Once the pride of Hillsdale, Sasquatch expanded into a 4,000-square-foot brewpub and cidery in Slabtown's industrial hinterlands in 2017. What could've easily been a cold, sterile atmosphere is enlivened by a mural depicting Northwest Portland in its wilder days, which wouldn't look out of place on a Modest Mouse album cover. It's a reflection of the company's lighthearted branding, which includes bestowing beers with names like Macho Mango Randy Savage and Mary Kate & Smashley. Clearly the brewers are having fun—that's evident in everything from the tabletop Coleman lanterns to the portable brewery pumps pulled around in bright red retrofitted Radio Flyer wagons. But don't mistake unabashed goofiness for a lack of craft—after all, Sasquatch's original location proved so popular with locals it had to start taking reservations. Try the Mouth Pillow to see how a little levity in the brewhouse can lead to a fantastically flavored hazy with a soft finish. MATTHEW SINGER.
Eat this: One of the few times Sasquatch's facility for puns fails it is with the Reuben Patterson ($10), a sandwich named after the most truly reprehensible player of the early-2000s Trail Blazers. Hem 23 (1514 NW 23rd Ave., 971-352-6138, hem23.com) is a quick five-minute drive away, and has the best oxtail pho ($13) in the city.
What started off as a small neighborhood brewpub in North Portland's Dekum neighborhood back in 2010 has blossomed into one of the city's most beloved and highly acclaimed breweries. After winning countless awards and eventually outgrowing its original location, Breakside opened the crown jewel of breweries in Northwest's Slabtown neighborhood. The impressive two-story beer mecca isn't just a gorgeous happy-hour meeting place for 9-to-5ers, it's also where Breakside conjures some of its most unique beers. Under the supervision of brewmaster Ben Edmunds and director of brewing operations Jacob Leonard, the Slabtown location's lead brewer Hunter Feiss and team are churning out the next wave of champion beers. More than two-thirds of the brewery's 16 taps dispense clean, hop-forward IPAs, fancy sours and various takes on traditional German styles, like the flawless Willy Buckets—a perfectly balanced, malty altbier with just a hint of caramel sweetness. Even the pickiest of beer drinkers should be able to find something to fall in love with here. Just don't plan on choosing your own beers for a taster tray. Unfortunately, Breakside has only two pre-selected flight options—a huge bummer if you're looking to sample all the latest creations. SHANNON ARMOUR.
Eat this: Skip the entrees and order as much as you can from the shared menu: nachos ($9, add meat $4) piled high with braised beef and guac (included!), a pretzel ($11) the size of your head with smoked cheese sauce and spicy fire-roasted jalapeños ($6) stuffed with rich cheese and salty chorizo. You're going to want all of these.
10 Barrel Brewing
1411 NW Flanders St., 503-224-1700, 10barrel.com, 11 am-11 pm Sunday-Thursday, 11 am-midnight Friday-Saturday.
To many craft beer obsessives, 10 Barrel's massive industrial-chic Pearl District brewpub is a no-go zone, written off as a cog in the machine of AB InBev's broader supermarket-aisle ambitions. Those staunch political hardliners might take a less critical view of the place if they drank more of the outstanding beers crafted by Portland pub brewer Whitney Burnside. An ambitious expert of hoppy zip and pristine malty balance, Burnside regularly impresses us with some of the best taster trays in town. Coconut stouts melt like candy bars but dry out like a well-roasted coffee, hoppy Pilsners offer a soft and bready underbelly, and her IPAs scream out with flavorful exuberance but without harsh bitterness. Pair the pours with one of the sleekest rooftop patios—and some of the most delicious pizza—in town, and you've got yourself a winner, Bud-funded or otherwise. PARKER HALL.
Eat this: The crisp, housemade crust and vast assortment of fresh toppings make 10 Barrel's pub pizzas hard to beat. Grab a PDX Pie ($20), with spinach, Mama Lil's peppers, bacon, pepperoni and goat cheese along with one of Burnside's freshest hoppy creations—you won't regret it.
Von Ebert Brewing
Von Ebert has turned over a more nuanced (and less gaudily branded) leaf in the Pearl District since parting ways with Ohio-based Fat Head's Brewery. No longer the purveyors of hearty Midwest burgers and sandos or heavily hop-driven pours, it's reinvented itself as a more balanced, less ostentatious brewpub. With gorgeously clear German lagers, solid Belgians and even a tealike 3.6 percent ABV English mild ale to complement the lineup of hoppy stuff, it's now easier than ever to take non-beer nerd buddies to the hangarlike space in the Pearl. A massive amount of seating, big projector and weekend brunch make this a great place to meet up with large groups, where you can enjoy a wide assortment of fresh tank-to-tap beer without a wait. Those pours will soon be more diverse than ever, courtesy of the recently opened satellite brewpub in Northeast Portland, where ex-Commons brewer Sean Burke is hard at work on new and exciting wild and sour ales and their cleaner Belgian-style counterparts. PARKER HALL.
Eat this: Von Ebert has truly excellent chicken wings (3 for $10, 6 for $16), large, meaty and smoked in house.
Ascendant Beer (formerly Pints Brewing)
Oregon native Alan Taylor was named one of the nation's best unsung brewers by All About Beer magazine in 2015. It's fitting, then, that Ascendant, where he's director of brewing operations, could be called an underrated Portland brewery. Taylor may now be better associated with Zoiglhaus (page 15) in outer Southeast, where he won a gold for his Pilsner in 2018, but I've long adored Ascendant for its snug and rarely packed pub nestled in Old Town, and its tap list that makes plenty of room for interesting, small-batch beers that rotate in and out. That overall lineup has been given a bit of an overhaul, as has the brewery's name, in 2018, which went from the humble yet uninspired "Pints" to Ascendant—a sign that big ambitions really do drive the little 3.5-barrel brewery. You could savor some of that zeal in recent offerings, like Uncle Drew, an IPA with rye whose spicy grain ripples across the palate before filling your mouth with an earthy Grape Nuts-like flavor. A Baltic porter named Astronomical Twilight is a beer gone goth. Dark and moody, it dons plum-colored lipstick and eyeliner, but not all is bleak if you happen to notice the subtle, sweet-tart boysenberry underneath that veneer. I'm not sure why Ascendant isn't busier. Maybe it's the neighborhood, which can be a little rough. But the exposed-brick pub, with its backroom view of the brewing equipment, is incredibly accessible since it sits near two light-rail lines. If you don't go, I'm more than happy to continue hogging the place. ANDI PREWITT.
Eat this: Remember how much you loved chicken nuggets as a kid? The tenders here ($8) will reignite that passion, though they're more substantial, juicier and far better than whatever your parents pulled out of the freezer. They go perfectly with the hand-cut, skin-on fries ($4) and ranch for dipping.