At the beginning of the summer, I ventured to Portland, Oregon. I spent a glorious four days exploring, eating awesome food, and reveling in all the weird goodness of the city. Some of my favorite things? Slappy Cakes, Prasad, Powell’s City of Books, and the world’s tiniest public park.
Some of my other favorite things: Portland breweries! I visited quite a few during my trip, and here are the top ones I advise adding to your list.
I came across Baerlic Brewing Co. on a whim. It was hot, and I was looking for a place to duck into for some AC. I was so happy to step inside and find this gem!
Baerlic is just adorable. As someone who appreciates nice design and attention to detail, I fell in love with the brewery’s charming aesthetic. Even the wood on the taster flight boards is engraved with a small message.
I tried a flight with the Cavalier Classic Cream Ale, Invincible IPA, Primeval NW Brown Ale, Shop Class IPA, and Nice and Easy Salted Oat Gose. My personal favorites were the cream ale and the gose, but we didn’t have a bad beer.
From the get-go, the staff was very friendly and informative. When I was choosing beers, they did their best to help navigate me to the styles I’d like. That doesn’t always happen, so I always appreciate and recognize excellent customer service! The brewery doesn’t serve food but welcomes guests to bring their own.
If you’re planning a trip to Portland, I highly recommend you add Baerlic Brewing Co. to your list. And for extra credit: Impress your friends by letting them know “baerlic” is of Old English etymology, meaning “of barley.”
Oh, Base Camp, I love thee.
Before my visit, I had seen a photo similar to the one above, which I thought encompassed all of the brewery. I expected it to be pretty small. But that is just part of the property–it’s actually pretty sizable and has an indoor space with plenty of seating.
Base Camp’s theme is adventure and the outdoors, as evidenced by beer names like In-Tents IPL, Ultra Gnar Gnar IPA, and S’more Stout. The tasting room houses a collage of cool nature photos, too, along with an upside-down canoe that hangs above the bar.
Base Camp’s bottles differentiate them from other breweries, too. The aluminum 22oz bottles are impressive–they are lighter and more versatile than glass, more environmentally friendly, and chill beer quicker.
Anyway, onto the beer! I mentioned the S’more Stout earlier, and holy moly… It is so good. It’s served with a tiny roasted marshmallow which is the cutest touch ever. (Gotta admit, that’s what originally drew me to Base Camp).
I also tried the Red & Wit witbier, Celestial CDL black lager, Night Riders imperial Pilsner, and Ultra Gnar Gnar IPA. I loved the In-Tents IPL so much that I got a bottle to bring back home. I also bought a bottle of the Eagle Cap Lager, a Vienna lager barrel-aged with candy cap mushrooms. Sounds different, right? It was delicious, and I’m sad it’s gone!
And now for something completely different…
Cascade Brewing Barrel House is a pioneer in the tart, barrel-aged beer movement. The brewery houses hundreds of French oak, Kentucky Bourbon and Northwest wine barrels filled with wheats, blonds, reds, browns, and porters that are aged and blended into delicious concoctions.
My boyfriend and I were running on fumes by the time we got to Cascade, so unfortunately we only tried a few tasters. We had the Noyaux, Apricot, and Elderberry. The Noyaux was our favorite–again, so much so that we had to buy a souvenir bottle! It’s a blend of blond ales that were blended in oak for over a year before further aging on raspberries and apricot noyaux for another seven months. I appreciate that precision and dedication to the craft!
I can’t wait to spend more time here someday soon. They have 15+ taps, so there’s always something different to try.
Cascade has a decent food menu with small appetizers, sandwiches, and salads. It would be a perfect spot for a weekend date!
Overall, you can’t go wrong with any of these Portland breweries. I could wax poetic about Portland for days, so feel free to shoot me a message if you’re planning a visit and want recommendations!