10 Barrel Brewing
Best for: Pizza with toppings arranged so perfectly, there must be a corporate-designed schematic in the kitchen.
For a well-cooked burger ($13) to a salmon-blessed BLT sandwich ($15), you'll find decent versions of virtually all pub classics inside this bright, Budweiser-owned pub, and corporate-level quality control means you'll never be left wanting. But even with a can't-miss menu, it's the pizza that stands above the rest. Baked atop daily-made dough and topped with everything from garlic cream sauce and Italian sausage ($20) to housemade tomato sauce, Mama Lil's Peppers, and goat cheese ($22), 10 Barrel's 'za ranks as some of the best beer-absorbing food in the city. The crust is medium thick, the cheese perfectly melty, and the toppings evenly distributed, as though creating the platonic pie were a special corporate strategy with flowcharts and PowerPoints. As far as we're concerned, such attention to detail should be praised: Selling out never tasted so good. PARKER HALL.
Best for: Mountainous nachos and hoppy beer to wash them down.
You may come to Breakside's posh multistoried outlet in Slabtown or its smaller Dekum triangle location in search of fantastic beers—and you'll find them—but you'll need to persuade your loved ones to stay for an extra pint to finish the nachos ($9-$14). The massive pile of pico de gallo-, black bean- and jalapeño-laden chips serves as the Rosetta Stone that ties the two slightly different menus together, with the Dekum options tending toward neighborhood-friendly classics like a cheeseburger ($13) and blackened chicken sandwich ($15), and Slabtown getting more posh entrees, including the steak and crispy shrimp ($22) and an open-faced albacore tuna melt with Mama Lil's Peppers ($16). You can't go wrong with anything that sounds familiar—read: virtually everything on this pub grub menu—but highlights include the nacho mound and any item that comes with Breakside's waffle fries in tow. PARKER HALL.
Culmination Brewing Company
Best for: Greasy homestyle favorites, great housemade sandwiches.
Chef Matt Castagno's kitchen can seem haphazardly tucked away inside Culmination's labyrinthine amalgamation of stainless steel fermenters and oak barrels, but the food that emerges from his hidden slice of this hangarlike pub is impossible to overlook. Baked mac and cheese ($10) comes with crushed potato chips atop its molten noodle core, the BLT ($12) is made with candied bacon and balsamic marinated tomato, and the smash fries ($7)—not really fries, but crushed potatoes with cracked, golden-brown shells—come soaked in truffle oil, with an aromatic blend of spices that wafts into your capillaries like Dionysus' perfume. It's also a great place for sandwich-loving vegans to come with omnivorous friends, with the vegan burger ($11) and mushroom sub ($13) ranking as two of the best meat- and dairy-free dishes in town. PARKER HALL.
Double Mountain Brewery & Taproom
Best for: New Haven-style pies without the lines.
4336 SE Woodstock Blvd., 503-206-5495, doublemountainbrewery.com/taproom/woodstock-taproom. 11 am-10 pm Sunday-Thursday, 11 am-11 pm Friday-Saturday. $$.
Pizza devotees' and beer enthusiasts' paths often converge at the state's abundance of breweries, because so many of them have pies on the menu. But rarely does this collision occur with such fervor—and color—than in late summer at Double Mountain. Beginning in August and lasting for just a month—five weeks if we're lucky—both the original Hood River location and the Woodstock outpost serve wheels of charred dough bulging with golden-brown air pockets graced with that season's most precious gift: the heirloom tomato ($15.50, $28). It's quite possibly the most beautiful pizza in the city when it's on—each fleshy slice of fruit is like a snowflake in terms of asymmetry, size and color, which means you're presented a platter with a farmer's palette of orange, crimson, candy apple red and even a deep, rich merlot. Resting atop an earthy-green layer of nutty pesto, you'd be crazy not to snap a few photos of this masterpiece before lifting one of the large wedges toward your mouth, the juice of the sweet tomatoes dribbling down your chin with too ambitious a bite. If you miss the heirloom window, may the Pizza Gods forgive you, first and foremost. Thankfully, Double Mountain bakes stellar pies year round. Get the pepperoni ($14, $25.50) with little saucers of meat that curl ever so slightly at the edges and a base that will remind you of that pretty famous New Haven-style joint in town. The ovens here run right around 700 degrees, there's no absurdly long line, and the tap list is longer than the one at that other place, to boot. ANDI PREWITT.
Best for: Unique takes on brewpub classics and beers that provide an
Executive chef Michael Molitor's dreams of creating a stratospherically gourmet pub experience to match brewmaster John Harris' astronomy-themed beers have tempered since Ecliptic Brewing launched in 2013, but the menu at modern-day Ecliptic still excels at making the familiar decadent. It's an assortment of familiar pub-style dishes done with small but compelling adjustments. Summertime tacos ($15) come adorned with a Thai-style coconut sauce, the Ecliptic burger ($15) features pancetta and aged Gruyère, and even the perfectly whipped interiors of housemade deviled eggs (four for $6) are topped with tiny sardines and a mohawk of parsley. The refreshing modernity of the menu is echoed by the open-air aesthetic inside this high-ceilinged building, creating a pub experience that breaks through the industrial chic masses to rank as one of the best in Portland. PARKER HALL.
Ex Novo Brewing
Best for: Detroit-style pizza with brick cheese to die for and stellar seasonal dishes.
The one-page menu at Ex Novo is constantly shifting with the seasons, providing at least a quarterly reason to check in on its quaint North Portland brewpub. Execution is key for all good pub food, and Ex Novo nails it here. Late summer brought a fig and watermelon salad ($14) lifted by clouds of feta, basil, mint and honey, with slices of red onion for spicy crunch. Even regionally inspired dishes manage to be more than caricatures. The fried rockfish ($10) is a flaky, breaded fillet atop a proper mush of English peas and mint, and the Detroit-style pan pizzas ($10-$20) feature only the finest brick cheese—most come slathered in housemade crazy sauce, though you'll find other varieties at the new Beaverton location. The good news? Just like the beer, which ranges from German- and English-influenced to as modern and American as it comes, there's probably nothing you'll regret ordering. PARKER HALL.
Grains of Wrath Brewery & Restaurant
Best for: Creative salads and burgers paired with award-winning beers in the shadow of a historic paper mill.
230 NE 5th Ave., Camas, Wash., 360-210-5717, gowbeer.com. 11 am-10 pm Monday-Thursday, 11 am-midnight Friday-Saturday, 11 am-9 pm Sunday. $$.
If the crowds of kids and golf visor-sporting adults playing cornhole on the huge front patio are any indication, Grains of Wrath has finally come into its own as a local staple. Opened in early 2018 by acclaimed brewer Mike Hunsaker (formerly of Fat Head's Portland), this punk- and metal-themed gastropub takes advantage of its building's former life as an auto body shop and rolls up the doors to create an indoor-outdoor showcase for its buzzy collabs and award-winning ales, Pilsners and lagers, paired with a solid lineup of salads and sandos from chefs Joel Schmid and Erin LeDoux, recently of Washougal's 54°40′ Brewing. Though their burgers often get most of the attention, like the banh mi version with Sriracha-garlic sauce ($15) or a recent 808 specially topped with fried Spam and macaroni salad, Schmid and LeDoux have a particularly deft hand with salads. Two standouts included a summer watermelon number tossed with feta as well as cinnamon- and whiskey-marinated prawns ($14) and a mixture of cauliflower and couscous drizzled in caper-raisin vinaigrette ($12). This is also one of the only breweries around where you'll find a bulgogi pork bowl ($14). KAT MERCK.
Von Ebert Brewing
Best for: Hearty pizzas, massive wings and affordable food in the Pearl or a handy post-golf meal.
Food at this massive hangarlike space has come a long way since dropping the Ohio-based Fat Head's branding and menu, which included hoppy Midwestern brews and noggin-sized sandwiches. Head chef Jackson Wyatt knows what he's doing with food and beer pairings, having helped develop the menu at the excellent Grains of Wrath in Camas, Wash., after helming popular beer bar N.W.I.P.A. The food at Von Ebert is as gluttonous as ever, but also significantly more thoughtful. An oyster mushroom pizza ($14.50) features delicate layers of truffled goat cheese and onion marmalade below aromatic herbs and spicy arugula, the brisket sandwich ($16) is completed with a perfectly sharp schmear of pimento and crispy onions, and the wings (three for $10, six for $16)—one of the few items that remains unchanged from Fat Head's—still come full-sized and perfectly smoked. If you're lucky, you can win a year's supply in a weekly giveaway on Facebook. The menu varies slightly at the newer Glendoveer Golf Course location, but everything's equally delectable at both. In fact, where you end up could simply come down to which nachos you crave: In the Pearl, the fixins come atop crispy, fried chicharrónes ($10); on the eastside, you'll get the Idaho version ($10), with salsa, sour cream, cotija, onion and cilantro atop freshly cooked fries. PARKER HALL.
Best for: Award-winning beer and made-from-scratch pub food that goes beyond burgers and nachos.
Whenever asked which brewery in town also has good food—not just passable-for-a-pub food, but an honest-to-goodness recommendable menu—I almost always steer that person to Wayfinder. Not only has Kevin Davey won medals the past two years at the Great American Beer Festival, attesting to the quality of the beer, everything that comes out of the kitchen is made from scratch and the fare goes beyond the usual burgers and nachos. Take, for instance, cauliflower, which shows up several times in dishes like the banh mi ($15) or as an appetizer smothered in a crowd-pleasing moderately spicy Buffalo sauce with blue cheese crumbles finding homes in the vegetables' crags. Wayfinder can also enhance a standard like mac ($9), dousing the corkscrew noodles in a beer cheese so dense it could double for German fondue. Go for the full Oktoberfest experience by adding housemade sausage ($5). It's hard enough to find a restaurant in this city that serves a decent crab cake, let alone one that costs less than $20. Wayfinder manages to do both and allows the crustacean's subtle flavor to shine by not adding too many ingredients, though do take advantage of the particularly sassy tartar sauce that's just as crunchy as it is creamy. Good beer: Check! Good food: Check! Wayfinder couldn't possibly be a cool hang, too, could it? I'll let the century-old brick warehouse and deck complete with a fire pit speak for themselves. ANDI PREWITT.
West Coast Grocery Company
Best for: A delicious homestyle meal within eyeshot of a full-size grocery cart mobile.
From Thai-style wings ($12) to a fried chicken sandwich ($11) to mountainous nachos ($12), all pillars of Portland pub grub are represented inside West Coast Grocery Company. Classics are good—that peanut sauce-soaked chicken is perfectly garlicky and spicy with an addition of pickled daikon that enhances the juicy meat—but the even simpler, homestyle fare impresses the most. The sweet ham sandwich ($13) tastes like something you might lovingly fashion yourself at home after a trip to the specialty market, with sour apples and frisee adding spicy accents to blue cheese, thinly sliced ham and ciabatta. The kale salad ($13), with toasted almonds, cranberries and apples, and sunflower seed dressing, reminds me of something my mom would serve on the patio during summer. Such personal and familiar memories are easily evoked here, where a portrait of owner Charlie Hyde's great-great-grandfather hangs to greet you ask you walk inside the pub named after the longtime family business, only now the family is selling full meals and beer, not just the ingredients to make them. PARKER HALL.