First look at Backwoods Brewing in the Pearl Portland

Backwoods Brewing Pearl photo by Kevin Waters

Just 3 weeks ago, Backwoods Brewing Company announced plans to move into the space once known as Pearl Tavern. The turnaround was quick and the makeover is impressive. We were able to attend a small friends & family event on Saturday, July 7th to preview the new satellite pub. The pub officially opens to the public today, Monday, July 9th at 11:30am.

Folks who have been to Backwoods’ pub in Carson, WA will be right at home in the Pearl District. The aesthetics mimic the forest and wood-centric environment of their space in the Columbia Gorge – right down to the burnt-in iconic bottle n’ tree logo on the tables and bar tops.

Parmesan Garlic Tots

The menu for this event was a teaser of what’s to come. The new location does not have a pizza oven – something Backwoods has become well-known for at their original pub. Backwoods in the Pearl will feature appetizers, salads, sandwiches and burgers at price points visitors to the Pearl will be happy to see. For appetizers, the Hummus Plate was fairly standard while the Garlic Parmesan Tots were to die for. (Pro-tip: Get the tots with an added sprinkling of feta.)

For lunch, we enjoyed Pa Dale’s Chicken Sammich – a slightly charred hearty helping of chicken with pepper mayo, avocado and mozzarella hit the spot. The ‘sammich’ is named for one of the brewery’s first employees and a recognizable face around Backwoods, Dale Bybee. You can’t miss his white Detlef Schrempf-style flat top and white Santa Claus beard. He’s the type of guy that you’re going to get an introduction from if you’re within eye sight and embodies the old-school hospitality that Backwoods intends to bring to downtown Portland.

Backwoods Brewing Pearl photo by Kevin Waters

Saturday’s Preview Event Taplist

Backwoods will have 14 beers on tap and, according to co-owner Kevin Waters, you’ll begin to see some offerings available exclusively in The Pearl. For our pre-opening visit, just 8 beers were on tap and we enjoyed Copperline Amber, Mosaic Single Hop Pale and Logyard IPA.

All Day Lemonade – A Backwoods Signature Cocktail

Another first for Backwoods is the offering of a full bar and signature cocktails. We enjoyed a cocktail called All Day Lemonade which seemed to be based on a Lynchburg Lemonade with Jack Daniels. It was far more tart than expected, but in the best way possible. A great beverage for the 85+ degree day we had.

Backwoods in the Pearl is family-friendly and their hours will be 11:30am-10:00pm Sunday-Thursday and 11:30am-11:00pm Friday and Saturday.

Everyone is welcome in the Backwoods

Michael Perozzo
Michael Perozzo

Michael Perozzo is a life-long resident of Southwest Washington and father of 4. At his day job, he leads a digital marketing and graphic design team supporting food/beverage clients at ZZEPPELIN. Michael helped start Brewcouver – the passport to Vancouver’s breweries – and co-founded NorthBank Beer Week. He also manages beer buying for the Vancouver Brewfests and helped create Brewing Bridges Collaboration Fest. Portland Trail Blazers fans may remember him as DarthBlazer circa 2008-2012.


  • Alan
    Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:03 AM

    Everything about this place exceeded my expectations. the ambiance, the decor the service the food, the beer. However 1 critical negative. I do not want to post this on social media. THE SO CALLED MUSIC. It was nothing more than a background of what sounded like nothing but a base player with over volume. Absolutely terrible. Love all the tv’s. I have been to the carson brewpub countless time and no music is better than the background crap at the pearl. By far the worst music ever at any brewpub. At the very least play some background country or older pop to go along with the atmosphere. The noise in the background was totally annoying . 5* + on everything about the Pearl Backwoods 1 * minus on hte annoying so called music. It sounded like the same bass loop over and over and over again and we wee there from 4 – 8pm and it never changed.