Bailey's Taproom is perhaps the best beer bar in Portland, from the bartenders who pretty much always know the beers on tap, however rare, to the warm-toned room and ever-rotating stock of beer. Their tavern license means they don't have to serve food, but they've installed a bussing station, complete with salsas for Mexican food from across the street at Santeria taqueria, which kindly delivers.
Really, the people are the only problem at Bailey's. First, there are always far too many of them crammed into the Southwest Broadway space, bird-dogging tables even when somebody just gets up to go to the restroom. But the Upper Lip, the bar's second-floor event space, is open as a bar of its own Tuesday through Friday. To get there, you must walk around the corner from Bailey's to a door marked with a bottle and go up a flight of stairs. There, you'll find six well-chosen taps and a massive case of bottles ranging from Belgians to small-batch bourbon stouts.
There's a short bar, a long table for groups, a digital
tap list, a bartender, a few high-top tables set on barrels and, on one
visit, the proprietor himself, drinking with a buddy and enjoying the
view down Broadway. As beer bars go, it's probably even better than
Bailey's downstairs just for the opportunity to stretch your legs, and
its half-hidden entrance ensures it'll stay a pro tip even when the
secret's clearly out.
Entertainment: Looking for people you know among the tweets and check-ins that roll across Bailey's fancy beer screen downstairs.