Portland Beer Scene

I love drinking and making beer, as well as eating great food too. All of these things you can do while in Portland, Oregon. This past weekend I attended HomeDadCon presented by the National at Home Dad Network. Any time I get a chance to go to a beervana place I try and get in a day earlier and explore the beer scene. I take in as many breweries and bottle shops as I can drinking as many as I can stand and finding beer that I can’t get where I live.

Wednesday Travel Day andNight

Traveled on Wednesday from Charlotte to Denver (then to Portland later). I had a long layover and  wasn’t going to just sit in the airport the whole time. Exhausted I rode the train from the airport to Union Station near Coors Field. Opening up my google maps and searching for good breakfast food lead me to  Delectable Egg for some brunch. I had scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, hashbrowns and two full size biscuits and gravy for $10. Next I went to FreshCraft and had a flight of 4.

After visiting FreshCraft I met up with a fellow at home dad traveling to Portland and we ate some lunch at Illegal Pete’s (think Chiplote but way better). After he ate (because I was still full from brunch) we went to Great Divide’s Barrel Bar. This place was amazing.

My favorite from Great Divide was the Strawberry Rhubarb Sour.

On Wednesday night I had a Breakside IPA from Breakside Brewery. This was probably the best IPA of the entire weekend. Wait a second. You are probably reading this thinking, “Hold up now, Deschutes, Rogue, 10 Barrel are in Portland and they have great IPA’s.” If you thought this, then you would be dead wrong. There wasn’t hardly one IPA, Blonde, NE IPA, Stout or Sour from any of these places that broke my top 40 of the weekend. More on that next.

Thursday All Day
10 Barrel and Fathead Brewing Company

Thursday was when I had the most time to get out and find some great beer. Our first adventure was to 10 Barrel. I had heard great things about 10 Barrel in the past but never had a chance to find any of their beers locally. I got a flight of 10, for about $8.

The beers here was 4 out of 10 stars. They had a Pumpkin Beer they had on the list that got infected and tried to sell it. And whats bad is that people were actually buying it. It was disgusting. My favorite of the ones I tried was the Pina Colada Sour. The IPA’s were bleh and I wouldn’t get any of them ever again. Totally a bust.

Next we went to FatHeads Brewery and had some much better beer here.

Their Azacca IPA and the Coalition Plum Sour were my favorites as well as their stout (not pictured because I tried someone else). The sorcerer was very overpowering and had a lot going on (it is a Belgian quad if I can remember correctly). Their pretzel was YUGE and the dipping sauces were amazing.

Thursday night was also the pre-homedadcon festivities and I had some really great beers their too. I had a Oakshire Sun Made Raspberry Berliner Weisse and an Oakshire Sun Made Cucumber Berliner Weisse. I’n not sure why I’m totally into sours but man I love them.

First Bottle Share

After a long night of programming I was up for some great beer. But after having dinner I (we) decided to do one of two bottle share in one of the hotel rooms. 

From Left to Right Consecration from Russian River, M is for Murker from Mikkeller Brewing, Electric Lemonade, Trophic Cascade, Pliny the Elder and Firestone Walker’s Helldorada 2017 and slightly pictured was a Port Barrel Aged Wee Heavy from AleSmith Brewing. They all were really really great. The Wee Heavy has intense flavors for sure.

Friday Night
Cascade Barrel House

After programing was done we had dinner at the convention where they had an open bar. I had a 10 Barrel Joe IPA, a Widmer Brothers Hefe and an Amber Ale from Portland Beer Co. They were decent. After dinner was done we went out to Cascade Barrel Bar and Rogue Brewing Company. Cascade was wonderful. I think I (we) almost tried everything on their entire list. Here’s the list:

  1. White Chocolate Wheat Wine (from The Bruery)
  2. Apricot – Sour Ale (Cascade)
  3. Noyaux – Sour (Cascade)
  4. Diesel (2016) – Stout (Cascade)
  5. Bourbonic Plague – American Wild Ale (Cascade)
  6. Shrieking Violet – Sour – (Cascade)
  7. Oblique Black and White Coffee Stout – (Cascade)
  8. Lemon Aid – Sour -(Cascade)
  9. Portland Ale – Pale Ale (Cascade)
  10. Kriek – Sour Ale (Cascade)
  11. Sang Noir – Sour Ale (Cascade)
  12. Strawberry Sour Ale – (Cascade) (2013)

The sours here was all amazing. I’m so glad I was able to visit them. If you love sours like I do, visit them, drink everything they have. It was awesome.


Now that I had the good stuff, I went to Rogue, literally across the street from Cascade Barrel House. I wasn’t going to even go their because their stuff is just bad. But because I live on the East Coast of America, and they are housed on the West Coast, I figured I’d give them the benefit of the doubt knowing that their stuff might be expired by the time it gets to me. However, after going, I’ll never have another Rogue beer, ever. I got a flight of two of their sours, one IPA (Promise Garden IPA) and one of their Barleywines (Tree-D). The barleywine I literally poured out on the ground because it was disgusting. The sours were decent (5 out 10 stars in my book) and their IPA was about a 4 out of 10 stars. It was very disappointing. However, I say all of this to say, their food was great and ABinBev owns them and it shows for sure.

Okay enough about Friday night

Saturday Night
Great Notion

Probably the best night of the weekend. After we were finished with the convention we had a cocktail party (I had two whiskey’s) then headed to Great Notion Brewing Company for dinner and beers. They had the best IPA’s of the entire weekend. And I mean it. The entire weekend. Here’s the list of the ones I had a Great Notion:

  1. Blueberry Muffin Sour (my absolute favorite)
  2. Juice Jr, NE IPA
  3. Mother Pucker Sour (my 1st least favorite)
  4. Fresh Hop NE IPA
  5. Rapsberry Dream Sour (My 2nd least favorite)
  6. Double Stack Stout
  7. Juice Box Double IPA


2nd Bottle Share

After we ate dinner and had some beers at Great Notion we went back to our AirBnB we had an epic bottle share. Heres the List of the ones we had there:

  1. BLVCK Celebration Oak Staves (Ghost 114) Imperial Porter – Adriot Theory
  2. Barrel Aged Ten Fidy – Oskar Blues
  3. El Guapo Habanero Spiced Beer – Flat Tail Brewing
  4. Capella Porter from Ecliptic Brewing
  5. Scotch Ale – Bellevue Brewing Company
  6. Barrel Aged 17 Mint Chocolate – Perennial Artisan Ales
  7. Crux Stout – Crux Fermentation Project
  8. Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout (I made this one)
  9. Barrel Age People’s Porter – Foothills Brewing Company
  10. Sticky Hands – Block 15
  11. Sun Made Cucumber Berliner Wesise (my second time having it this weekend)

At the end of the weekend I had a total of 64 different beers. A great beer weekend for sure. My conclusion, ABinBev run breweries (10 Barrel and Rogue) had really great food and lacked even decent beers at best. Local independent breweries (Cascade, Great Notion, Fatheads) were delicious. If you want great food go to Rogue and 10 Barrel. If you want both great food and great beer go to the other three I mentioned. I will also say that 10 Barrel and Rogue are on West Portland and the rest I tried were all on East Portland.



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