What to Drink at Every Brewery in Southwest-South Portland

This side of town may be a beer desert, but there are a couple of watering holes, including an oldie and a newbie.

Old Market Pub (Julian Alexander)

In this year’s Beer Guide, we’ve established a few parameters for inclusion. For instance, breweries needed some sort of taproom or pub with regular hours. And their flagship and/or production facility needed to be located within Portland proper. That means the guy running a nano out of his garage, or a business like Backwoods, which has a restaurant in the Pearl but brews in Carson, Wash., didn’t make the cut this time. We also limited our visits to one primary location when it came to brands with multiple outposts, like Breakside and Gigantic.


★ Highly Recommended

★★ World Class

Our rating system for all Portland breweries in this collection is modeled after the Michelin Guide. Stars are not awarded solely for the quality of the beer, but also for ambience, distinctiveness and overall experience. A single star denotes a brewery is highly recommended and its beers are worth going out of the way for. Two stars indicate the experience is exceptional, which means you should not delay planning a special journey.

North Portland Breweries

Northeast Portland Breweries

Northwest Portland Breweries

Southeast Portland Breweries

South/Southwest Portland Breweries

Little Hop Brewing

4400 SW Garden Home Road, littlehopbrewing.com. Noon-8 pm Saturday. Grand opening 3-8 pm Friday, April 7.

BIG HOP ENERGY | Bigger isn’t always better. Sometimes the small guys win. Most homebrewers dream of going big, and Zak Cate achieved that goal as a pub brewer for McMenamins Kalama Harbor Lodge before deciding to scale back and open a nano operation at home with his wife, Lisa. Brewing just a few kegs at a time, the Cates are free to take more risks and use premium ingredients, like estate-grown malt, and naturally occuring yeast in the air for fermentation. Since it’s so small, Little Hop frequently sells out of its products at the Tigard Farmers Market. Fans will be happy to learn that the Cates recently purchased a trailer and will begin selling draft beer out of the rig April 7. Located next to Planted PDX, a vegan food truck, the tiny taproom and beer garden are open one day a week while the Cates wait for permits to be approved to launch a larger indoor space in an adjacent building. Though their motto remains quality over quantity, sometimes less is more. EZRA JOHNSON-GREENOUGH.

DRINK THIS: Top-quality Central Oregon-grown grain and corn make the American-style Little Hop Lager a full-flavored light beer, with notes of sweet grits and floral hops.

Old Market Pub & Brewery

6959 SW Multnomah Blvd., 503-224-2337, drinkbeerhere.com. 11 am-10 pm Monday-Wednesday, 11 am-11 pm Thursday-Friday, 9 am-11 pm Saturday, 9 am-10 pm Sunday.

FLASHBACK | The dream of the ‘90s is alive in this sprawling Garden Home pub. In some ways, that’s surprisingly comforting. If you have fond childhood memories of your hometown’s local pizza joint, which undoubtedly had a couple of arcade games and a fleet of candy dispensers near the entrance, a visit to Old Market will transport you back to those Friday night family dinners and post-Little League game gatherings. The pub has all of those accessories and more—shuffleboard, pool tables, TV sets galore—making it a popular spot for people with kids in tow. But there are signs this place could be stuck in a rut. Aside from the chile beer and a blueberry shrub, the tap list looks like it could’ve been the original from 1994. A solid lineup of classics can be commendable, but most here lacked punch, and the flagship British Bombay tasted like a Harry Potter Butterbeer. This brewery has seen top talent in the past, so I hope Old Market was just in a temporary slump—Lord knows we all have been at some point during the past three years—and can rebound by tweaking its techniques. That way, every exhausted parent who walks through the doors with a rambunctious brood can momentarily relax with the beer they deserve. ANDI PREWITT.

DRINK THIS: Stick to the wheats, particularly Mr. Slate’s Gravelberry, a refreshing raspberry brew with a delicate sweetness that finishes tart.

Old-Market-Pub_Julian-Alexander_1 (Old Market Pub, Julian Alexander)

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