213 SW Broadway, 295-1004, baileystaproom.com.
Bailey's is a near-perfect beer bar, constantly humming with 25 fast-rotating taps on an electronic board, ambitious selections, and staff that both gives a damn and knows its beer without being snotty about it. The only problem, in fact, is its own success. Once you find a seat, guard it like your Social Security card. Use the buddy system to keep your table, and have Santeria deliver a burrito across the alleyway.
1522 SE 32nd Ave., 234-8888, bazipdx.com.
Portland's coziest Old World beer bar is curated with the terrific taste of owner Hilda Stevens. The selections pouring from the 17 taps are well-crafted, mostly centering on a rainbow of fruity and sour ales from Belgium, with a small number of Northwest-style beers and ciders acting as the occasionally needed sideshow.
7918 SE Stark St., 254-8200, facebook.com/BeerBunker.
When it opened, this Montavilla bar vaguely resembled the eyeglass alcove between the front doors of a Walmart, mid-renovation. It's amazing what a few posters and a steady crowd can do for a place—it's downright homey now. The beer list errs on the side of novelty, at least compared to nearby Roscoe's, but the crowd is chill, and there's room to play board games.
1125 SE Division St., 234-6012, thebeermongers.com.
The Beermongers always feels like you should need a password to get in. From its drab, industrial strip-mall exterior, it looks like it should be a malt supply store. But when you poke your head inside, it's a drinker's dream garage, a rough-edged beer cave decorated with soccer flags on every surface that doesn't have a case of rare beer pushed against it. The bar's always cramped—even more so during barrel-aged beer fests—but somehow it seems you can always find a seat.
915 N Shaver St., 477-8763
This small, low-key beer bar off Mississippi Avenue favors Barley Brown's, Block 15 and Breakside on tap and has a large array of bottles to choose from.
1410 SE Stark St., 233-2337, facebook.com/BeerPortland.
Possibly the most stylish nook in all Beervana, this un-Googleable offshoot of the Meat Cheese Bread sandwich shop is packed with tastefully kitschy glowing signage and exotic glassware. Customers always seem to be characters, on our most recent visit a pack of bros smelling of weed, playing Big Buck Hunter and discussing the virtues of closing their pizza place early when there's no one there, anyway, despite what the boss says. The selection varies widely on whim, but you'll find gems like a Flat Tail marionberry sour with pink peppercorns.
4500 SE Stark St., 232-8538, belmont-station.com.
A must-visit for out-of-towners and a perennial favorite among locals, Belmont Station is both a fantastic beer bar with 24 tap selections and a carry-out shop with 1,200 bottles to choose from. The bar stays busy with frequent tastings and annual events like its weeklong sour beer festival, Puckerfest. Food comes from the Monk's Deli cheesesteak cart.