Wolves & People Farmhouse Brewery
Wolves & People puts the "farmhouse" in "farmhouse brewing." Down a side road that's almost unnoticeable for southbound drivers on Highway 99W (and difficult to hang a left on if northbound) sits an old barn that holds the brewery and taproom on land replete with orchard trees. That bucolic property on the outskirts of Newberg is actually where founder, journalist and author Christian DeBenedetti grew up. The tasting room is a bit cramped (or cozy, if you want to spin it), but there's also a heated tent outdoors where you'll want to take in the country air anyway. House beers draw inspiration from Belgian and French farmhouse brewing: saisons, bieres de garde, wild ales, fruits, mixed-fermentation and even farmhouse-inspired hazy IPAs. The Neuberg Kellerbier is a really pleasant surprise, a rustic lager much like those found in Franconian countryside pubs. DONALD SCHEIDT.
Heater Allen Brewing
Owner Rick Allen and head brewer (and daughter) Lisa Allen are the prime movers at this craft brewery, which will celebrate a dozen years of beer in 2019. That's enough time to have dialed in lagers known for being hard to get right: from a light Pilsner to the darker dunkel and doppelbock. There's also a seasonal Märzen dubbed "Bobtoberfest" in honor of Rick's late brother—who sparked his interest in brewing this style—a rich wintertime Sandy Paws Baltic-style porter, and even smoky specialties like Rauch Bock and Rauchbier Hell, the latter a collaboration with Wayfinder's Kevin Davey (page 10). All this can be found in the small brewery with a simple, functional, no-frills taproom, though Heater Allen beers are easily found in bottles and on tap at many of the region's better beer bars and retailers if you can't make the trip. DONALD SCHEIDT.
Eat this: Other than free hard pretzels, there's no food. Pack your own, order in pizza or stop at a nearby stand like Taqueria Tulancingo (903 NE 3rd St., 503-883-1674), which has tacos, tortas and sopes—nothing on the menu is more than $10.
Grain Station Brew Works
The heart of downtown McMinnville, now occupied by wineries, restaurants and beer makers, used to be the hub for the city's agriculture industry. From this brewery's patio, you can see the remains of tall elevators and warehouses that once stored and processed grain, which also inspired its name. The American-style beer hall has plenty of warm wood trim, good pub eats and a broad range of styles among the 14 taps, which are solid across the board. The Pitchfork Pilsner, for instance, is pleasantly dry with a fine hop-malt balance, Bet the Farm offers a citrusy punch, and Lonely Hearts Grisette, aged in pinot gris wine barrels, is bursting with fruity, food-friendly flavor. Also, if you're in Monmouth instead of McMinnville, you'll find Grain Station's second restaurant. DONALD SCHEIDT.
Eat this: Deep-fried mozzarella sticks ($9.50) with a side of marinara are a damn fine beer snack.
Golden Valley Brewery and Restaurant
Something must be going right here. Golden Valley marked a quarter-century in business in December 2018, and beers range from middling to quite good even if opinions among beer geeks range from condescending to respectful. But with 20 years of experience, brewmaster Jesse Shue knows what he's doing and keeps the house taps flowing with a standard range of ales, an expanded offering of lagers and one-offs and rounds that out with a selection of barrel-aged treats. The grapefruity Bald Peak IPA offers malt balance, and Muddy Valley Oatmeal Stout is smooth and a little creamy, with just enough roast malt to be interesting. The brews aged in wood vary, but most are worthwhile. Metro-area westsiders also have the brewery's restaurant outpost in Beaverton, just off Highway 26. DONALD SCHEIDT.
Eat this: Hand-cut steaks ($31.25-$37.25) are made with beef raised on the Golden Valley family ranch—76 acres of spring-fed pasture.
777 NE 4th St., McMinnville, 503-437-9477. 3–8 pm Friday, 2–9 pm Saturday, 2–6 pm Sunday.
Allegory's brewmaster, Charlie Van Meter, has stints at Yachats (page 46) and Logsdon (page 28) on his résumé—both impressive breweries. That also helps explain some of the yeast-forward, Belgian-influenced beers on offer here, but Allegory's lineup also includes IPAs and lagers. However, the changing selection means it's rare to encounter the same beer twice. The small, cozy taproom and brewery are located at a dead end, with a 7-barrel brewery and an LED-lit barrel room (with a former Commons cooperage). If it's on, get hazy with Stop Talking Cool, a Northeast-style IPA that slides down easily. DONALD SCHEIDT.