The beautiful state of Oregon has a lot to offer in terms of food and drink. Most major cities you travel to have at least a couple of options to quench your thirst for a lovely craft brew. I love travelling and I love craft beer and when I travel I try to make a point of visiting the local craft beer brewpubs. So, in no particular order here are my top 5 brew pubs in Oregon.
The Creamery Brewpub and Grill located in Klamath Falls Oregon, also home to Klamath Basin Brewery. Since I live in the area this is one of my go-to hot spots for a pint and some great food. The atmosphere is inviting, the staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and it is tucked away just a few blocks from downtown Klamath Falls, the perfect place to offer up some liquid refreshment after being dragged around on a shopping trip.
If “going green” is your thing , then look no further, this brewery employs a geothermal heat exchange system to heat up their building, and their water for brewing. An interesting side note, this same geothermal system has been tapped to heat the local college (Oregon Institute of Technology) and to keep the sidewalks heated in the winter.
On the menu along with their great beer you’ll find a plethora of mouthwatering pub food. My personal favorite has always been the pulled pork sandwich, with its pecan smoked pork smothered in house BBQ sauce you can’t go wrong.
The Creamery sports around eight of its very own beers on tap at any time. The menu is inscribed with beer recommendations to compliment your food order but my favorite for washing down just about anything is their famous Vanilla Porter.
Bend Oregon is awash with craft beer. It is also home to 18 microbreweries, while I haven’t visited them all one of my favorites so far is definitely got to be Crux Fermentation Project. You step into Crux and instantly know you are among fellow beer geeks.
With great views of fermentation vessels and brewing equipment aplenty from your perch in the restaurant you immediately feel like these guys take brewing seriously… and they seriously do. Along with their normal menu of delicious craft beer they also take it upon themselves to “banish” some of their brews. Inside of Crux to “banish” a beer means to put it in an oak barrel and let it age for a while, or as I like to call it, “make it more delicious”.
When visiting Crux, make sure to try their buffalo chicken wrap and while you’re at it grab a glass of Banished Double Cross, a Belgian strong dark ale, you’ll be glad you did. Go just before or after sunset for “Sundowner Special” great deals on beer and appetizers.
Once again the list brings us to Bend Oregon. A huge name in Oregon craft beer and craft beer throughout the country, Deschutes Brewery has been bringing us incredibly tasty brews since 1988. The brewery, having long outgrown its humble beginnings has a much larger brewing operation located a short distance from the public house itself. The public house served as the brewery until 1993 when the production facility was finished. Now the public house serves as restaurant and the place for Deschutes limited batch and experimental brews.
Deschutes public house offers growler fills so that you can take home a glorious 64 ounces of their deliciousness with you. The chefs here constantly strive for the freshest and best ingredients and it shows. I’ve never had anything on the menu I didn’t like but if I were to recommend something I would go for the Elk Burger complete with Gruyere cheese, roasted shallots and thyme, romaine lettuce and mayonnaise on a challah roll. Oh yeah, and once again a brewery striving to be environmentally friendly Deschutes recycles their spent grain to feed the cows that make the beef for their food. Also they bake it into delicious bread.
There’s always a great selection of beer at the public house. If you want something to complement your meal, just ask your sever, they are always more than happy to make suggestions and considering they were voted one of Outsider Magazines best places to work, chances are your server will be super friendly too. If you just want to have a few beers look no further than the chalkboard above the bar announcing all of their brews on tap. I tend to go for anything on the list that doesn’t normally come from Deschutes in a 6-pack, those tend to be their limited run and experimental brews.
For the fourth craft beer brewpub on my list we are going to travel all the way to… you guessed it, BEND. Partially because I do a lot of travelling to bend and partially because Bend is home to so many great breweries I had to dedicate 3/5ths of my list to this wonderful hub of the fermentation arts.
The Platypus Pub Is a great place to stop for some food, a drink, or a fine selection of home brewing supplies. The upstairs portion of the pub is home to all your home brewing needs, fermentation vessels, ingredients, boxed brewing kits, yeast, and kegs for those home brewers tired of bottling their beer. The platypus also boasts the largest selection of bottled beer in central Oregon with over 500 different bottles of craft beer from the US and imports from other countries.
Downstairs is home to the pub with its delicious food and around 15 rotating taps. With so much selection you are bound to find a brew you’ll enjoy. The last time I went here, I was surprised with a representative from Stone Brewery doing a free tasting of some of their beers I’ve never tried. A lot of locals hang out here and it is a very friendly environment. While everything on the menu is good I would start with the Nachos with smoked pork and work my way toward the Platypus burger.
Number 5 will take us to the most populous city in Oregon, Portland. A great city to take in the sites as well as get your fill of culture (and VooDoo Doughnuts), Portland is also home to the Hair of the Dog Brewing Company.
A fairly small restaurant to house some really BIG beer. Hair of the Dog has been specializing in high alcohol content bottle conditioned and barrel aged beers since 1994. With 3 beers weighing in at 10% ABV or more it’s fair to say they know what they are doing when it comes to brewing big beer. Currently their biggest beer on the menu is 2013 Doggie Claws at 11.5%.
Another establishment where all the food is good but there are some major stand-outs. Try the Chuck Norris Duck Wings, but keep in mind that they aren’t joking when they say they have a solid punch and a nice kick (well… they are joke, kind of) these babies are spicy and flavorful… and spicy, did I mention spicy? Wash it down with a glass of Doggie Claws barley wine or try something from their rotating collection of barrel aged beers.
With that I bid you good day ladies and gentlemen. I hope you’ve enjoyed your short trip through my top 5 and will come back soon for further adventures in Oregon Beer or wherever my writing takes us. Until then, thank you so much for reading and if you have anything to add, of course, feel free to comment.