Breweries and Pubs in Portland and Beyond
Sunday 13 March 2016 — Category: Dining Out
In the summer of 2015, The Oregonian — the largest newspaper in Portland and the entire Pacific Northwest — published a series of eleven pub crawl articles to help their readers explore Beervana. These articles intrigued and excited me, because I realized they could help me combine two of my favorite hobbies: exploring Portland photographically and enjoying good food and drink.
A year ago I wrote that there were 58 active breweries within the Portland city limits. As of this writing, Beervana is blessed (or cursed, if you are one of those ) to have 74 breweries. I’m not sure if I got the first number wrong, or if 16 new breweries have opened in the last year — either one is likely. Mind you, these are not businesses that merely sell beer, but places that actually concoct the stuff, making Portland tops in total breweries and independent microbreweries of any city in the world.
One aspect I really liked about the eleven pub crawl articles was that the authors explained exactly how to use Portland’s impressive public transportation system, called TriMet, as the primary means of getting from one pub to the next. This fit in perfectly with my new-found fascination with TriMet, as I wrote last year in Transportation and Dining in the Big City. Later in 2015 I even took Portland-area mass transit all the way to the slopes of Mount Hood! Now that’s true infatuation!
In my last article I told you about a downloadable Google Earth map file I have created, in which I have marked all of the locations I have visited in Portland, the objects which appear in the photos I have taken there, and the routes I have followed on my urban hikes in the Big City. As I was digging into the details of the eleven pub crawls, I decided to add them to my map. For each pub crawl, I made a path of the route mentioned in the article, and I marked each pub stop along the way.
As you can see in the Google Earth screen shot to the right, each pub crawl is organized as a separate folder, which is linked to the relevant article on the OregonLive.com (The Oregonian) Web site. Inside each folder is a marker for each pub on that crawl, with a link to that pub’s Web site. You can download this Google Earth file by clicking here.
I have indulged in only one of these pub crawls so far — back in September 2015 I went on the Pearl District Walk, which will be the subject of my next article. After that experience, I am thinking that I will probably not hit all of the pubs on any other pub crawl during a single outing. Visiting five to fifteen in one crawl is too much all at once! I much prefer to break these pub tours down into smaller chunks, and incorporate them into my regular photographic outings around Portland. This is what I already started to do after the Pearl District pub crawl, as you will see in future articles and photo albums.
Even though Portland has more breweries than any city in the world, it is not the only place in Oregon where beer is made. Other towns in the state, like Bend, Eugene, McMinnville, and even little Albany where I live, have been getting in on the action, albeit on a much smaller scale. As I happen to visit Oregon brewpubs outside of Portland, I will be documenting them as well, with articles and photos.
According to the Oregon Craft Beer Web site, there are currently more than 194 brewing companies operating more than 234 facilities in 72 cities dotting every region of the state. These breweries are concocting thousands of different beers — over 6,700 in Portland alone! Wow! That’s pretty impressive!
How could you possibly keep track of all of those Oregon breweries, pubs and beers? The Oregonian has an app for that! Their Oregon On Tap mobile app features information on more than 800 beers, breweries and taprooms across the state. One section of the app leads you through the eleven Portland pub crawls I mentioned above, complete with photos and links. This free app has numerous other beer-related features which I won’t take the time to mention here — download it and take it for a spin.
Because the photos from my Pearl District pub crawl will most likely be my only album dedicated completely to a pub crawl — with other mini pub crawls being included in other outing albums — today I am launching the new Oregon Pub Crawl (All Years) album, which gathers into a single location all of the photos I have taken of food, drink or facilities at any brewery, pub or restaurant in Oregon — including one photo from out of state when I visited Chelan, Washington in 2012. In this way, no matter which albums such photos are in, or what year they were taken, they will all be found in this new conglomerate super-album.
As of now there are only twelve photos in this album, but that number will increase greatly as soon as I can finish sorting, editing and posting the hundreds and hundreds of photos I took during the last quarter of 2015. I’m hacking away at this huge backlog, but unfortunately it will still take probably two or three more months to work through it all. Just in time for the end of Oregon’s nine-month rainy season, and the start of perfect weather for some Portland pub crawls! Prost!
P.S. Happy would-have-been-103rd birthday to my beer-enjoying, Finish photographer grandfather! In his memory, I even use one of his lenses on my Micro Four Thirds camera!
On May 20, 2016, Mark wrote:
Great article. I didn't know about your google earth map, that is cool man! Thanks! :)
On September 30, 2016, Lockie wrote:
Beervana? Love that ;) Gonna visit Portland soon, thanks for inspirations :)