Don's Top Picks

Don lives in Portland and write extensively about beer in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. You can follow him on twitter as @pdxbeerguide or read his twitter feed below

Note that we regularly update what constitutes a top pick so places can be relegated from the list if their beer range dips or there are other significant changes.


Originally a small beer specialty shop located on SE Belmont St very near the Horse Brass, Belmont Station moved and expanded to the current SE Stark location several years ago, increasing the selection and adding a beer café. Widely considered to be one of the best of its kind in Portland.


The pub that brought Portland's emergence in the sour-beer world into sharp focus. Fans of sour beer - particularly beers inspired by Belgium's Flanders reds and browns - should consider this a must-visit.


This is the OG pub of the Portland beer scene, a British-style pub that transcends mere imitation with a wider selection on tap than you'll find in any pub in the UK, and a huge proportion of what's on tap is Oregon brewed. The Horse Brass is an institution, and a mandatory stop on any Portland beer itinerary.


Pub and bottle shop, well-stocked selection and well-chosen drafts.

COVID-19 restrictions mean limited seating space inside, masks worn while ordering at the bar or choosing beers from the coolers, and vaccine proof mandatory if sitting at the bar.


Wayfinder Beer A Don top pick  Full menu available. WiFi available Brewpub. New entry in the Guide in 2016 Specializes in German Beer and German Styles

COVID-19 Update: limited opening days and hours, and outdoor operation only on deck and streetside "parklet." Reduced menu, but plenty of good beer.

The buzz building up in anticipation of Wayfinder's opening built up to a roar in Portland, right up to its opening day on October 1, 2016. The buzz hasn't subsided. The brewery is focused on lagers, with equipment available to do decoction mashing. The menu is all about good pub food. The expansive outdoor deck is a must on a fine day. Put this one on your short list of must-visit Portland brewpubs.

2017 Update: in June 2017, Wayfinder's house brewed beers made their debut. Brewer Kevin Davey is turning out the kinds of beers that will quickly develop an avid following.


Honorable Mention

APEX  Don Honorable Mention WiFi available

Covid-19 saw APEX switch to credit cards. Roomy, long bar, generous beer patio. Like San Francisco's Toronado, this is something of a love-it-or-hate-it place, but the beer selection is usually first-rate. No kitchen, but take-out from neighboring Gordito's or occasional food trucks parked in front is always acceptable. Just don't climb over the fence! NOTE: Covid-19 vaccine checks are mandatory. Unvaxed are refused service and told to leave.


The ForeLand Beer Study  Don Honorable Mention Closed Monday Closed Tuesday Brewery tasting room, may have limited hours. New entry in the Guide in 2021 Specializes in Belgian Beers and Belgian Styles Specializes in German Beer and German Styles

Cozy little pub with plenty of corner nooks and a back patio, serving a good range of Sean Burke's lagers and ales.


Former location of Lompoc Brewing's Hedge House, now pouring some of the region's best farmhouse-style and mixed-fermentation beers. Do not miss this one. 2021 saw the opening of a Kansas City-style barbecue kitchen. It's good too. Be prepared to show proof of covid-19 vaccination if seated at the bar.


Montavilla brewery opened in January 2019, the second brewery in this neighborhood, with Montavilla Brewing just around the corner. Threshold features a roomy, open taproom space, including seats at the bar. Good range of beers on tap: a grisette, various takes on hazy IPA, gose, and lightly smoky grodziskie. Bring your own food or order a zapiekanka. This part of Montavilla now has four decent beer venues, making for a good pub crawl.


Tulip Shop Tavern  Don Honorable Mention Full menu available. WiFi available New entry in the Guide in 2019 Has an unusual or regional beer on tap.

Revamped former dive bar, now with a modest but very good tap selection, canned beers, classic cocktails, and good pub food.


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