Beer Staff Picks

Our Favorite Places to Grab a Beer in Portland

’Tis the season for sun, fun, and good brews. From St. Johns to Buckman to the Pearl, here are some staff picks for where to grab a pint.

By Dalila Brent, Katherine Chew Hamilton, Michelle Harris, Rose Lee, Michael Novak, Margaret Seiler, and Conner Reed

Image: Dalila Brent

Captured Beer Bus

113 SE 28th Ave / Buckman

There’s no wrong way to serve a beer, and the Captured Beer Bus, located in Pod 28 near the Laurelhurst Theater, is proof. Owner Brian White parked 10 years ago and has been pouring for Portlanders ever since. From Italian-style pilsners from Eugene to Japanese-style rice lagers from Hood River, the rotating menu highlights the best of the Pacific Northwest. With a steady stream of visitors—some who chug and leave, others who sit, chat, and vibe out to the curated playlist—it’s a perfect place bring a friend, or arrive alone and make a new one. —Dalila Brent, digital engagement editor

Apex Bar PDX

1216 SE Division St / Hosford-Abernethy

With an enormous selection of brews that both delights and overwhelms the average beer lover (me), I love going to Apex on SE Division on a sunny afternoon and sipping on a hazy IPA on the patio. —Rose Lee, video producer

Backwoods Brewing Company

231 NW 11th Ave / Pearl District

The best place to order up a six-beer tasting tray at Backwoods Brewing Company is at the OG location in Carson, Washington, preferably after a day spent rafting the White Salmon, but the airy Pearl location is a more-than-acceptable substitute, with better-than-they-need-to-be salads and loaded tater tots to wash down with a signature Logyard IPA. —Julia Silverman, deputy editor

Belmont Station

4500 SE Stark St / Sunnyside

Belmont Station is my go-to for trying out new beers. The wide selection at the bottleshop harkens back to my California memories of giant liquor stores with endless variety, and the fact that I can smash a Monster Smash burger on the back patio is just icing on the cake. —Mike Novak, art director

Cascade Brewing

939 SE Belmont St / Buckman

I love sour beers, and Cascade Brewing, a pioneer in the style since 1998, makes some of the finest ones I've tried. A lot of fruited sours I've had lately just taste like juice with beer, but that's not the case at Cascade. The flavorings, if you choose to go that route, are subtle and intriguing, like in the Pêche Fumé, a wheat ale brewed with cherrywood-smoked malt with PNW peaches, aged in oak barrels. If you're more of a purist, try the Sang du Chêne, a blend of oak-aged blond and triple ales with vanilla-like notes from the wood. The tasting room offers cozy booths inside and a heated, covered, dog-friendly patio outdoors. —Katherine Chew Hamilton, food editor

Lombard House

7337 N Lombard St / St. Johns

From jarred beer delivery when the bar was closed to window service and a tented backyard through the rest of the pandemic, it's no surprise that the Lombard House gives St. Johns beer lovers exactly what they need. Whatever you're in the mood for—a place to bump into a friend, strike up a conversation with a stranger, sit quietly and contemplate the well-curated tap list, watch a corny movie on the TV behind the counter—this tiny, super-friendly spot somehow transforms into just that kind of bar. —Margaret Seiler, managing editor

West Coast Grocery Company

1403 SE Stark St / Buckman

Nice little neighborhood brewery that, despite its name, is definitely not a grocery store. Whether I am in the mood for an IPA or a barrel-aged lager, I can always look forward to a great tap selection. There are plenty of couches with plushy pillows for lounging, but the star of the show is a giant sculpture made out of shopping carts. —Michelle Harris, editorial intern

The Barley Pod

6035 NE Halsey St / Rose City Park

I’m a ride-or-die for the Barley Pod on 60th and Halsey, which is anchored by Baerlic Brewing and a lovely beer garden (which admittedly has light Hunger Games vibes when it comes to seating). My favorite of the no-nonsense food options—spanning Korean/Hawaiian to South American to Thai—is Flew the Coop, which slings a variety of fried chickens; each goes down well with one of Baerlic's bright, citrusy IPAs. —Conner Reed, arts & culture editor