1239 SW Broadway, 503-222-9070, higginsportland.com.
Higgins is like your favorite uncle: rich, dignified and full of booze. It's kept current on craft beer since the mid-'90s, with expertly curated Belgians and a rotating tap list that never fails to have something you've never heard of. Food goes from casual—beautiful burgers, happy-hour duck wings—to composed farm-to-table plates and a charcuterie board as titanic as it is incredible. Alongside the taps, Higgins has dozens of bottles from Delirium, Chimay and Rodenbach alongside locals like De Garde, pFriem and Logsdon.
4057 N Mississippi Ave., 503-284-6669, interurbanpdx.com.
Five years in, Dan Hart's Interurban has come into its own as a roundly excellent gastropub with top-tier draft beer—from Barley Brown's, Breakside and Russian River—and food that pairs well with it. Chef Jonny Henry's small menu is mostly the same stuff you find at others of its ilk (roasted bone marrow, rainbow trout, crab cakes, steak frites), but it's the only place in Portland to do it on the level you find at someplace like Denver's Euclid Hall.
4534 SE Belmont St., 503-232-2202, horsebrass.com.
The Babe Ruth of Portland beer bars turned the big 4-0 last year. On a busy weekend, it can still be tough to find a rickety wooden chair inside this dimly lit English-style pub founded by legendary publican Don Younger, where super-rare beer releases always tend to sneak their way onto the taps. But when you find a seat, stay awhile: Horse Brass fries up some of the best fish 'n' chips in town, and the other English pub fare is hearty and delicious.
915 N Shaver St., 503-477-8763, saraveza.com.
Aside from being one of the city's best beer bars and bottle shops, Saraveza is a hot spot for the city's Packers faithful—and it now finally has Portland's only white, squeaky cheese fried in an airy batter to pair with its Lambeau Leaps. The pub closed for a week last fall to redo its kitchen for new chef Dustin Gettmann, a veteran of Pok Pok NY and pFriem, who makes great high-end pub fare including a stellar buttermilk fried chicken with creamy mashed potatoes and a rich, herby tarragon gravy.
4336 SE Woodstock Blvd., 503-206-5495, doublemountainbrewery.com.
The Hood River brewery has long been famed for its New Haven-style pizzas, adapted from a recipe bequeathed by the master behind Apizza Scholls. It took them a few months to get things dialed in in Woodstock, but our recent visit showed those pies are now great, with a snappy crust and the right proportions of sauce, cheese and toppings. Alongside that, you'll find Double Mountain's classic Kölsch and the Devil's Kriek made with cherries grown just a pit-spit from their brewery.
Grain & Gristle
1473 NE Prescott St., 503-288-4740, grainandgristle.com.
G&G is co-owned by Alex Ganum of Upright Brewing, but for a long time he insisted on selling other people's beer here instead of turning it into a natural extension of his bare-bones cash-only taproom. That's over now, and thank God. G&G is now Upright, pouring beautiful rare bottles like Oregon Native and a Rainier-cherry sour called Shades. The burger is both simple and unendingly stellar, a braised lamb plate is a mere $15, and dates can pick up a rotating meal for two with two beers for a total of $25.
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