Bottoms Up In Oregon's Best Breweries

25 June 2015

Oregon's penchant for weird and wacky is what makes it one of the most unique places to visit in the USA's Pacific Northwest, but there's nothing slightly off centre about their craft beer scene. In fact, it's taken very seriously as the state continues to perfect the art of making a top microbrew.

There are approximately 179 different brewing companies across seven different regions, producing everything from pilsners to porters. It's a veritable playground for those that love to sink a few suds on their holiday, which is why we're exploring Oregon according to the best brewskis.

 The City of Roses is about more than flowers

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Portland Area

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Portland is known for its fun and funky style. It's a city where sustainability is the name of the game and the quirkier you are the more you fit in. Exceedingly friendly to all types of traveller, it welcomes with green spaces galore and a sweep of uniquely Portland attractions. Its breweries are no exception.

Kick off your Oregon beer itinerary at the Hopworks Urban Brewery – a funky little family spot that encompasses everything the city is about. Established in 2007, it's housed in a sustainably -built and operated building and features a full menu of organic beers made from locally sourced ingredients.

Or get to the heart and soul of the Portland craft beer movement at the BridgePort Brewing Company. It was Oregon's first craft brewery, and, with a few awards under the belt, they have developed a reputation for producing one of the city's most exceptional IPA brews.

 The Oregon Coast dazzles by sunset (Image: Getty)

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Oregon Coast

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For a little scenic beauty, there is nowhere finer than the Oregon coast. Spectacular ocean vistas are abundant with historic towns peppering the sandy shores from north to south. From hiking and swimming to animal watching and camping, it's easy to fall for the allure of this laid back stretch of the state. Come for the beaches and stay for the breweries.

Holding down a waterfront spot in picturesque Pacific City, the Pelican Pub & Brewery is all about pairing the right beer with the right dish. Sure, their Kiwanda Cream Ale is fabulous, but you just have to try it with their blackened cod and Beer Blanc sauce.

To the south, Rogue Ales Public House in Newport provides thirsty travellers with a gratifyingly long line-up of exceptional ales, porters, stouts, lager and spirits. Their approach is a little bit cheeky and a lot of innovation, which is definitely working for them if their sweep of awards from the 2014 World Beer Championships is anything to go by.

 Outdoor fun is limitless in Oregon (Image: Getty)

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Central Oregon

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Adventurers are sure to hit their stride in central Oregon as this slice of the state is a haven for hiking, biking, golfing, fishing and more. And with 300 days of sunshine, the weather always seems to be perfect for all of it. Just make sure you take a break from exploring the lush landscape of Willamette National Forest or the spectacular viewpoint at Cline Falls to sip some of the refreshing beers this region has to offer.

Situated in Bend, Oregon, the aptly named Bend Brewing Company has been impressing locals and visitors with their handcrafted drinks for the last 20 years. They certainly have the awards to prove it. With standouts like Ching Ching American Sour and Wicked Medicine, you're sure to find something to tempt your tastebuds. Pair it with their bacon mac n' cheese and pull up a seat on their outdoor patio. You may never want to leave.

Also located in Bend, Deschutes Brewery is putting out pioneering beers that get distributed across 27 US states and two Canadian provinces. They have mastered no less than 26 different brews, ranging from barley wine to cider. It was their Black Butte Porter that started the Deschutes revolution, and it continues to be a top choice for beer fans.

 Beautiful Mt Hood overlooks much of the state (Image: Getty)

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Mount Hood and The Gorge

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Bordering Washington in the northern reaches of the state, the Mount Hood and Gorge region is another top spot for outdoor enthusiasts. Mt Hood may be an active volcano, but its slopes invite fun throughout the year. Skiing and snowboarding are popular through the winter, while hiking in the summer months will reward with spectacular views of the surrounding orchards, lakes and towns.

Taking full advantage of the region's best natural assets with its picturesque position on the Hood River, you could say Full Sail Brewing Company puts a little bit of Mount Hood in every bottle. Literally. This company uses spring water from the area in creating their award-winning brews. They started things off with their Full Sail Amber and now put out sensational seasonal brews that continue to impress beer connoisseurs of all levels.

 Even the barns are beautiful in Oregon (Image: Getty)

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Eastern Oregon

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Encompassing nearly half the state, it's hard to define the eastern region of Oregon as anything other than varied. It's a destination to please everyone with rolling flowering hills, jagged mountains and stretches of vast desert punctuated by historic ghost towns. The highlight, by most accounts, is the Wallowas – a range of alpine peaks surrounded by meadows and wilderness.  Though a trip to one of the many breweries in the region plays a close second.

Barley Brown's Brew Pub proves that great things come in small packages. Not nearly as large as some of the other Oregon operations on this list, this little pub is holding its own in Baker City with 22 of their own creations on tap all the time. Ranging from the mild flavour of the Jubilee Golden Ale to the robust blackness of their Disorder Stout, these guys are firmly focused on great beer.


Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more advice and the latest deals on travelling to Oregon.


Carlie Tucker

Travelling is for discovering the unexpected. From fantastic meals in ramshackle joints to stumbling upon a best kept secret, I love those fortuitous travel moments that couldn't be planned if I tried.