There are way too many breweries to try them all, especially in the Pacific north west, and impossible to write a ‘Best of’ list as it also comes down to personal taste. So, here are a few of our favourites that we found during our 3 months in the USA.
Deschutes Brewery, Bend, Oregon
Deschutes originated in Bend but also has a huge tap house and restaurant in Portland. We went on a Sunday afternoon and the place was packed. A great atmosphere and well designed like a big German beer hall. Best of all, they brew one of the best Porters I’ve ever tasted.
Rogue Brewing, Newport, Oregon
They have many locations and the beers can be found everywhere (we even found it in Guatemala) but the Public House in Newport still feels like a tiny indie brew house. The bar tender should also get a mention as one of the best, we were greeted with a free sampler of the beautiful 4 hop IPA and his explanations and recommendations were spot on. There is a great local community vibe here and after a long conversation with a few regulars they actually bought us a round. If you like big hoppy IPAs this place is for you.
These guys get a mention not only for their great beer but also the fantastic brew house. A big social beer garden for those rare sunny Seattle days and a great indoor fire pit for warming up in winter. There is a great vibe here and it really feels like the town centre where people just come to meet up, and why not have a beer at the same time. It’s also dog friendly and has bicycle parking so you don’t need to choose between exercise and beer. The Session pale ale is very, very drinkable.
When you sit up at the bar having a chat with the bartender and watching the game it really feels like you could be part of the Cheers cast. On top of that they have too many good beers to pick a favourite, great service (special mention to Brenden, such a legend) and one of the best burgers I ate in the country. Ok, maybe I picked a favourite, the Coffee IPA.
This one makes the list due to circumstance. We had driven 10 hours from Bryce Canyon in Utah, with the car barely running on two valves and snow and ice threatening to take our front wheel drive van off the side of the Rocky Mountains. When we couldn’t drive on any further we found ourselves in this very cute Wild West mining town with a huge plate of nachos and pints of IPA. They very well might have been the best nachos and IPA I’ve ever had, or that may be my delirious memory. All jokes aside, it’s a really cool brew pub where you sit right in amongst the Brewery with pipes and big metal thingys all around. The town is also worth a walk through and has a couple of nice cafes.