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Craft Beer in Portland

Author and radio host Lisa Morrison discusses Portland's thriving beer scene.

Lisa Morrison sips local ale at Hair of the Dog in Portland, Ore.
Photo caption
Lisa Morrison sips local ale at Hair of the Dog in Portland, Ore.

As an epicenter of microbrewing, Portland claims a beer scene that shows little sign of going flat. Lisa Morrison—author of Craft Beers of the Pacific Northwest and host of Radio Northwest’s Beer O’Clock show—knows the spots that help the city maintain its nickname of “Beervana.”

Q Why do beer lovers adore Portland?
Portland has more breweries than any other place in the world. You can find good beer in corner stores, mom­-and-­pop taverns, and everywhere else.

Q A notable neighborhood for pubs?
Try southeast Portland. You can hit Base Camp Brewing, Hair of the Dog, the Commons Brewery, Green Dragon, Cascade Barrel House, Horse Brass, and the Cheese Bar. And of course there’s my shop, Belmont Station, with 1,300 bottled beers and 23 taps.

Q Your favorite breweries?
Two stand out for their talent in barrel aging and blending: Hair of the Dog, going on 20 years and with a great tasting room, and Cascade Barrel House, where they literally roll out the barrel on Tap It Tuesdays. Vistors can sign up to personally do the tapping.

Q Restaurants with great beer lists?
Grain & Gristle is very beer­-centric, and Ecliptic Brewing is a great up-­and-­coming brewpub with a seasonal menu.

Q Any tasting hints for local brews?
In the Northwest, we love our hops, which flavor beer the way herbs and spices do food. You get these amazing aromas: pine, orange, lemon, tangerine.

Q The next big thing?
Saison, a light, refreshing beer ori­ginally brewed in Belgium and France for farmhands to drink in the fields. It’s food friendly and delicious. What’s not to love?

Photography by Robbie McClaran

This article was first published in March 2014. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.