Top Ten Most Anticipated Portland Openings of 2016

Wayfinder's epic raised deck under construction

Wayfinder’s epic raised deck under construction

Some sites publish their most anticipated restaurant openings; we publish our most anticipated brewery and taphouse openings of 2016. Always looking ahead to the next new beer, The New School keeps careful track of the latest, newest school of drinking establishments where we may want to spend our hard earned coins. These are ten spots you might have heard of–some have been in the works for years, others might be just getting started, but all have new information and perhaps a lead on an opening date. Behold, our most anticipated Portland openings of 2016.

Ross Island Brewing logo

Ross Island Brewing

Carston Haney’s (ex-Alameda Brewmaster) brewery and tasting room Ross Island Brewing has been delayed by city permitting (of course), but is finally moving along and a late 2016 opening is on track. The brewery at SE Powell Boulevard and 7th is well placed near a strip club, a weed shop, and its namesake, the Ross Island Bridge. There will be a small intimate taproom on-site and straightforward delicious American and English-style ales and lagers. You will also likely find Carston’s love of the outdoors (he has a BA in Environmental and Forest Biology) on display in the atmosphere and beers. We are looking forward to a late 2016 opening of Ross Island Brewing at 730 SE Powell Boulevard, Portland, OR 97202.

Lombard House exterior

Lombard House

A new neighborhood craft beer joint from Brian Koch, who recently spent time behind the bar at The Commons Brewery and occasionally at Upright Brewing’s tasting room and Saraveza. Back in the day Brian got his start at the late lamented Roots Organic Brewing as a bartender and after spending time in Texas as a teacher, returned to his beer roots and is finally branching out on his own to open the Lombard House in St. Johns across from the Kruger Family Farms stand and Beer Porch. The small but sure to be comfortable and homey Lombard House will have 10 rotating taps, but the main draw might be Brian himself. “I live in the neighborhood, so it’s a special chance to do what I’ve always dreamed of,” said Koch, who hopes to have Lombard House open this summer at 7337 N Lombard 97203.

wayfinder beer no background

Wayfinder Beer

Recent bank loans have cleared the way for final construction and installation of the 10bbl JVNW brewhouse where Kevin Davey will rock refined lagers and IPAs and Rodney Muirhead will make tasty smoked steak sandwiches. The epic enclosed and elevated deck is now under construction, and walk-in coolers are ready to be fired up. Wayfinder is planning for a mid-August opening with collaboration brews on tap they have brewed with local friends: A North German Pils with Hopworks, an Imperial Red with 54-40 Brewing, ‘Definitely Not An IPA’ with Breakside, and a classic Kolsch with Baerlic Brewing.



The new project from ex-pFriem Brewmaster Dan Peterson is making some headway on a Hood River brewery and Portland taproom. Ferment beers have already been appearing around town thanks to brewing time and fermentation space at Zoiglhaus Brewery’s new system. Word is that Dan has secured a Hood River space for his brewery and is close to signing a lease for a Portland pub or tasting room, rumored to be a part of the new Burnside Bridgehead Project…Follow FERMENT on instagram.

Chef/Owner Rick Gencarelli of Lardo and the upcoming Beer Belly

Chef/Owner Rick Gencarelli of Lardo and the upcoming Beer Belly

Beer Belly

Rick Gencarelli moved to Portland from Vermont to cook at America Flatbread’s Portland Brewpub project, first reported by The New School way back in January 2010. That project soon fell through, and Rick went on to start the Lardo food cart, which we now know for its brick and mortar locations and notoriety as making some of the best sandwiches in town. Being from Vermont, Rick has always been a huge beer geek. Beer Belly will be a beer bar and bottleshop with 30 taps  and six doors of cooler space for bottles and cans. Other amenities include comfortable booth seating and TVs for games or the occasional movie. Rick even plans to have a cellar of rare barrel-aged beers and one-offs available for in-house consumption only. Beer Belly will be the 3rd spot in a corner empire of Lardo Westside location, Rick’s spinoff pasta brand restaurant Grassa, and now Beer Belly in the former space of Ración. (All three spaces are interconnected.)


Originally planned for a June opening, Beer Belly was recently approved to add a new front door on SW Washington for accessibility. This puts opening on track for fall/winter, which may conveniently coincide with the Holiday Ale Fest, held nearby in Pioneer Courthouse Square.

We’re super excited about it, we hope it will complement the 12th and Washington spaces nicely. Guests will be able to bring beer form the shop to Lardo and Grassa or food from either to Beer Belly,” commented Rick Gencarelli.

Beer Belly will be located at 1205 SW Washington St, Portland, OR 97205

New Breakside Brewery brewpub NW Portland Slabtown

Breakside Slabtown

As announced last November, 2015, Breakside Brewery will open its 3rd location and brewpub in the Slabtown neighborhood of NW Portland this year. Originally on track for a summer opening, a new design plan calling for a rooftop patio called for a refresh of construction plans. In the end, we all win, though, because the new Breakside will have not only a streetside beer garden but a rooftop space. Plus, the full restaurant and brewery will have its own brewer and beers that concentrate on new hops and techniques. Breakside NW Slabtown is now on track for an October 2016 opening adjacent to the new New Seasons Market at NW 22nd and Raleigh.


a recent interior construction pic from Double Mountain Woodstock

Double Mountain Woodstock

When we broke the news Double Mountain Brewery was opening a Portland location, the locals went wild with excitement. Not only does the brewery make some of Oregon’s favorite beers, the brewpub and pizza in Hood River are beloved everywhere. The new restaurant (which will not brew on site) called for a full revamp of the former failed pub space and will be family-friendly with outdoor seating, a full liquor bar, live music. and. of course. the famous pizzas. Construction is underway–windows are going in this week and the new pub staff members are currently being trained in Hood River. If all goes as planned, Double Mountain Woodstock will open the first week of August at 4336 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland, OR 97206.

Occidental Wursthaus logo

Occidental Brewing Wursthaus

The St. John’s neighborhood is dying for more breweries and restaurants, and reseidents were overjoyed to learn Occidental Brewing will be opening its own, called the Wursthaus. Teaming up with longtime event caterers Urban German Grill, Occidental is taking over the neighboring cafe in the mixed use building the brewery resides in. The Wursthaus will serve classic German fare like “a variety of sausages, schweinbraten, a burger, and schnitzel, with sides including spaetzle, german potato salad, sauerkraut, rotkraut, etc.” says owner Dan Engler. Eight of Occidental’s beers will be on tap in a family-friendly (read: kids menu) environment.  Wursthaus will be open 7 days a week, serving food that is all sourced from Oregon or Germany, along with bottles of wine and cider to complement the house beers. There is even a deck from the 2nd floor that looks out onto the St. Johns bridge or down upon the Occidental taproom and beer garden. Build-out has been progressing quickly, with what Dan calls “bräustüberl-type decor.” Occidental Brewing is planning to open the first week of August, though the exact date has not been set. Occidental Wursthaus, 6635 N. Baltimore, Portland, OR.


Lagunitas Community Room

As we first reported a while back, Lagunitas Brewing is opening a Portland location, but it won’t be a brewery or a public taproom. Instead, it will be a non-profit event space that is part of the brewery’s plan to give back to the community and reflect owner Tony Magee’s love of Portland. The event space will be open for non-profit fundraisers only,  with Lagunitas beer provided and food carts for bites. 100% of all proceeds from beer sales will go to the non-profits and the space will be available for free. The capacity of what is being referred to as the Lagunitas “Community Room” is 200-250 but the building is still undergoing renovations and construction of the bar. The space will begin hosting groups in August, but won’t be fully operational until September at 237 NE Broadway.

Scout Beer

Scout Brewing and Beer Garden

Beer cart turned brewery Scout Beer is on track for an early August opening. As we reported on more extensively in April, owner/homebrewer Joe St. Martin is fulfilling his dream of opening a brewery making out-of-the-box flavored ales and operating a beer garden and tasting room next to the brand new The Toffee Club at 1516 SE 10th Avenue right around the corner from Hawthorne Boulevard.

Samurai Artist
Samurai Artist

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact:


  • Jim Parker
    Jim Parker
    Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:59 PM

    Would that be Joe St. Martin at Scout? Methinks you got you saints mixed up…