some friends and plan to linger.
Between serving the best beer in Oregon, offering epic mountain views and playing host to a welcoming vibe, there’s no doubt that Crux Fermentation Project is one of the best breweries in Oregon. But don’t just take my word for it, go see for yourself!
pFriem Family Brewers (Hood River)
pFriem Brewery in Hood River needs no introduction, this establishment is a household name, albeit a tough one to pronounce correctly (“freem”). Opened in 2012, pFriem has amassed an impressive array of prestigious beer awards (including being named Brewery of the Year by Beer Connoisseur for three years).
The artisanal beers are inspired by European influences while staying true to Northwest roots. The end product is a beautiful thing: complex, smooth and satisfying, these are some of the best beers in Oregon.
Equally as impressive as the beers is the creative food menu. Featuring delectable seafood fare alongside seasonal delights featuring locally sourced ingredients, the menu exceeds the reputation of traditional pub fare.
All told, pFriem is a great Hood River brewery to catch up with friends post-hike. The outdoor patio is very cozy, but if you sit inside you’ll be privy to watching the action happen (the barrels are housed in the restaurant). Regardless, this small detail doesn’t matter because you’re bound to have a great time.
Breakside Brewery (Portland)
Why do I consider Breakside Brewery one of the best breweries in Oregon? It’s all about the numbers. Breakside has been nationally recognized for their mad skill in creating some of the best craft brews in the country.
In 2014, Breakside Brewery won the national top prize in the IPA category at the Great Beer Festival. Likewise, in 2019, they won in 10 different categories at the North American Beer Awards.
The list of awards is too long to list, but you can read more here if you’re interested.
The national success was surprising to outsiders — considering the brewery was founded in 2010 — but only solidified what Portlanders already knew — we won the brewery lottery by a landslide.
Fort George Brewery (Astoria)
The outdoor patio at Fort George Brewery in Astoria is always full. This is undoubtedly one of the most popular breweries at the Oregon coast, but not without reason.
Dating back to 2007, Fort George offers a wide assortment of excellent beers out of a converted 1920s auto garage. Enticing locals and visitors with strong pours of hazy IPAs and award-winning ales, the vibe at this Oregon brewery is hard to beat. As any visitor will tell you, the brews are great (some of the best beer in Oregon!).
Local’s Tip: If I’m being honest, the food leaves a lot to be desired. I’ve visited Fort George Brewery on several occasions and have ordered a few meals. Good, not great is the best way to describe the pub fare. Swing by Blue Scorcher Bakery (in the same building) beforehand for great sandwiches if you’re feeling peckish.
de Garde Brewing (Tillamook)
If you’re an avid sour ales sort, make a beeline to de Garde Brewing. Established in 2014, it didn’t take long for locals to acknowledge it one of the best breweries in Oregon.
Locals aren’t the only ones that think so! De Garde Brewing consistently rakes in prestigious awards for their concoctions.
And it’s not hard to see why. Offering unforgettable high quality sour ales, creativity is the strong suit at de Garde Brewing. What makes this Oregon brewery unusual is the brewing method.
De Garde is one of a few breweries in the world that uses a coolship method to make beer. A coolship is a flat, open top vessel used for cooling wort (liquid extracted from mashing). As such, the beers are made with natural-forming wild yeasts from the coastal air.
If you’re more of a traditionalist, fret not. De Garde has a rotating menu of six guest taps catering to well-loved styles like lagers, ciders, ales and IPAs. But between you and me, it’d be a shame to miss an opportunity to try the best sour ales in Oregon.
Baerlic Brewing (Portland)
First things first, where does the name of this Oregon brewery come from? Baerlic (bear-lick) is an old-english adjective meaning “of barley.”
Strictly devoted to using local ingredients, Baerlic was born from an unapologetic passion for perfecting the art of beer making by two friends, Ben Parsons and Richard Hall. The end result? One of the best breweries in Oregon.
They started brewing in a basement (isn’t that how all great stories start?) and it didn’t take long for their small operation to begin winning awards in amateur competitions. With victory at their backs, the duo decided to take a risk by opening a brewery in Portland.
Serving some of the best beer in Oregon, Baerlic now has three locations in the City of Roses and finding a table at any of them during the weekends feels like an impossible task. Locals can’t get enough of these brews, made evident by the long lines and happy chatter at the brewpubs.
Block 15 Brewing (Corvallis)
Based in Corvallis, Block 15 is one of the best breweries in Oregon. Locals have come to rely on this wildly popular Oregon brewery for strong IPAs (Sticky Hands is the biggest crowd-pleaser) and seasonal creations.
Established in 2008, the objective is to brew excellent craft beers few can forget. Fueled by passion and unabashed curiosity, this brewery is one of the highlights of visiting Corvallis.
The pub is beautiful, with massive windows drenching the area in natural light, the space feels inviting and warm. But folks don’t come here for the sunshine, they come here for some of the best beer in Oregon.
After having a pint of the Sticky Hands IPA you may find yourself justifying the 1.5 hour drive south from Portland. But trust me, you won’t be the only one.
I would drive one hour out of the way for the IPAs at this Gigantic, one of the best breweries in Oregon. Consistently serving up great beer in a casual atmosphere, Gigantic Brewing is one of the best places to catch up with old friends over a cold one.
They have an impressive list of brews on tap and I make sure to sample as many IPAs as I can. Get the tasting flight of six and ask the friendly staff for their recommendations.
They always customize to my taste buds and I’ve never been disappointed by a single beer. In fact, during my first visit to Gigantic Brewing it quickly rose to the top on my list of the best breweries in Portland.
Nothing fussy, just a relaxed venue with stellar brews. What more could you ask for?
The Ale Apothecary (Bend)
If you’re on the hunt for some of the best sour beers in Oregon, make A pilgrimage to the Ale Apothecary. This is the only sour brewery in Bend, and it focuses on sourcing ingredients exclusively from Oregon farms and forests.
In this way, every libation is a taste of the Pacific Northwest. Nestled in the forest, visiting this Bend brewery feels like being invited to a friend’s cozy cabin in the woods.
As with so many of the best brewers in Bend, the well-curated selection of beers changes regularly, so you never know what to expect. The brewmaster finds inspiration from local ingredients and determines what to make based on what he can get his (golden) hands on.
Ruse Brewing (Portland)
Ruse Brewing started the way that all good Oregon breweries start — two passionate friends on a wild mission to produce the best beer in Portland using the help of creativity and science.
The founders met while working at Culmination Brewing in Northeast Portland before branching off with a goal of brewing 20 barrels a month. They initially focused on sours and farmhouse style ales before slowly mastering the craft of every style of beer under the sun.
In no time, Ruse was making some of the best beer in Oregon and locals noticed. So the owners decided to open an inviting brewery in Portland’s Brooklyn neighborhood. They don’t serve food but allow visitors to bring their own to enjoy alongside the brews.
10 Barrel Brewing (Bend & Portland)
Founded in 2006, 10 Barrel Brewing Co. probably needs no introduction. This is one of the most popular breweries in Oregon, but not without reason.
First, the tasting room is an all-around excellent place for hanging out and catching up with friends after a hike. There are two locations – one on the west side and another on the east. 10 Barrel offers a vast selection of beers, but you can also sample wines, sours, and even cocktails.
When it comes to food, this Bend brewery offers a delicious (and generous) seasonal menu. I once had a summer salad here that I can’t get out of my mind 2+ years later. Don’t sleep on the pizza, it never fails to hit the spot. I also really love the berry cheesecake, which is a perfect accent to the end of a fantastic meal.
Thunder Island (Cascade Locks)
This Cascade Locks brewery was founded in 2013 but didn’t officially branch out to its current (beautiful) location until 2020. The taproom is really cool, with fermentation tanks on full display as soon as you walk in.
All the beers are top-notch but the IPAs are most impressive, ask about the seasonal pours and you’re bound to be amazed by the head brewer’s creativity.
The massive floor-to-ceiling windows flood the space with light and offer panoramic views of the gorge and Bridge of the Gods. Make your way upstairs to the cozy bar and massive seating area to place an order. If it’s cold and rainy, snatch a table by a window. If it’s summer, head outside.
The large patio is beautiful and offers great views of the surrounding mountains and the Bridge of the Gods. You’re guaranteed to find dogs sitting alongside happy hikers and friends at one of Oregon’s best breweries.
They have a fun little program where visitors can purchase beers for PCT hikers that make a pit-stop at the brewery. It’s a popular spot for PCT hikers, made clear by the backpacks hanging on the wall.
Immersion Brewing (Bend)
Located in Bend’s charming Old Mill District, Immersion Brewing is often labeled one of the best dog friendly breweries in Oregon. The outdoor patio is spacious but usually filled to the brim on warm summer days.
Family-owned and damn proud of it, the garage-turned-brewery is all about good beer and vibes. Turns out I’m not the only one that considers this one of the best breweries in Bend, it won Small Craft Brewery of the Year in 2020.
The stars of the show are hazy (and I mean haaaazy) IPAs and sensational sours. You can’t go wrong with anything you order because these folks know what they’re doing. Pair your pint with some pub fare and you’ll be looking up homes for sale in Bend in no time.
Cascade Brewing (Portland)
No list of the best breweries in Oregon is complete without mentioning Cascade Brewing. Opened in 1998, this Oregon brewery is one of the oldest in Portland – a true original.
However, it wasn’t until 2006 that it started to set itself apart from the plethora of great Oregon breweries by specializing in barrel-aged sours.
And man, what a blessing that turned out to be. With more than 20 beers on tap, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more extensive (and exciting) list of bright sours in one place.
Cascade Brewing has won numerous awards and is still considered one of the original masters of sour brews in the nation.
Alesong Brewing & Blending (Eugene)
Located in the heart of the breathtaking Willamette Valley, Alesong Brewing is an artisanal brewery in Oregon best known for producing top-notch barrel-aged brews. Alesong’s belief is that barrel-aged beer offers a more balanced, complex, interesting and satisfying Oregon beer. Hard to argue with that.
Ferment Brewing Company (Hood River)
Hood River has no shortage of beautiful breweries, but in terms of the best, Ferment can’t be beat. And I’m not the only one that thinks so! We spent a weekend exploring all the best breweries in Hood River with a group of friends, and the decision was unanimous, Ferment came out on top.
Fighting words, I know. But someone had to tell you.
Fully planked with natural wood panels, the massive floor to ceiling windows expose breathtaking views of the gorge. The newly designed brewery has a minimalist Nordic flare to it, which keeps the focus on the exceptional brews.
If you’re in the mood for small talk, strike up a conversation with locals about the best outdoor patios at the breweries in Hood River and Ferment is guaranteed to pop up. We visited during winter, so we sat indoors, but I’m itching to get back in the summer months for the patio alone.
Migration Brewing (Portland & Gresham)
Founded in 2018, Migration is an award-winning craft brewery in Oregon that sprouted like wildfire and currently boasts four locations.
The passion project of four friends, Migration Brewing is a staple in the community and creates an inviting space for guests to linger over excellent brews and traditional pub fare.
You can find their brews all around town but nothing competes with the source, which is why I highly recommend visiting the actual brewery rather than picking up the cans in store.
The IPAs are a crowd-favorite, but I’m partial to the hearty pilsner. Just make sure you invite your friends and order some of the fare because it completes the experience.
Occidental Brewing Co. (Portland)
Opened in 2011 with a goal of crafting well-balanced continental-style brews in Portland, Occidental has garnered a loyal following and thus ensured its success in the craft brew capital of the world – Portland, Oregon.
The atmosphere is welcoming, the old-school music is great and the old beer can collection is worth mention as well. I met up with some coworkers at Occidental and we tried a handful of beers. Frankly, we were impressed by every one, but something about the Hefeweizen was truly special – it’s one of the best I’ve had in Portland!
Best Beer Oregon FAQ
There are more than 200 breweries in Oregon, making Oregon one of the states with the most breweries per capita.
Home to more than 70 breweries, Portland has the most breweries in Oregon state. In fact, Portland has the most breweries per capita of any US city
List of the Best Oregon Breweries (Post Summary)
In sum, here’s a roundup of the best craft breweries in Oregon
- Crux Fermentation Project
- de Garde Brewing
- pFriem Family Brewers
- Baerlic Brewing
- Block 15 Brewing
- Breakside Brewery
- The Ale Apothecary
- Ruse Brewing
- 10 Barrel Brewing
- Thunder Island
- Immersion Brewing
- Fort George Brewery
- Cascade Brewing
- Alesong Brewing & Blending
- Ferment Brewing Company
- Migration Brewing
- Occidental Brewing Co.
Map of the best craft breweries in Oregon
What do you think?