The Hop & Vine © The New School
#1 The Hop & Vine
A North Portland gem in the previously quiet neighborhood west of Interstate, The Hop & Vine and features a highly manicured backyard and stellar bar program. Shout outs to owner Yetta Vorobik–now living in Denver with hubby Chad Yakobsen of Crooked Stave Brewing–and bar manager Drew Worden for making the space sing and constantly grow. If you haven’t been to The Hop & Vine in a year, you will already find major shifts and improvements since then, from the well-curated bottle list of both beers and wines to an always exciting cocktail list and small but delicious food menu. The backyard patio feels like the kind of beer garden we would all dream of putting into our own backyards. Walled in by bamboo and a beautiful mural, it features raised beds that yield herbs and vegetables for use in the kitchen and a barbecue and smoker for annual events like the Brewers Burger Brawl, as well as some shade from the large tree growing out of the corner of the yard. It’s possibly the most pleasant space to drink away an afternoon or evening in Portland. 1914 N Killingsworth St, Portland, OR 97217 (503) 954-3322
PROS: Great beer, wine and cocktail list. Killer burger and small plates. Well-shaded patio with smoking and non-smoking section. CONS: A little more pricey than you would expect on the east side and (only if you’re a vegetarian) the smells of barbecuing meats in the air (a huge plus if your a red blooded carnivore).
Produce Row © The New School
#2 Produce Row
Recently reopened, Produce Row is a historically significant restaurant and bar that may not be the classic old establishment of yore, but emanates a class and style of its own that does not deserve to be compared to the previous iteration. Once famous for an old wooden deck patio, it was torn out some time ago when new owners took over; still, the new patio might be even better. Partially covered around the sides, open in the middle, beautiful wood walls keep the space intimate and late night noise friendly, a sunken garden adds some green vegetation and a well selected beer and bourbon list rounds everything out. 204 SE Oak St, Portland, OR 97214 (503) 232-8355
PROS: Elegant space, partially covered and open patio, good beer and drink list. CONS: More of a trendy, snazzy vibe than the casual affair most beer geeks expect.
White Owl Social Club © The New School
#3 White Owl Social Club
Hidden in an unassuming warehouse district nearby the Green Dragon and Lucky Lab brewpubs, the White Owl Social Club has become a destination spot for killer beer events and vegetarian/vegan food. The White Owl has become equally as well known for its beer list and food menu as its huge back patio that is large enough to hold the annual LagerFest (3rd annual Lager Fest this July 11, 2015). Sporting covered and uncovered sections as well as a raised area with gas fire pit, it is without a doubt the most spacious back patio/beer garden in town. 1305 SE 8th Ave, Portland, OR 97214 (503) 236-9672
PROS: Good beer selection, vegan and meat eaters food menus, covered and uncovered patio open late. CONS: Depending on your personal tastes, the metal and hardcore music and aesthetic may wear thin.
Altabira © The New School
#4 Altabira City Tavern
This brand new rooftop pub and restaurant has the most elegant and upscale atmosphere of any beer bar or tap house in the state, and also the best views. Located on the 6th floor of the old Red Lion Hotel (now called Hotel Eastlund), the Altabira Tavern looks to be more fine dining than tavern with curtain wall glass windows that offer a near panoramic view. Through another wall of glass windows and doors is the open air patio, with open and closed seating, gas fire pits, outdoor heaters and one of the best views of the city. Altabira has 16 taps of all local and smaller breweries beers and a bottle and can list that expands to regional and imported (mostly Belgian) beers. There is also a full menu of lunch and dinner and plenty of wine. 1021 NE Grand Avenue Suite 600, Portland, OR 97232 (503) 963-3600
PROS: Best view in town, eclectic beer list. CONS: Expensive and sometimes strangely priced draft and bottles.
Interurban © The New School
One of the only bars in town that gets an above average to great recommendation on the five key components that take a pub from great to the best. Interurban somehow manages to have a superior beer program with cask, imports, local and regional brewers represented; a solid wine list; a well above average cocktail and spirits program; a delicious food menu from a kitchen once headed by Tasty N’ Sons John Gorham; and finally, a great atmosphere and relaxing but small backyard beer garden. From the same small bar at Interurban you can find a Breakside IPA, a Double Mountain beer on cask, and an imported saison on tap. In the summer Interurban transforms its patio on last Sundays into a Brewers BBQ with a special outdoor BBQ menu cookout and a different featured local brewer each month. 4057 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, OR 97227 (503) 284-6669
PROS: Everyone can find something to enjoy here, even the non-beer person. Patio is cozy and not all in direct sun. CONS: Not a lot of space, could get crowded during prime time bar hours.
APEX © The New School
Lauded for its 50 taps or rare, imported and California-centric beer selection, punk rock aesthetic, pinball room, and huge outdoor beer garden that dwarfs the indoor space. A bicyclist’s paradise, located at the busy SE 12th and Division intersection with bike parking for dozens and dozens and a patio that can accommodate hundreds, APEX is many beer geeks first choice for a sunny day. 1216 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202 (503) 273-9227
PROS: Diverse beer selection, tons of outdoor seating and bike parking. CONS: Cash Only, No Food, No Dogs policies can seem kind of harsh, and beers can be a little spendy. Drinking on a black top parking lot next to a busy intersection is not the most ideal.
Belmont Station © The New School
#7 Belmont Station
A Portland institution that rose to fame for its bottle selection over a decade ago, the Station has reinvented itself with a taproom and more recently expanded to a beautiful, mostly covered back patio and permanent on-site food cart. Belmont Station has possibly Portland’s best (best, not most) selection of beers on tap, and definitely the best bottle selection. The taproom has both a few seats out front and a cooler roll-up door back patio (heated in the winter) that is well-lighted and bright with a few more seats outside of it in the back. Couple that with savory meat and vegetarian Italian/Philly style sandwiches, pasta, pretzels, and salads from the on-site food cart Italian Market, and Belmont Station should be a top destination for any beer geek. 4500 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97215 (503) 232-8538
PROS: Maybe the best draft and bottle selection in town, shaded and unshaded, open and enclosed patio. CONS: The covered part of the patio is enclosed enough to make it feel like your not outside.
Bottles © The New School
Though the name suggests the focus is more on bottled beer to go, BOTTLES on NE Fremont Avenue actually has an expansive bar space and side and backyard landscaped patio as well. From picnic benches to Japanese-garden inspired landscaping, stone steps, exotic plants, and open and covered areas, it’s a quiet oasis. Inside you can also find a choice selection of pinball games, and they occasionally make some damn good barbecue. 5015 NE Fremont St, Portland, OR 97213 (503) 287-7022
PROS: Pleasant, green, natural patio with shade and covered and uncovered areas. CONS: Food selection is very limited, often times prepared by the bartender.
NEPO 42 © The New School
#9 NEPO 42
Nestled among dive bars, taquerias, and a PCC campus, the NEPO 42 bar has been offering a good beer selection, friendly atmosphere and front yard beer patio before the neighborhood started getting a little trendier. Located right next door to new low-key Mexican rotisserie hotspot “Pollo Norte,” the NEPO 42 bar has down home pub grub and all the local favorite beers your have been looking for. Picnic table seating right out front in direct sun with table tents for shade and interesting people watching down NE 42nd and Killingsworth. 5403 NE 42nd Ave, Portland, OR 97218 (503) 288-8080
PROS: Good beer selection, direct sun soaked patio with table tents for shade. CONS: Adjacent to car parking lot and on semi-grungy NE 42nd.
Lardo © The New School
#10 Lardo – SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Finger licking savory sandwiches pair well with Lardo’s beer bar worthy selection of rotating craft beers, and the outdoor beer garden is expansive. Famous for owner Rick Gencarelli’s house cured, smoked, fried, or otherwise rich and delicious and reasonably priced gourmet sandwiches, the local Lardo family of restaurants also hosts a large beer selection. A Vermont native, Rick G brings his love of craft beer along with his love of Italian-inspired cooking, and trust me, you will need a sharp IPA or crisp Pilsner to cut the fatback. This time of the year Lardo’s Hawthorne Blvd. location has opened up the outdoor seating with picnic tables and table tents at the hopping intersection of SE 12th and Hawthorne. 1212 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214 (503) 234-7786
PROS: Awesome food and beer list, lots of sun on the patio. CONS: It’s hard out here for a vegetarian. SE 12th and Hawthorne is loud and traffic heavy. Lack of any green shrubbery to warm up the space.
Steinhaus on SE 82nd and Division has an enclosed patio with covered and open areas and a great German and German-style beer selection.
Paymaster Lounge has a huge patio and lots of outdoor bar games.