213 SW Broadway, 503-295-1004, baileystaproom.com. Noon-midnight daily.
Established: August 2007
Bailey's Taproom is still the best and most popular beer bar in downtown Portland, with 25 hand-selected taps stocked with the rarest, newest and most desirable pours. Explore during off-peak hours—that's when the knowledgeable staff have time to lead you to the right pour on the digital tap list, and when you won't have to box out newcomers eyeing your table for the burritos delivered from Santeria across the alleyway. But if Bailey's is too busy, the biggest little secret in the Portland beer scene, the Upper Lip, is accessed by a door in an alleyway just behind the tap room, where a set of stairs brings you into a magically quiet second-story beer bar that has been the protected Masonic Lodge of local beer nerds for years. This Bailey's-run hideaway is stocked with cellared selections for on-site consumption, and is where you're likely to find six of the most amazing draft pours in town.
Bar story: Bailey's owner Geoff Phillips has more side projects than Wu-Tang Clan. In addition to the Upper Lip, the Brewed in Oregon merch store across the alleyway is also a Phillips special. In 2015 he filled a parking lot with beer for two blessed weeks, and this year he expects to open up a barnyard brewery called Level Beer out in Parkrose.