Thirteen Best New Taprooms and Beer Bars in Oregon

On Tap – Bend, OR

For the third year running The New School is proud to shine a spotlight on the best new beer bars and taprooms to open in Oregon in the last year. Our definition of beer bar/taproom is a non-brewery affiliated bar, pub, public house that showcases craft beer, these establishments are essential to Oregon’s great beer culture and represent the future generations introductions to craft beer and potential industry classics. We spend all year tracking new beer bars and taprooms, researching and compiling this list, it may not be perfect but we think it showcases the best new spots Oregon has to offer from small towns, to the suburbs, coast and big city. To qualify, all locations must have opened in the last 365 days, these are the thirteen best ones to do so.

Our past picks for Best Beer Bars 2017 and Best Beer Bars 2015 for reference.

PublicHouse in Springfield, OR

PublicHouse – Springfield, OR

Springfield’s buzz got a lot bigger when Publichouse opened for business this summer. Now it is fully operational, with the new Whiskey Lab (in addition to the outdoor Arbor Bar, the main Beer Hall, and food court) rolling out an impressive bottle library and a rotating tap of barrel-aged beer
With over 40 taps total featuring craft beer, cider, wine, and soda, Publichouse has given Springfielders a much shorter commute to an excellent selection. Guests have access to a cornucopia of good food, like the 100 Mile Bakery, which sources 100% of its ingredients within 100 miles, and La Granada’s well-spiced Latin and South American dishes.
Once you’re there, you can start a tab at any of the bars and get drinks from anywhere, which makes wandering around the former church more convenient. Groups can reserve the Loft, which was the choir section of the church, and features some impressive stained glass.

There is live music regularly in the Arbor Bar, which will be covered and heated for the winter, like Beergarden in Eugene. 418 A St Springfield, Oregon https://www.publichousehub.com/ By AARON BRUSSAT @ BeerStone.com 

On Tap – a beer garden/taproom in Bend, OR

On Tap – Bend, OR

This outdoor/indoor beer garden, taproom and food cart pod wins extra points for being among the most family friendly and best outdoor drinking spots around. On Tap opened April 14th, 2018 by Eric and Laura Kramer who had a vision of pairing a food truck pod with an incredible selection of craft beer. Located in Bend’s Mountain View neighborhood on the northeast side of town, On Tap is a small brick and mortar taproom and large surrounding lot with tons of outdoor seating, fire pits and games with six food carts parked outside the garden. The bar features 35 taps total. 23 are for beer, 4 are for cider, 3 for kombucha, 4 for wine, and 1 for nitro hemp coffee. The only problem with On Tap is that there is a very limited indoor space but the owners are working hard to winterize everything by adding more seats, another outdoor fire pit and indoor heaters. The Kramer’s tell me they have only used a little more than half of their lot so far so there are tons of improvements to be made and come next summer I think this will be one of the hottest drinking establishments around. Improvements to come include more lawn, more bathrooms, games, seating and an outdoor stage for live music. 1424 NE Cushing Dr, Bend, OR 97701 https://www.ontapbend.com/

Bridge & Tunnel Bottleshop & Taproom in Astoria, OR

Bridge & Tunnel Bottleshop & Taproom – Astoria, OR

Oregon’s best small town and arguably top coastal city may already have been a beer destination thanks to Fort George, Buoy and the like but one thing it didnt have is a good beer bar and bottleshop. Thankfully Bridge & Tunnel Bottleshop opened this past February, 2018 to really complete the Astoria beer scene. Owner Dwayne Smallwood quit his job of 27 years as a retail produce manager at a Thriftway in Ocean Park, Washington to move to Astoria and pursue his dream of working in the craft beer industry. Smallwood has already proven himself a valuable and integral member of the craft beer community even earning many fans in Portland for his total dedication to the industry and participation in the broader conversation.

Bridge & Tunnel Bottleshop & Taproom is conveniently located just down Duane street, only a block from Fort George Brewery and right across the street from Reach Break Brewing. Inside there are 22 rotating taps, 17 dedicated to craft beer (no macro), with 2 ciders, 2 wine handles and a kombucha. Smallwood stocks a carefully curated 300 or so bottles to-go or some rarities in-house only. Bridge & Tunnel does not have food but right across the street are three food carts which will deliver directly to you at the taproom. 1390 Duane St Astoria, Oregon 97103-3918 https://www.facebook.com/beers4all/

Cully Central in Portland, OR

Cully Central – Portland, OR

One of the most unusual and under the radar new beer bars in Portland is in the quiet, mostly residential Cully neighborhood. What makes Cully Central is so unusual because it’s actually a Asian Laos food restaurant merged with a pod-style beer bar with it’s own enclosed parking lot and beer garden. Indoor is an open, small-ish casual restaurant with TV’s and a kids play-area and an impressive selection of draft beers. Hopheads will be stoked with plenty of IPA’s and a lineup of some of Oregon’s favorite breweries, plus ciders, kombucha and cold brew on draft. The kitchen is also no slouch, with an authentic selection of noodle, Asian BBQ, rolls, and salads, both fried and healthy foods at affordable prices. There is even a happy hour that includes cheap, kids friendly and decidedly un-Laos corn dogs for snacking.

I settled in for a hazy Breakside Brewery IPA for $5 and a plate of menu item #12, a $7 Spicy Noodle dish with stir fried vegetables, herbs and noodles and added a fried egg for $1 extra. That made for an affordable and satisfying dinner in a really chill and casual environment. In good weather the outdoor patio has games like disc golf and giant jenga and fire pits, I look forward to making a return soon. 4579 NE Cully Blvd Portland, Oregon https://www.facebook.com/cullycentral/

Bantam Tavern in Portland, OR

Bantam Tavern – Portland, OR

The latest new bar from Dan Hart, the man behind Prost! Portland, Stammtisch and Interurban, already an all-star lineup of great PDX taverns and now Bantam joins the list. Bantam Tavern is a cozy, small-ish pub on NW 21st ave. with outdoor seating for some great local people watching. More importantly, Bantam Tavern features a small but expertly curated drink menu from hot and cold cocktails, classic and new to 7 wines from France, Italy, Oregon and Portugal. Of course your are wondering about the beer, there may be only 8 draft lines but when it includes pFriem, Breakside, De Garde, Upright, Pelican and imports than it’s not a bad thing. The bottle list of beers even includes Cantillon and many other rarities. The food menu is high end drinking plates like an amazing warm crab and cheese dip with fried wontons, a beautifully stacked and plated meat and cheese board to full dishes like twisty pasta with artichokes to a prime rib dip sandwich. They even have a terrific happy hour to boot. 922 NW 21st Ave Portland, OR 97209 https://www.bantamtavern.com/

Lane 25 in Eugene, OR

Lane 25 – Eugene, OR

Lane 25 is a super hip extension and expansion of Strike City Lanes and the Spare Room Pub, located on Highway 99 on the way northwest out of Eugene. The complete makeover of the Spare Room Pub included busting through to the adjacent space, extending the bar and adding more taps of craft beer. Lane 25 is separate from Strike City, and has eight brand new lanes that can be reserved by the hour for small or large parties.

This is an upscale joint, and bears little aesthetic resemblance to the classic bowling alley. The games are fully digitized, and the computer system even offers bowlers the option to play H.O.R.S.E. or an Angry Birds adaptation, with animations to accompany one’s rolls. Fun!

Comfortable, modern couches around wood tables for food and drink replace the plastic and formica we know and love.

The food has been bumped up a notch, with a new brick pizza oven for thin, crispy-crusted pies, and fresh menu items. The beer list leaves little to be desired. Although all the beer is draught now, they plan to bring in some higher end bottles.

There is plenty of non-lane seating for guests to enjoy a meal and some drinks, as well as a shuffleboard table and pool tables. 1166 Highway 99 N Eugene, Oregon 97402 https://www.facebook.com/Lane25Alley/ By AARON BRUSSAT @ BeerStone.com

Fido’s Dog Taphouse in Tigard, OR. Photo by Henry Cromett

Fido’s Dog Taphouse – Tigard, OR

Billed as “The World’s First Dog Taphouse”, this beer bar features adoptable rescue dogs alongside their thirty rotating taps of craft beer, wine and cider. Fido’s is nearly as much of a temple to craft beer as it is to dogs. These guys have established relationships with local non-profits to celebrate and support the welfare of dogs with their primary mission to inspire adoption of homeless shelter dogs. Fido’s also hosts a variety of craft beer events and benefits and somehow even has a kitchen and full food menu even though the dogs share the space with the patrons. Fido’s is also located in the relatively craft beer barren Portland suburb of Tigard, Oregon. So Fido’s fills a niche for craft beer in the area and makes itself a destination to spend time with beloved furry friends while supporting a good cause, a portion of their sales go to help homeless dogs even if you dont end up adopting one. 7700 SW Dartmouth #110 Tigard, OR 97223 (Inside Walmart Parking Lot. Same Building As Verizon)

Willamette Ale & Cider House – West Linn, OR

West Linn has a new destination for craft beverages, local music and eats and it’s in a beautifully restored piece of history, a building that dates back to 1915. Willamette Ale & Cider House has been restored over years by the 7 Bev corporation that was founded in 2015 to make and distribute craft ciders and wines under the Queen Orchard brand. It’s not all cider though, WACH has 29 taps of beer, wine and cider plus 3 cask engines for real ale and cider with a bottleshop selection to take to-go as well.

Willamette Ale & Cider House is the place to enjoy their British-inspired ciders and cozy decor. Tyler and Toney Chay are behind the venture with Toney being the head cidermaker who produces on-site at the cider house and is pioneering a new as yet unrecognized style he calls “Cider Wine.” Toney Chay defines Cider Wine as being similar to English Dry cider, saying that it’s “fermented down to no sugars. No sulfites are added and all made from hood river apples.” Currently they are already expanding production at less than a year open from 1,000 gallons a year to 50K. Their in-house lineup includes 7 different flavors. 3 of those are seasonals, 3 are their flagships and 1 will be a special blend available only in-house. Queen Orchard/7Bev/WACH has slso just began bottling a high alcohol blended fruit wine available at the WAC House. I shouldnt forge to mention WACH features a full food menu of eclectic offerings from English Pot Pie, to Pasta and Meatballs, Banh Mi sandwiches and Baba Ganoush. 1720 Willamette Falls Drive, West Linn, OR 97068 http://www.aleandcider.com/

The Whet Spot – Seaside, OR

Despite an unappetizing name (that ironically is derived from Olde English and means to stimulate one’s appetite), The Whet Spot is bringing some much needed craft beer culture to the coastal town of Seaside, Oregon. Primarily a family friendly tourist destination and blue collar local population without much more than some dive bars, Seaside is now home to Seaside Brewing and The Whet Spot a taproom with a solid local pizza and thai restaurants nearby that deliver directly to the bar. The Whet Spot features 20 rotating taps of beer and cider, a growler filling station and over 150 bottles in their coolers. If you have a wine fan in your midst, they even have 8 bottled wines under pressure from a fancy serving machine keeping them fresh as the day they were uncorked. 12 N. Holladay Drive Seaside, Oregon https://www.facebook.com/pg/TheWhetSpot/

Growlers USA – Portland, OR

The Denver-based Growlers USA chain has come to Oregon, or more specifically the Portland State University campus in southwest Portland. With them has come 100 draft lines of beer, cider and soda and a huge food menu serving well designed American-style diner and bar food for the most part. Growlers USA seems invested in challenging the local SW Yardhouse location for best selection in town only with a more casual setting and a lot more turnover in the tap selection. Growlers USA is open for lunch and dinner 11am – 11pm, 7 days a week. Check out our full review of the Growlers USA opening here. 615 SW Harrison St. Suite B Portland, OR 97201

Bargarten in Beaverton, OR

Bargarten – Beaverton, OR

It hurt to lose the Portland-German classic restaurant and pub Gustav’s and Der Rheinlander on NE Sandy boulevard last year but local parent company Guten Foods has a hit with their new Bargarten startup pub chain. Though there is still one Gustav’s in Clackamas, the new Cedar Hills location of Bargarten (the first is in Keizer, OR) is a more modern and approachable version of a German pub. Some will find it’s slick, clean feel too similar to mall chain restaurants like Stanford’s and Olive Garden but atleast Bargarten is bringing some German grub and ales to the suburbs. It’s also true that you won’t find the really authentic German food of Stammtisch but sometimes a solid bratwurst plate or a schnitzel sandwich is all you need with a pint of Hofbrau Helles, or glass of Ayinger Celebrator, or for us pacific northwesterners, a Breakside IPA. 2905 SW Cedar Hills Blvd, Beaverton, OR 97005 https://bargarten.com/

Hopheads – Salem, OR

Salem’s best new beer bar may have just opened this past February, 2018 with Hopheads, a 32 draft beer and cider line taproom with 4 wines on draft and dozens of bottles. Recently named the #2 place to see in Salem by KGW News, Hopheads is a casual, all-ages, communal seating environment. The owners try to stock a selection of independent and imports that are not duplicated elsewhere so that Hopheads has a unique list in the states capital. A sweet but simple food menu boosts Hopheads as a destination, a large list of shareable snacks like nachos, meat and cheese boards, and sliders to compliment BBQ, grilled, veggie and melt sandwiches and salads. 150 High St SE Salem, Oregon 97301 https://hopheadsbeer.com/

COFFEE BEER in Portland, OR

Coffee Beer – Portland, OR

The two greatest brewed beverages come together in one spot at southeast Portland’s Coffee Beer. Part coffee house, part taproom, part local craftsman/makers showcase. Coffee Beer is a great little neighborhood hang out spot with outdoor seating, and a bright sun drenched interior with lots of little plants and locally crafted arts. Coffee Beer has a selection of coffees, teas, pastry’s and all sorts of small locally crafted merch like koozies, enamel pins, tote bags and stickers. Coffee Beer only has 4 beers on tap but it’s the coffee-beer combo and the ambiance that makes this place special, and the 55-70 or so bottles and cans they have to choose from.  The Coffee Beer owners also just opened Citrine Bloom in the same building, it’s a retail shop that sells house plants and other goods from female artists in the pacific northwest. 4142 SE 42nd Avenue Portland, Oregon 97206 https://www.coffeebeer.me/

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: SamuraiArtist@NewSchoolBeer.com

Discussion

  • Cory
    Cory
    Fri Nov 9, 2018 4:05 AM

    You missed out on Level State Beerhouse in Redmond. CBD infused beer. Old school arcade games and more.

    • Samurai Artist
      Samurai Artist
      Fri Nov 9, 2018 8:33 AM

      sounds like a good addition, will have to check it out when I am next in town.

    • Bill Moon
      Bill Moon
      Thu Feb 7, 2019 3:00 AM

      Very nice vibes friendly bartenders and excellent beers. Say hi to Angela and tell her Bill sent ya.