Here Are 16 New Metro-Area Taprooms We’re Most Excited to Visit

We may have lost some iconic beer bars during the pandemic, but that didn’t prevent a new crop of entrepreneurs from going into business.

Beer Issue (Aaron Lee)

13th Moon Gravity Well

4513 SE 41st Ave., 4-11:13 pm Tuesday-Thursday, 1:30-11:13 pm Friday-Sunday.

Number of taps: 12

Ari Moss was taken with the culture of the Netherlands, particularly the beer bars, which is why he named his nanobrewery 13th Moon Brouwerij (Dutch for brewery). You can find his beer at this cozy, dimly lit wood-paneled taproom, which opened last spring and shares the 13th Moon name, along with beer and cider made by other small-scale producers. It’s the kind of place where it’s easy to fall into friendly conversations at the bar, and Moss enjoys talking about his business and what makes it special. There is a Mexican food truck in the parking lot, or you can bring your own snacks. Keep an eye out for Bamberg’s legendary Schlenkerla Rauchbier, which is occasionally on tap. DON SCHEIDT.

Benbear’s Beers

5029 SE Division St. 11 am-9 pm daily.

Number of taps: 11

Last year, camping-themed Scout Beer left its anchor position at the Lot cart pod, and Benbear’s has moved into the space with an equally intriguing theme that is less Smokey Bear and more Grateful Dead dancing bear. The décor is made up of phallic mushroom tap handles and eye-popping psychedelic imagery as well as numerous paintings of its namesake animal on the walls. Ostensibly, Benbear’s is just a libation shack for the food carts—a way to get lubed up while waiting on a order to go. But owner Clint Colbert is as passionate about beers as he is bears and maintains a carefully curated draft list. EZRA JOHNSON-GREENOUGH.

Blind Ox Taphouse

4320 N Interstate Ave., 971-302-6352, 2-10 pm Monday-Thursday, noon-11 pm Friday-Saturday, noon-10 pm Sunday.

Number of taps: 36

After vacating its Fremont taproom, Blind Ox made the move to the former Untapped location on the Yellow MAX Line. It’s a straightforward, no-frills beer bar well-suited for after-work unwinding or getting some additional work done in the company of a laptop and a pint. Blind Ox’s tap list balances modern and classic, offering up Mac and Jack’s Amber alongside the latest West Coast or hazy IPA, plus cider and hard seltzer. Though you won’t find the boozy ice cream that was a hit at the original Blind Ox, the bar does offer pizza and encourages patrons to bring in outside food as well. Keep an eye out for trivia and other events in the future. NEIL FERGUSON.

Central Station Taps

3925 SW Rose Biggi Ave., Suite 120, Beaverton, 503-430-8819, 1-9 pm Monday-Wednesday, noon-10 pm Thursday-Saturday, noon-9 pm Sunday.

Number of taps: 30

Not that long ago, Beaverton would’ve been considered a beer desert by Portland standards. The founders of Central Station Taps, who call the suburb home, also noticed it was hard to find bars devoted primarily to craft beer in the area, let alone any production breweries. So they decided to help fill that void by opening a taphouse. The only problem was the date they officially launched: March 6, 2020. Of course, we all now know the timing couldn’t have been worse, but Central Station—named after the MAX stop where it’s located —toughed out the lockdown. Now, you’ll find the barstools filled with chatty regulars and small groups at the long, mixed-wood tables, playing games from the bar’s well-stocked library. There’s also an abundance of sidewalk seating and complimentary blankets for chilly spring days. Since one of the owners has a day job that requires travel around the state, expect to find kegs from farther-flung breweries you might not see elsewhere, like Roseburg’s Two Shy and Hermiston Brewing. ANDI PREWITT.

Corner 14 Foodcarts Spirits & Brew

508 14th St., Oregon City, 503-908-8789, 11 am-8 pm Monday-Thursday, 11 am-10 pm Friday, 9 am-10 pm Saturday, 9 am-7 pm Sunday.

Number of taps: 24

During a trip to Bend, Cherisse Reilly and her father, Dan Fowler, were inspired by the area’s thriving beer gardens and food cart pods and decided they needed to bring something similar to Oregon City. The two are also passionate about restoring the community’s historic structures, which led them to open Corner 14 in the former Spicer Brothers Produce market. The site has 10 food trucks surrounding a covered beer garden with gas fire pits, ax-throwing lanes, and an indoor bar serving cocktails, wine and beer. On a nice day, it can be hard to snag a table, but in times like those the QR codes save the day. Instead of lining up to get a drink, you can get it delivered directly to you, a service that’s rare even at the best pods in Bend or Portland. EZRA JOHNSON-GREENOUGH.

Hindsight Taproom

5829 SE Powell Blvd., 503-764-9739. 4-9 pm Monday-Thursday, noon-9 pm Friday-Sunday.

Number of taps: 7

Owner-operator Karyn Wisniewski was already pouring pints from her Hindsight Beer Cart at the Bite on Belmont pod when she learned the former Brewery 26 Tap Room on Powell was available to lease. Hindsight Taproom now operates in this intimate space, serving local draft beer alongside ciders and wine as well as a small, beer-compatible snack menu. The “No crap on tap” sign tells you this is a place where you’ll find an eclectic selection. DON SCHEIDT.

Loyal Legion Beaverton

4500 SW Watson Ave., 503-372-5352, 11 am-midnight Sunday-Thursday, 11 am-2 am Friday-Saturday.

Number of taps: 72

For months, people living in Beaverton watched the vacant Arthur Murray Dance Studio with anticipation. Loyal Legion, the 99-tap beer hall in Portland’s inner eastside announced it was launching a Beaverton outpost in that location, with a planned July 4, 2021, opening. That date came and went—the pandemic and supply-chain issues created delays—but ultimately it was worth the wait. By November, the former ballroom had been transformed into a 150-seat taphouse with an oval-shaped bar that mirrors the counter in the original location as well as the Spanish colonial-style architecture of the building. The space tends to fill up quickly on weekends, so don’t dawdle when choosing a seat—the black banquettes are much more comfortable than the butt-punishing barstools, which have seats that are too small and legs that are too tall. Once the temperatures warm up, take your pint to the sprawling patio, a converted 3,000-square-foot parking lot shaded by a pergola. ANDI PREWITT.

Nebulous Taproom

11645 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, 503-352-5620, 3-9:30 pm Monday, 3-9 pm Tuesday-Wednesday, 3-10 pm Thursday-Friday, noon-10 pm Saturday, noon-9 pm Sunday.

Number of taps: 48

A grocery store strip mall isn’t the first place anyone would volunteer to hang out for a few hours, but thanks to three friends who were sick of their jobs and wanted to own a bar, Beavertonians now have Nebulous adding some excitement to the Town Square just off Highway 217. At nearly 3,500 square feet, it’s less of a tap “room” than a cavernous beer hall, which was a lifesaver when it came to social distancing orders in 2020. All of that room now allows the owners to host everything from Timbers watch parties to concerts. The beautiful, knotty wood bartop is a Doug fir salvaged from Silver Falls State Park following a fire, and each of the tables is made from handsome redwoods. You can expect to find pretty much any sport playing on one of the nine TVs or a giant projector screen, but the autographed murals of the two Diegos—Valeri and Chará—tell you that this is a Portland soccer bar. Art featuring the Thorns’ Christine Sinclair will soon join them. ANDI PREWITT.

Neighbors Taproom

1306 E Burnside St., 503-597-8483, 2-9 pm Monday-Wednesday, 2-10 pm Thursday-Friday, 10 am-10 pm Saturday, 10 am-9 pm Sunday.

Number of taps: 24

When Natian Brewery owner Ian McGuinness decided to stop brewing and dissolve the brand, two employees at his taproom saw the opportunity to take over the space and rechristen it as Neighbors. Now, under the leadership of Tia Williamson and Kris Corey, the business serves as both a daytime coffee shop and an evening neighborhood bar. You can get a decently drawn espresso, vegan pastries, and craft beers brewed in the Pacific Northwest (or nearby). Neighbors also allows third-party food vendors—often those supporting various causes—to set up shop inside. The concept is a good one, particularly since the airy pink-and-green taproom is surrounded by apartments and condos filled with new-to-Portland residents looking for a chill place to hang out. DON SCHEIDT.

Proper Pint Oakroom

7654 SW 32nd Ave., 971-346-2177, 2-9 pm Monday-Tuesday, 1-11 pm Wednesday-Thursday, noon-midnight Friday-Saturday, noon-11 pm Sunday.

Number of taps: 18

The spinoff of Woodstock’s first Proper Pint location sits on a corner along Multnomah Village’s quaint main drag. Decked out in flannel and memorabilia, the Oakroom has a cozy, twee, neighborhood sports bar vibe. The spacious triangular taproom is lined with cushioned seating that provides sightlines to four TVs and the gorgeous stained-glass mosaic bar wall crafted by the owner. The small but appealing tap list includes wine, which is a hit with the neighborhood demographic, and its proximity to other bars and restaurants make it an ideal part of a pub crawl. Don’t snooze on the small but well-curated selection of beer to go. NEIL FERGUSON.

Tinker Tavern

7980 SE Stark St., 971-544-7081, 3 pm-midnight Monday-Thursday, 3 pm-1 am Friday, noon-1 am Saturday, noon-midnight Sunday.

Number of taps: 12

Regulars at Prost! and Stammtisch will recognize Erik Mahan, who was a fixture at those German establishments as a bartender and manager before striking out on his own and opening Tinker Tavern. This beer bar also serves booze and has a kitchen that prepares simple pub food, including beef on weck, a sandwich with shaved roast beef and creamy horseradish mayo on a Kummelweck roll that was made popular in Buffalo, N.Y. The tavern and its wood-topped bar went nearly unused by customers after opening in December 2020. Patrons now gather inside, but the parklet remains available to those who prefer to sit outdoors. If you want to go Central European old school, order a chilled shot of Becherovka, a classic Czech herbal booze, as a chaser or nightcap. DON SCHEIDT.

Tomorrow’s Verse Taproom & Bottle Shop

4605 NE Fremont St., Suite 103, 971-346-2198, 2-11 pm daily.

Number of taps: 16

TJ Fuller opened Tomorrow’s Verse in April 2020, which took a lot of tenacity since the mandatory shutdown of service industries was still in effect, and the business’s continuing existence is itself a model of perseverance. The taps pour a variety of Oregon- and Washington-brewed beers as well as cider and seltzer. There are also cans and bottles in fridges along the back wall. Beyond bar seating, there are several blond wooden tables, a couch and two armchairs gathered in front of a stone fireplace, and benches outdoors. Tomorrow’s Verse was founded to function not just as a beer bar but also as a venue for live music, which typically happens on weekends. When bands are not performing, the space’s soundtrack comes courtesy of a record player and a stellar selection of vinyl. DON SCHEIDT.

Treebeerd’s Taphouse

822 SW 2nd Ave., 503-954-2176, Noon-9 pm Tuesday-Thursday, noon-10 pm Friday-Saturday. Grand opening April 8.

Number of taps: 36

Named after the oaklike giant that first appeared in J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy novel The Two Towers, Treebeerd’s pays homage to The Lord of the Rings and is a spinoff from the original Corvallis location. Unlike some of the other themed bars around town, this one won’t submerge customers in its source material. In other words, you won’t be transported to Middle-earth via walls plastered with images of hobbits and wizards. Beyond the name, the LOTR motif will be gently referenced in the design, which includes the use of actual trees (live-edge resin tables and a 30-foot-long showstopping bar) and some nods here and there to beards. ANDI PREWITT.

Valley Public House

12960 SE 162nd Ave., Happy Valley, 971-271-2099, 11 am-10 pm Monday-Friday, 10 am-10 pm Saturday, 10 am-9 pm Sunday.

Number of taps: 70

Valley Growlers has been Happy Valley’s favorite hole-in-the-wall beer bar since 2013, but for their second location, owners Brian and Ami Shannon wanted to do something different—get out of the strip malls that dominate suburbs. Valley Public House accomplished that goal. The new 8,000-square-foot, two-story development includes an adults-only taproom, a cafeteria-style food court, and a lower-level whiskey lounge, and you can come and go freely, with drink in hand, between all three. The space may not have the lived-in charm of older Portland establishments, but the benefits include a quiet neighborhood, on-site parking, and indoor/outdoor seating that makes Valley Public House a one-stop-shop for beer lovers and families. EZRA JOHNSON-GREENOUGH.

White Oak Taphouse

14661 SW Teal Blvd., Beaverton, 503-521-7456, 2-10 pm Monday-Thursday, noon-11 pm Friday-Saturday, noon-9 pm Sunday.

Number of taps: 22

The first thing you’ll notice at White Oak is the sleek, blond bartop that doesn’t end at the wall—instead the wooden panel extends upward and then crosses back overhead following the same shape of the countertop, creating a lighted canopy that is functional and architecturally intriguing. The creation was sourced from the bar’s namesake, a tree from Southeast Portland that must have been massive. All of the wood in the taphouse—from the booths to the tables—came from that mighty oak. If you prefer softer seating, there is a pair of black leather couches around a triangular coffee table. No matter where you park with your pint, you can to see the two TVs, which were playing Oscars red carpet coverage on our visit. Solo visitors tend to drop in for a quiet pint before or after running errands in Murrayhill Marketplace. Enjoy a drink or two here, then head across the street for a lakeside dinner at Murrayhill Taphouse—a vast improvement from the Ruby Tuesday that used to occupy that space. ANDI PREWITT.

Workers Tap

101 SE 12th Ave., 503-764-9584, 5-11 pm Monday-Thursday, 5 pm-midnight Friday, 3 pm-midnight Saturday, 3-11 pm Sunday.

Number of taps: 20

Four people collectively own and operate this venue, a two-level pub in a house built in 1904 with a patio out back. Cozy, wood-paneled rooms feature workers-of-the-world iconography and other art on the walls. A brown leather sofa, glossy coffee table, and built-in bookshelf add to the classic drawing-room feel. There is a wide variety of Pacific Northwest beer on tap, including IPAs, Belgians, sours and even a rauch Märzen lager. Workers is an easy walk from Neighbors Taproom, Ecliptic’s Moon Room and Loyal Legion, making for a good inner-eastside Buckman pub crawl. And although the bar opened only this past February, it’s already on its way to neighborhood gem status. DON SCHEIDT.

See more of Willamette Week’s 2022 Beer Issue Here!

Willamette Week’s reporting has concrete impacts that change laws, force action from civic leaders, and drive compromised politicians from public office. Support WW's journalism today.