Not long ago I claimed to have invented the Portland pub crawl. But looking back through the pub crawls I've written up over the years, every single one of them is out of date. The other day when I asked your advice on where to send tourists drinking in Portland, a common theme was that a pub crawl is the best way to experience Portland's beer scene. I heartily concur, so I propose to outline a few easy-to-walk Portland pub crawls. The audience for these posts is more likely to be visitors than natives, though of course I welcome your input if there's something you would change about the routes.
First up: a no-brainer through my own zip code of 97214:
View Portland Pub Crawl: SE 9th to 12th in a larger map
The green pins represent the main points on the pub crawl. I recommend that you go from north to south, since Apex and the Firkin are open far later in the night than anywhere else, though if you're hoping to visit the worthy Beermongers, keep in mind that they close at 11 on weekdays and midnight on Friday and Saturday. The yellow pins are optional (except for Commons Brewery: don't miss it if your pub crawl happens during the few hours they are open). Here's the green-pin plan:
- Cascade Barrel House: Nice patio, Crazy wild beers, but also more accessible beers available in honest pints
- Green Dragon: Great taproom. Maybe the least Rogue-ish Rogue establishment.
- Lucky Labrador: A Portland classic. The patio isn't very scenic, but it's a convivial hangout if the weather is good. Great setup for darts.
- The Firkin: New place with 14 rotating taps, midway between Lucky Lab and Beermongers.
- The Beermongers: Super casual bottleshop, with great prices, and 8 well-curated beers on tap.
- Apex: Portland's answer to Toronado. No frills, just reasonable prices on excellent beers.
Clicking on the bus icons will tell you the last departing times for the main buses to and from downtown Portland, and also gives you the Trimet stop IDs so you can check bus arrivals in real time. If you click the "View larger map" link, the Google map lets you select the Transit overlay to see more bus routes in the area.
I added the optional yellow pins to give you more choices if you decide on one of the smaller routes, or if you need to stick close to TVs for some kind of sporting event, or if you want some different food options. As I said, even though its pin is yellow, don't miss the Commons Brewery if your pub crawl is early on a Friday or Saturday evening -- it's a small brewery that makes high-quality, approachable beers in a variety of interesting styles. There are many other optional places I could have added, but I didn't want to clutter the map too much. If you crave more variety, click to the larger Google map and search nearby for "bar".
Enjoy your pub crawl!