Astoria

Beer culture is picking up steam in this historic port, where Fort George Brewery’s February Stout Month draws a growing crowd and plenty of art galleries and shops on the main drag help pass the hours between pints. 

CHECK IN: The Commodore Hotel, a 1920s travelers’ boardinghouse converted into 17 chic, European-style rooms, is centrally located, with a killer coffeehouse in the lobby. From $89

DRINK (& EAT): Footsteps from the Commodore, hit Fort George Brewery for bar snacks  and pints of its Vortex IPA and 1811 Lager, then make for the riverfront deck at the warm, family-run Astoria Brewing Company & Wet Dog Café. Finish the day with live music and another local beer at the Big Easy–inspired, gloriously dive-y Voodoo Room bar.

DON’T MISS: Breakfast at the classic Columbian Café, with its greasy-spoon vibe and fresh seafood.

 

Hood River

North America’s windsurfing capital is also one of its world-class beer destinations, anchored by the iconic Full Sail. Plenty of excellent, scrappy new breweries await, both within town and a just short drive into the surrounding farmland.

CHECK IN: Sakura Ridge, a tranquil, Zen-influenced B&B on a working 72-acre pear and cherry orchard makes a nice base camp. From $170

DRINK (& EAT): Fuel up on gourmet pizza and fresh beer at Double Mountain, making sure to try the standout sours like Devil’s Kriek. Venture over to newcomer pFriem Family Brewers, near the waterfront, for tastes across a broad brewing spectrum. Then it’s just a short drive to Parkdale’s Solera Brewery, built in a 1930s movie theater (and former brewpub), with a focus on intriguing, Old World–inspired sours. 

DON’T MISS: Sunset from Solera’s idyllic backyard, just eight miles from the craggy, glaciated north face of Mount Hood. Pair the view with a big bottle from Logsdon Organic Farmhouse Ales—they don’t have their own tasting room yet, but you can find their wild ales at Solera. 

 

Bend

With its craft brewing legends (Deschutes), bold newcomers (GoodLife, Worthy, Ale Apothecary), outdoor festivals, and thirst-inducing trails, Bend is the classic Oregon beercation. (And the eye-popping drive over Santiam Pass? Bonus!) 

CHECK IN: McMenamins’ Old St. Francis School, a restored 1936 schoolhouse downtown, has cool, dark, funky rooms, stand-alone cottages, and a surprise Turkish bath. From $135

DRINK (& EAT): At Crux Fermentation Project, former Deschutes head brewer Larry Sidor has constructed an ultramodern brewpub in a former transmission shop. Start with the tangy, citrusy On the Fence pale ale. Next hit Boneyard Beer’s edgy tasting room for some tart Girl Beer (a sour with cherries). Finish the day around the corner at 10 Barrel Brewing Co’s pub—snag a seat around the outdoor fire pit and tuck into some steak and gorgonzola nachos paired with light, smooth pints of Sinistor Black Ale. 

DON’T MISS: The Brew Shop—an incredible bottle shop with hundreds of selections—and the adjacent Platypus Pub, a dimly lit drinking den housed in a former church.  

This article appeared in the July 2013 issue of Portland Monthly.
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