Monday, January 23, 2012

Portland Pub Crawl: SE 9th to SE 12th

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  But looking back through the pub crawls I've written up over the years, every single one of them is out of date.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.
Now, this is a pretty serious itinerary, and although it's only 1 mile from beginning to end, it would probably take you an entire day to finish it. Maybe it's better to think of this map as describing two separate pub crawls:  one north of Hawthorne Blvd., the other one south of Hawthorne.  Clicking on the pins will tell you the opening hours of each place -- most of them are open between 11 am and at least 11 pm every day -- as well as a short description of the pub.

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!


  1. and if you're on a summer stroll, wander three more blocks North on 9th and you'll find yourself at Base Camp Brewing Company. Hope to see all you crawlers here come summer time.


  2. Thanks Krister, I forgot how close your little Bermuda triangle is.

    Do you know when you will open? And what the hours will be then?

  3. Not only did you create the portland pub crawl but you created the second stop at the same location for double the fun. It was like buy one get one free whoppers at Burger King!

  4. We're hoping sometime in June. Hours are set from 11 to 11 right now.


  5. if any one wants a real pub crawl just start at 52nd and hawthorne and work ur self down to 29th stopping to have at least one drink in each bar, this was my usual routine when i was in my 20's now i turned 40 this year, and thats when u find just one good bar and drink till u cant drink no more.luckly i found many good bars just that a lot of them changed to crap over the years, example Ash St. saloon was hopping in the day now it looks like peope dead or working on it in there nowadays.


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