The 10 Best and Most Iconic Beer Bars in Oregon

(Sam Gehrke)

The Bier Stein
1591 Willamette St., Eugene, 541-485-2437, 11 am-midnight Monday-Saturday, noon-10 pm Sunday.
Perhaps no place in Oregon has converted as many people to craft beer geeks as Eugene's Bier Stein. Bier Stein is Oregon's first bottleshop and taproom combo, and it's just a mile from the University of Oregon campus. Opened in 2005 as a small bodega-style cafe with an eclectic rotating tap list before that was common, this spot now owned by former Ninkasi manager Troy Potter has hundreds of craft and import bottles and a small kitchen serving paninis, soups and salads. If you went to college in Eugene or are a beer fan, you likely have a Bier Stein story. In 2013, the Stein relocated to a much larger building with a full kitchen, an event space for regular pairing dinners, a fireplace, pool tables and bar with 30 rotating tap lines and over 1,000 bottles all properly stored cold under UV-free LED lighting. EZRA JOHNSON-GREENOUGH.

6350 SE Foster Road, 503-805-7342, 2 pm-midnight Monday-Saturday, 2-11pm Sunday.
A lot has changed since this Foster-Powell beer bar rode into the scene on the cresting wave of West Coast IPAs. Hazy hoppy beers have stolen the thunder of the pine-bombs of yore, and N.W.I.P.A. co-owner and mascot Jackson Wyatt has handed over the reigns to join the team at Mike Hunsaker's new Grains of Wrath in Camas. And yet, nothing's really changed at this hophouse. They still have a tight six-tap list that's pouring the freshest IPAs you'll find anywhere, often including highly sought-after kegs. There's still no kitchen, and the minimalist taproom still has office lighting and local art on the walls. But because the beers are always super-fresh, and because the staff is obsessive about all things IPA, N.W.I.P.A. remains one of the most distinctive and constistently exciting beer bars on the West Coast. MARTIN CIZMAR.

Hilary Sander, NWIPA

Bailey's Taproom
213 SW Broadway, 503-295-1004, Noon-midnight daily.
Rounding into its eleventh straight year as Portland's best and most popular westside beer bar, Bailey's Taproom now has more side projects than Wu-Tang. There's a six-tap upstairs beer sanctum called the Upper Lip, where you may find Bailey's owner Geoff Phillips or one of the bartenders drinking from one of the excellent taps they chose for themselves. Phillips also opened a rustic barnyard brewery in East Portland (Level Beer, page 41) and a beer merch store right across the alley (BrewedOregon). But the downtown beer bar maybe had to diversify. After all, it's always full to overflowing—packed with equal shares of old-school beer nerd, casual tourist and happy-hour tech dude. There are apparently spreadsheets and formulas behind this success; beer buyer Bill Murnighan tries to keep just the right balance of esoteric, trendy and accessible beers on the 26 house taps. But the real key is a simple mix of good taste and good manners. In a world of beer-geek dens, Bailey's welcomes all. And if it sometimes feels like Bailey's welcomes too many, you can always hide out upstairs at the Upper Lip. Every single one of those six taps is always a winner. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

Belmont Station
4500 SE Stark St., 503-232-8538, 10 am-11 pm Monday-Saturday, 11 am-10 pm Sunday.
When it first opened 21 years ago, Belmont Station was actually on Belmont Street—an offshoot bottle shop and weirdball English grocery store adjoined to Portland's famed Horse Brass. But ever since Carl Singmaster bought the place in 2006 and trucked it up to Stark Street without changing the name, this little bottle shop and beer bar has become a legend—a reputation that continued as beer buyer Lisa Morrison bought the place from Carl five years ago. Brewers nationwide fight to hold their bottle releases at the 1,300-bottle store, and pretty much every week a different brewer stops by to pour their beers to customers for free. Meanwhile, in the tight-quarted Biercafé, countless taphandles from pours past jut out from the walls like a beery porcupine—a description that may also describe the bartenders, who offer nearly too-honest assessments of every beer or brewery you ask about. But Belmont's connections run deep, and so does that tap list. Some of the hardest-to-find brews in the country end up here, and they all taste great with a Delaware cheesesteak from the Monk's Deli cart out back. MATTHEW KORFHAGE.

(Bridget Baker)

Broken Top
1740 NW Pence Lane #1, Bend, 541-728-0703, 11 am-10 pm daily.
Broken Top Bottle Shop owners Jennifer and Jason Powell got their inspiration from another bastion of Oregon beer: Eugene's Beer Stein. When the couple opened on Bend's deep west side in 2012, few options existed there for getting solid food and a broad selection of brews—with the addition of a sunny patio to catch some of those sweet Central Oregon rays. The Powells soon gained recognition not just for the broad beer offerings—both on tap and in the bottle—but also for the wide menu offering a number of veggie and gluten-free options. The spot has won local "Best Of" awards numerous times for Best Vegetarian, ensuring the crunchy and non-crunchy set can get what they're seeking, while knocking back a few. These days, plenty of other bottle shops and beer joints populate all corners of Bend, but Broken Top continues to attract its fair share of riders popping in from a day on the mountain, as well as neighborhood folks coming back to the trough for more of their craveable house-smoked wings, sandwiches and specials. Check out the beer case, or catch a beer on tap, with both local favorites such as Crux and Tumalo Cider Co., as well as regional specials and international specials on offer. NICOLE VULCAN.

Horse Brass
4534 SE Belmont St., 503-232-2202, 11 am-2:30 am daily.
The Godfather of Portland beer bars, this 42-year-old English-style pub was here before Portland became Beervana, and helped put Oregon craft beer on the map. Late, great founder Don Younger started with imports before nurturing early Oregon brewers, all the while keeping a vital pub culture. The 50-plus draft lines feature English classics like Guinness and Old Speckled Hen and authentic food like a massive Fish & Chips platter, pot pie, ploughman's platters and yes, a scotch egg. Publican Joellin Piluso keeps the Brass relevant with 20 rotating taps of fresh faced new local breweries from Boneyard to Ruse. Few concessions have been made for hipster sensibilities, and don't come here for the game unless that game is darts or soccer. EZRA JOHNSON-GREENOUGH.

(Thomas Teal)

1004 N Killingsworth St., 503-206-4252, 11 am-12 am daily.
Over its nine years in North Portland, Sarah Pederson's Wisconsin-themed beer bar has grown into one of the state's most well-respected institutions. A warm brick space lined with classic beer kitsch and bottle-cap-set tables, Pederson designed the bar to be inviting to gruff, beer-world idols like famed publican Don Younger—a no-nonsense beer lovers' haven that shows Packers games to the Hamms crowd on Sundays, and has staff that will tell you exactly what to order from the 10 taps should you ask. Then again, Pederson's hand-picked list is typically so good you could throw a dart. The only non-rotating beer is a bright and delicate cream ale that was designed specifically for the place by Breakside—a pour they'll give you in a frosty mug if you ask. Food here is as simple and thoughtfully done as the beer, a rotating seasonal selection of hearty fare that includes golden brown pasties, house-made potato salad and easily the best fried cheese curds in town. PARKER HALL.

Hilary Sander, Saraveza

Bier One
424 SW Coast Highway, Newport, 541-265-4630. Noon-11 pm Monday-Saturday, noon-9 pm Sunday.
Craft beer has long been prominent in Newport, but until recently there wasn't a great beer bar. Bier One changes that—Newport now has the best taproom on the coast, and one of the best anywhere in the state. This large, warehouse-y space pours an array of contract-brewed sour saisons, stouts and wits listed on the chalkboards hung against the walk-in cooler. The crowd is chatty, and the spacious side room has billiards. Because of all that, and its location on the outskirts of the Nye Beach neighborhood—which has quickly supplanted the faded harbor area— it's become a hotspot in town, and you should expect to encounter of the city's hip young people. Predictably, not all the locals love this, as you can see from hilarious online reviews like: "This bar used to [sic] be Electric Beach back in the '80s. It is now a snobby bar for the elitist crowd [sic] at [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] out in South Beach. It is pretty expensive and if you aren't a scientist… they will never fully welcome you." Oh, Newport: Never change. MARTIN CIZMAR.

1125 SE Division St., 503-234-6012, 11 am-11 pm Sunday-Thursday, 11 am-midnight Friday-Saturday.
There are so many bigger, flashier beer bars than this homey little clubhouse on Southeast Division Street. And in an era where geeks trip all over themselves to hunt down the hot new labels, there are also beer bars that better trade in trends. This tiny corner space in a Division Street plaza is a bulwark against all that—the beer is great, the bartenders are extremely knowledge and the crowd is both eager to see new things and inclined to call bullshit on undeserved hype. It's basically that record store from High Fidelity, but for beer. The 10 taps are chosen with rigor, and always have a nice mix. You can expect a touch of nostalgia (a 2010 Widmer Barleywine), a shameless love of established local favorites (Rosenstadt's helles, Arch Rock's porter) and an eye toward letting the new guys prove themselves (Pure Project, Structures). The bartenders are almost insistent on pouring you a sip of anything you're unsure about, and more often than not you'll order one up. Just don't Instagram your pint once you get it, lest the regulars raise their eyebrows. MARTIN CIZMAR.

Caves Bier & Kitchen
308 SW 3rd St., Corvallis, 541-286-4473. 4 pm-midnight Tuesday-Thursday, 4 pm-1 am Friday, 9 am-1 am Saturday-Sunday.
Caves is the sister taproom to Block 15 next door, but it's otherwise a different world, inspired by the great taverns of Europe and serving the beers you'd expect to find in them. Inside, you'll find an oak bar made from salvaged barrel staves from some of Oregon's best breweries, including Hair of the Dog and Upright Brewing. You might think Caves would feature Block 15 beers, but instead it's a curated list of favorite locals and Belgian classics like Dupont. The bottle list of cellared offerings includes 130 treasures kept at optimal temperature behind UV-filtered lights. Those beauties are served tableside, each in proper glassware just like an authentic European spot would do, and are paired with a seasonal menu of hearty American and European pub grub. EZRA JOHNSON-GREENOUGH.

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