Brian Koch is the owner of North Portland’s Lombard House pub, and like many others he is grappling with a pandemic, a pivot to delivery, and worldwide protests of an unjust system that have implications far more important than beer and bars.
It’s Portland Pizza Week, but we have a guide to the best signature brewery pizza’s and beer pairings you can try all year round.
Pizza and beer go together like hops and malt, yeast and sugar, Barack and Michelle, you get the picture. Portland was recently called the best pizza city in America, and our breweries do pizza almost as well as they do burgers and fries. Not just brick oven and pan pizza pies – PDX breweries showcase a variety of styles from New Haven to Neapolitan to the new and oh-so-trendy Detroit-style. So while just a few breweries are part of the 2019 Portland Pizza Week, you can find these breweries’ pizza pies all year long.
Portland’s newest brewery presents its Detroit-style pizza as as much of a draw as the beer. Opened just last month in the Foster-Powell neighborhood, Assembly Brewing is a full restaurant and brewery that focuses on quaffable ales and authentic Detroit-style pizza recipes passed down from a master. Brewer/co-owner George Johnson hails from Detroit and developed his own proprietary dough recipe and techniques after training with the award-winning pizza chef, Shawn Randazzo. Rectangular shape, airy texture, thick crust, and crispy caramelized melted cheese edges from the signature baking pan are all important characteristics of these unique pies. Available in 10- or 14-inch sizes with meat or veggie options, Assembly Brewing’s pizzas are at the forefront of what’s making the brand new brewpub a huge hit in the up and coming FoPo neighborhood. 6112 SE Foster Rd, Portland, OR 97206 https://assemblybrewingco.com/
Signature Pizza: Meat Lovers – Pepperoni, pork roll, salami, bacon and Italian sausage.
Slices? No. 10” by 8” (4 slices) or 14” by 10” (8 slices) pies.
Double Mountain Brewing PDX Taproom
Coming hot out of Hood River, Double Mountain Brewery opened its Portland taproom in 2016, and the place wouldn’t be complete without its signature pizzas. Double Mountain specializes in New Haven, Connecticut style pizzas fired at a hellish 700 degrees. The elevated temperature makes for great little charred spots, extra caramelization and crispiness, and a fast turnaround. Double Mountain does not do slices but does make either 10″ or 16″ pies to order. 4336 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland, OR 97206 https://www.doublemountainbrewery.com/taproom/woodstock-taproom/
Signature Pizza: Truffle Shuffle and Heirloom Tomato Pie.
Truffle Shuffle pie is a year-round favorite and Heirloom Tomato pie is a much-anticipated summer treat. Shepherds grains from sustainably managed fields in Reardon, WA, locally sourced Heirloom Tomatoes, Carlton Farms, and Olympia Provisions meats, Escalon tomato sauce, Grande Cheese Co, and locally sourced organic veggies.
Beer pairing: Vaporizer Dry-Hopped Pale Ale
Ex Novo Brewing (N. Portland and Beaverton locations)
Ex Novo is a four year old brewpub in the Eliot neighborhood of North Portland near the east side of the Broadway bridge. The brewpub menu is diverse and interesting, but it’s their small but signature Detroit-style pizza options that have really taken off, and inspired Ex Novo’s second taproom in Beaverton. Ex Novo describes its pies as Detroit style pizza, a thick pan pizza, with sauce on top. At the original PDX brewpub it offers four different Detroit styles of 8″ pies, but head to the Beaverton Pizza Pub for ten flavors and the option to build-your-own. 2326 N Flint Ave, Portland, OR 97227 and 4505 SW Watson Ave, Beaverton, OR 97005 http://www.exnovobrew.com/
Signature Pizza: The O.G. – pepperoni on the bottom, topped with brick cheese, and crazy sauce; the classic Detroit pizza.
Beer Pairing: Mosaic Pale.
Slices? Only two hours before home Trailblazer games.
Hopworks Urban Brewery – SE Powell
Known for its Organic beer, sustainable brewing practices and a lot of west coast hoppy beers, Hopworks still specializes in pizzas at its southeast flagship pub. Hopworks is also one of the few breweries that still unabashedly makes classic, greasy (but quality) NY style street pies. However, unlike a street slice, Hopworks will make any of them vegan. Like their brewing techniques and practices, HUB makes its ingredients in-house when possible and uses locally sourced ingredients, and makes its own sauces, etc. 2944 SE Powell Blvd, Portland, OR 97202 http://www.hopworksbeer.com/
Signature Pizza: Rocket Man – house made dough, garlic oil, mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, locally-sourced arugula, house made lemon vinaigrette, feta cheese, and hazelnuts.
Beer Pairing: Totally Chill Hazy IPA – This hazy IPA is loaded with pineapple and mango hop flavor from Azacca, Mosaic, and El Dorado hops that pair nicely with the light lemon vinaigrette dressing drizzle.
Slices? Daily slice specials with a vegetarian and meat slice available each day.
Lucky Labrador Brewpub (4 locations in Portland)
Lucky Lab is one of Portland’s old school classics, one of the longest running brewpubs in the cities history. Opened in 1993, Lucky Lab operates four different pubs in nearly every quadrant of the city. The locations are known for casual, rustic beer hall-style pubs and huge dog friendly patios as well as beers and pie. Lucky Lab has always followed its own masters, and that runs to its pizza, which doesn’t fit into any stylistic category. The pizza has thinner crust but is substantial; the kitchen uses barley flour in the crust, giving a nod to the brewery. The dough is extra bready, and has a grainy texture with some saltiness and stretch, not crackery. The pizza sauce uses a secret ingredient – fennel – which owner Gary Geist says he was tricked into working into the recipe.
“I hate fennel but an employee bamboozled me when we started up at Multnomah while doing a blind taste test that included fennel,” says Geist.
Try it for yourself at their NW, SW, SE and N. Portland pubs, more info at https://luckylab.com
Signature Pizza: The Mutt – a basic but tasty combination…Pepperoni, Italian Sausage, Artichoke Heart, Green Pepper, Mushroom
Beer Pairing: Super Dog, but recently WAG IPA (a hazy, go figure) is catching up.
Slices? Meat, Veggie, Cheese and Pepperoni.
Migration Brewing – Gresham
Migration opened in 2011 on NE Glisan in Portland but just last year opened a second production facility and taproom with pizza in Gresham. The pies they make there are no-frills thin crust pizzas that wow with classic, well executed flavors in the Neapolitan style. They fire the pies at 700 degrees to achieve optimal char, and the pizza comes out melty, crispy, and with just enough tasty greasy cheese oil. 18188 NE Wilkes Rd, Portland, OR 97230 http://migrationbrewing.com
Signature Pizza: Orchard – marinated figs and candied prosciutto with local Rogue smoky blue cheese.
Beer Pairing: Straight Outta Portland IPA
Slices? Three different flavors offered by the slice, plus a daily special.
Mt. Hood Brewing – Tilikum Station
Just last year, Mt. Hood Brewing ventured into Portland with a new location focusing on Naples pizza and delicious small plates featuring the likes of burrata, antipasto, and Spanish tin can seafood. After 28 years in Government Camp, OR, Mt. Hood Brewing has brought its signature brand to PDX with some seriously elevated food options. The cooks craft their pizzas in the Neapolitan tradition using Antimo Caputo flour from Naples, Italy. The wood fired oven uses alder harvested on Mt. Hood and is kept between 750-850° for a chewy crust with a touch of crunch. 401 SE Caruthers St, Portland, OR 97214 https://www.restaurantji.com/ or/portland/mt-hood-brewing-co-tilikum-station-/
Signature Pizza: Alpine Pizza – topped with applewood bacon, gruyere, mascarpone, olive oil and Brussels sprouts, which pays homage to the brewery’s alpine origins on Mt. Hood.
Beer Pairing: Timberline Tucker Double IPA – layered with Strata, Chinook, and Cascade hops. The crisp and bright hops balance the creaminess of the Alpine Pizza.
Slices? No, they specialize in 12” pizzas.
Old Market Pub & Brewery (SW and N. Portland locations)
The often overlooked Old Market Pub & Brewery in Southwest Portland’s Multnomah Village has actually been slinging pies and ales since 1994. The owners have actually passed down their pizza dough recipe from their first restaurants 35 years ago. Now they have two pubs, the OG and the Broadway Grill and Brewery location, which opened near Lloyd Center mall in 2006. Old Market and Broadway Grill specialize in East Coast-inspired pizzas with a thinner middle and slightly chewy crust made with three organic flours, yeast, salt, water and a little olive oil. The sauce is equally simple and made from crushed California tomatoes with a light touch of fresh garlic and spices.
Signature Pizza: The Twilight Zone – Genoa Salami, Pepperoni, Fresh Mushrooms, Onions, and Olives.
Beer Pairing: British Bombay IPA – the bitterness and flavor play perfectly with the savory pizza.
Slices? No. 10” individual pizzas.
Old Town Brewing & Pizza (NE and NW Portland locations)
What began in the namesake Old Town neighborhood of NW Portland in 1974, became a brewery in 2011. It was founded by the Accuardi family in a building over top of Portland’s famous haunted Shanghai Tunnels, and more recently purchased by Adam Milne, who opened a brewery location on N. Killingsworth. Old Town Brewing’s legacy is in pizza making, a family legacy they take seriously. https://www.otbrewing.com/
Signature Pizza: House Special – House-marinara set below mozzarella and topped with house-made sausage, cured pepperoni, Genoa salami, white mushroom, green bell pepper, and black olive.
Beer Pairing: Shanghai’d IPA – which holds a nice pronounced malt character to balance out the bready sourness of the crust and tangy veggies, but enough of a hoppy bite to cut through the rich cheeses and meats.
Slices? Yes! Northeast Brewery – Every weekday for lunch from 11:30am-2:30pm. Downtown NW Taproom – Everyday from 11:30am – 2:30pm and again at 9pm-12am (close)
Von Ebert Brewing (NW and NE Portland locations)
After just recently celebrating its first anniversary, Von Ebert Brewing has welcomed Jackson Wyatt as a new (but experienced) and beer friendly chef. Von Ebert has been making pizzas since it was called Fat Head’s Brewing in a previous lifetime some five or so years ago, but Wyatt has a new signature spin. Forced to classify the Von Ebert Brewing pizza style, Wyatt describes it as a “brewpub pizza”; that’s not quite any classical style. Von Ebert has its main location in the Pearl District of NW Portland and a newer spot in outer Northeast at Glendoveer Golf Course, both serving the signature pies. 131 NW 13th Ave, Portland, OR 97209 and 14021 NE Glisan St, Portland, OR 97230 vonebertbrewing.com/
Beer Pairing: Helles or VEB Pilsner, crisp and refreshing and doesn’t overpower the pie.
Slices? No. 10” personal pizzas.
10 Barrel Brewing PDX
The Bend, OR-based 10 Barrel Brewing now has six pubs, thanks to their tremendous success in beer, food and ownership capital from parent company AB InBev. All of its pubs serve pizza, so you know they take their pies seriously. 10 Barrel’s take is a classic thin crust American-style brick oven pie. 1411 NW Flanders St, Portland, OR 97209
Signature Pizza: Jaca (Haka) – garlic cream sauce, mozzarella, pulled pork, Italian sausage, pepperoni, jalapeno, and pineapple.
Beer Pairing: Pearl IPA – the Portland pub’s signature IPA created in-house by brewer Whitney Burnside. Aggressively hopped with a mix of tropical and pine flavors, unique fruity Belgian yeast. 8% ABV and 75 IBU’s.
Slices? No. Full size pies, personal pizzas available for lunch.
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.
If you’re willing to hop across the river, Vancouver, has two strong beer + pizza offerings. Heavy Metal Brewing (the brewery makes excellent pizza) and the La Sorrentina wood-fired pizza cart just outside Brothers Cascadia Brewing has won big awards.