Ecliptic Brewing founder John Harris created the world’s best-selling Black Butte Porter when he was at Deschutes Brewery in the 80’s, his modern updated take Capella Porter has also racked up the accolades.
Breweries, bars and taprooms have taken to the streets and parking lots of Portland to create dozens of safe new outdoor drinking patios and beer gardens.
Recent studies have shown it’s far less likely that you would spread or come in contact with the Coronavirus in open air outdoor areas. It’s also become clear that touching surfaces is a relatively unlikely way to become infected with COVID-19, while indoor areas carry a higher risk of airborne spread in less ventilated spaces. When these facts are taken into account a clearer picture emerges that having a beer outside while distanced out from others is actually relatively safe when practicing proper precautions like masking up.
With that in mind the city of Portland has encouraged bars and restaurants to move the party outside, away from sidewalks and into the streets. The Street Seats program has made it easy for breweries and taprooms to open new street parking promenades with some tapping into parking lots and unoccupied outdoor areas for additional seating.
With summer finally at hand, the remaining few months may be our last chance to safely enjoy a draft beer outside. Rather than focus on the many great existing patios and beer gardens open prior to COVID-19 (ie Level Beer, Rogue Eastside, Cascade Barrel House etc.) we are focusing on the best brand new options for drinking craft beer out in Portland.
Migration’s 2-year-old Gresham taproom has opened a brand new outdoor patio with a 50 person capacity over 8 family friendly and dog-friendly tables outside the brewery. The taproom serves high quality classic tavern-style pizzas, sandwiches and salads with brand new Migration beers like the award-winning Infinite Riff IPA (new in cans.) It’s counter service ordering only and open 11am-9pm seven days a week for your dining in or pick-up cans and food to-go.
The OG Migration on Glisan St. already had a nice patio but has expanded it even further to the east of the building with 6 new tables and 3 standing barrel tables for nearly double the amount of outdoor capacity. It’s still a hosted assigned seating operation that allows sanitization standards to be met with waiting lists during busy times and a counter service cash or card ordering system.
Migration NE Glisan is open 11am – 10pm 7 days a week at 2828 NE Glisan St, Portland, OR 97232. Migration Brewing Gresham is open 11am – 9pm at 18188 NE Wilkes Rd, Portland, OR 97230.
Deschutes Brewery Portland Public House
The hugely popular Portland public house of Bend, OR-based Deschutes Brewery has quietly reopened and added new street seating along NW Davis St. Nearly half of Deschutes PDX’s tables are now outdoors, which leaves plenty of room for distancing both inside and out. The pub still operates with a full menu and hosted seating but the outdoor tables are dog friendly (no smoking) and are open 11:30am to 9pm every day. 210 NW 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97209
Modern Times PDX Belmont Fermentorium
San Diego based Modern Times PDX is not new, but their rooftop patio has scarcely been open to the public before the pandemic due to unseasonable weather and the shutdown. The still little known rooftop area above the primary brewpub has it’s own bar-area and is ADA accessible. It provides not only a breadth of fruit packed sours and hazy IPA’s but craft lagers and terrific sunset views of the Morrison bridge and inner southeast Portland.
When you enter Modern Times Belmont Fermentorium be prepared for a wellness check at the door before receiving a wristband and opening a tab, but then quickly excuse yourself to an open roll-up window downstairs or the elevator to the roof. Fresh vegan food is available from the kitchen and you can order at the bar on either floor. The rooftop is an excellent spot to catch some rays and people watch amongst the crowd of beer nerds and hipsters who flock here. It’s a wonder the rooftop isn’t more packed, we were able to grab a seat immediately during happy hour. Just be prepared for direct sun because there are no tents or umbrellas.
Modern Times PDX is open every day except Tuesday’s for to-go orders and on-premise beer & food from 12pm-8pm. 600 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97214.
Oakshire Beer Hall
Oakshire Brewing took time in opening their Portland beer hall as they considered the best possible options for resuming service. The new drink on-premise service is setup to be outdoors only with hosted assigned seating options for groups up to 6 people with 16 available patio tables carefully sanitized between each customer turnover.
Drinks are served out of a back bar under a roll-up garage door in the adjacent parking lot with 14 draft beer options, cider, wine and non-alcoholic drinks. Outside food is welcome, but food partners BIBA! CHamoru Kitchen is doing contactless ordering via a QR code at each table. The only contact point is the indoor restrooms which are sanitized every half hour by the staff.
Oakshire’s Portland beer hall is open Monday through Friday from 3pm – 9pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 12pm – 9pm. 5013 NE 42nd Ave, Portland, OR 97218.
Portland’s downtown craft beer mecca Bailey’s has teamed up with their alleyway neighbors Alchemist Tavern (formerly Santeria) to close the side street for shared seating. Depending on the day of the week there are 2-4 Bailey’s tables and 4-6 from Alchemist under a covered tent. Customers from Bailey’s can purchase Alchemist food and use their tables and vice versa for their customers getting drinks from the taproom. The outdoor seating offers a mix of 2 top tables and larger options that can seat a party of up to 8. Outside food is welcome at Bailey’s larger tables but Alchemist’s 2 tops are reserved for their customers who purchase food.
Bailey’s is operating with their usual counter service method but asking only one member of each group to come up to order –face masks required. Bailey’s also asks that customers only sit at clean tables and not to rearrange seating, the staff will bus the dishes after.
Bailey’s Taproom has limited their hours to Monday – Saturday from 3-10pm. Find an updated taplist and safety guidelines on their website. 213 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205.
Gorges Beer Promenade at the Trailhead Taproom
Portland’s newest brewery opened right before the pandemic shut down bars in Oregon and has now been reinvigorated with an open promenade down the bike friendly SE Ankeny. With their sister pub Tap & Table across the street, Gorges Beer has a huge amount of small tables scattered from their elevated deck and down most of the rainbow painted bike thoroughfare that has been closed to motor vehicle traffic.
One of the highlights of the open air action is their no-contact system that not only lets you place orders and pay from them from your phone, but the ability to order from multiple surrounding businesses. Customers can open a tab and order an IPA from Gorges, a sandwich from Tap & Table and some Vietnamese-style Tacos from Tacoish with a few swipes and never having to get up from your table. Sadly the new Ruby Jewel Ice Cream truck that is parked on the promenade has not yet been added to the app, but is still easy to grab an ice cream sandwich from while enjoying brewer Bryan Keilty’s soon-to-be famous Golden Eagle Golden Ale.
Gorges Beer Co. is open Tuesday-Thursday: 4-9pm Friday – Sunday: 12-9pm at 2705 SE Ankeny St, Portland, OR 97214
Stormbreaker could have skated by with their popular existing outdoor spaces at their two popular pubs in N. Portland’s Mississippi district and St. John’s neighborhood. But instead of just leaning on what they already had, Stormbreaker has taken to the side streets outside both locations for a huge amount of socially distanced eating and drinking.
After seeing the host to check-in, the Mississippi Stormbreaker location has an additional 14 tables set up along N. Beech street in addition to 12 more on their original patio. And at their St. John’s pub there remains 7 tables on their year-round covered patio with 6 more tables out front on Lombard and another 9 along the closed Johns St.
Food and drink menus are now online only with a QR code at each table, however you still order with a server who will come to your table (masked up of course.) Every table is sanitized between seatings and all patrons are required to wear a mask when not seated. Both patios are family friendly and open noon until 10pm (minors until 8pm only at the Mississippi pub.)
Stormbreaker Mississippi, 832 N Beech St, Portland, OR 97227 and Stormbreaker St. John’s, 8409 N Lombard St, Portland, OR 97203.
Ecliptic has taken the party to their expansive parking lot and out of the pub for outdoor seating only. A host check-in area will get you on the list for a table and they will text you with a 10 minute warning, though beware waits can be long. Once seated you are given a buzzer to bring back to your table, all food and drink orders are made online and when it’s ready to buzzer goes off and you walk up to the pick-up window to grab your own pint or grub. 825 N Cook St, Portland, OR 97227.
Old Town Brewing
One of the leading COVID innovators since the pandemic began has settled into what they do best — offering a comforting family friendly public house space with the simple pleasures that put brewpubs on the map. Though Old Town Brewing has temporarily closed their downtown Portland location, their flagship restaurant and brewery on NE MLK blvd. is alive and well with plenty of breezy seating and a variety of accomplished ales and lagers.
Old Town Brewing’s patio space is seat yourself, but sanitized between each group. Menu’s are now online and reachable via the website or a QR code at each table. Orders are placed counter-side with a server bringing out your food and drinks and bussing and cleaning your table between each turn. Old Town continues to be a family friendly option focusing on pizza with a variety of award-winning Hazy IPA’s and lagers to satisfy your cravings.
OT Brewing is open 4-9pm Sunday – Thursday and 3-9pm Friday, and noon – 9pm Saturday. 5201 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97211
Longtime torch bearers for the east of Tabor neighborhood, Roscoe’s tavern has constructed a full streetside deck with open air views of the neighborhood and permanent covering. Known for their Cajun food as well as the constantly rotating eclectic taplist and dark lived-in dive bar atmosphere, Roscoe’s has re-imagined their space for the COVID-era. The new outdoor area features six spread out large picnic tables, 3 each for Roscoe’s and their adjacent partner/sister establishment Miyamoto Sushi. They still offer the same amenities as usual and will keep pouring and serving beers until last call before 10pm every day of the week. 8105 SE Stark St Portland, Oregon 97215
John’s Marketplace Powell
The SW Portland bottle shop has recently opened their expansive new SE Powell Blvd. location with much more than 3,500 + packaged beers. An indoor bar with enclosed and open outdoor patios and beer ordering window offer up 14 rotating drafts with no corkage fee on bottles. Customers can walk straight up to their attached food cart pod and order world-class BBQ, Greek food, burritos, fried chicken and more from the more then half dozen food vendors and grab a beer without going inside. 3560 SE Powell Blvd, Portland, OR 97202.
Outer southeast Portland Lents neighborhood favorite Zoiglhaus Brewing is hosting a weekend Friday – Sunday Zoigl-Lot Brew N’ Q barbecue party with rotating food specials, draft beer and cans and hazy IPA “hopsicles.” The German and American house brewed beers are available in pints and steins, or 12oz cans, and don’t sleep on their dry-hopped pilsner Hop on Top paired with some ribs and baked beans. There are options for the kids like sodas and hot dogs, but the frozen Hopsicles are for adults-only!
Zoiglhaus always has some out front street seating but the full expanded patio and barbecue is only on weekends from 4-8pm. 5716 SE 92nd Ave, Portland, OR 97266
Von Ebert Brewing
The multi-award winning brewpub’s have expanded their outdoor seating options at both the NW Portland and NE Glendoveer locations. The dense pearl district location offers a spacious open indoor restaurant and street-side seating in the thick of the busy neighborhood. But it’s the more suburban location at Glendoveer Golf Course that really excels with a grassy outcropping from it’s existing covered patio that has clear views of the still busy park that it sits at the edges of. And along the back side of the restaurant is even more seating along the edges of the golf course pro-shop.
In an effort to become even more safe to both the staff and customers, both Von Ebert’s are now counter service only, but still have their full food menu’s and extensive beer selections. Orders can be placed for on-premise or to-go food and drinks via an online menu that makes thing’s nearly touchless. Tables are first come first serve, and no groups of more then 10, although most tables have a max of 4 people. Von Ebert Glendoveer, 14021 NE Glisan St, Portland, OR 97230 and Von Ebert Pearl, 131 NW 13th Ave, Portland, OR 97209.
Mayfly Taproom & Bottle Shop
If you live anywhere the outer reaches of N. Portland in the underserved Kenton neighborhood you can thank your lucky hops for Mayfly taproom and bottle shop.
When Multnomah County began to reopen the Mayfly taproom held off on welcoming customers back, not because they didn’t want to see their community but because they did not want to be part of the problem. Though the bright and breezy taproom is a pleasant and safe feeling place to be in, the staff was wary of throwing caution to the wind and promoting a sense of getting back to normal.
After careful consideration, Mayfly has quietly reopened for draft sales with a growing patio area featuring 6 outdoor tables. They politely ask that groups are kept to one household, no minors or smoking is allowed and you should wear a mask while not seated. All things that are a small price to pay for a safe and welcome return to your friendly neighborhood taproom. 8350 N Fenwick Ave, Portland, OR 97217.
Laurelwood Public House & Brewery
You can still throw axes at Laurelwood Brewing while enjoying a beer in the open air. Laurelwood has added 6 much welcomed parking lot tables to the existing small back roll-up door area that has 2 more tables. For an even more secluded beer garden experience you can take it upstairs to the rooftop patio Friday – Saturday. Inside the pub the indoor seating now has clear plastic barricades to prevent the flow of virus.
But the back patio has the additional draw of two mobile outdoor axe throwing lanes! Social distance drink and toss sharp objects to your hearts content Monday – Friday but remember you have to book your axe throwing time in advance. Laurelwood’s indoor and outdoor seating has table side service, online ordering and payment system, and is open 12-8pm every day. 5115 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97213.
Though they already had one of Portland’s favorite patios, the elevated deck on SE 2nd street had to eliminate larger tables for social distancing which made it that much harder to get a seat. So Wayfinder has now added a streetside patio to accommodate more tables. The makeshift beer garden is equipped with a host check-in stand and a waiting area where you can grab a beer while waiting for a table to become available. The new setup adds 24 additional seats onto the street area and orders are still made in-person with a server coming to each table.
Currently Wayfinder is operating on a more limited food menu from 3-9pm every day with no shortage of beers, but starting July 21st they will begin opening at noon on weekends. 304 SE 2nd Ave, Portland, OR 97214.
Dimo’s Apizza / Craft Beer Collective
A new possibly permanent pizza pop-up has opened at the former Burnside Brewing and Mikkeller space with plans to begin brewing operations under the name Craft Beer Collective later this summer. The softly opened Dimo’s Apizza setup slings wood-fired New Haven-style pizza’s from the expansive patio for outdoors only service. The taplist is curated by Culmination Brewing’s Tomas Sluiter with an excellent selection of locals both big and small. 701 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214
Portland favorite Baerlic Brewing has cultivated a robust beer delivery and pick-up service from their two taprooms and taken their time re-entering the on-premise game. But the downtime was well spent, as both the SE taproom and NE Barley Pod locations have reopened with some of the safest precautions taken among any brewery in-town.
While the Barley Pod taproom has the benefits of a food truck cart pod to provide tasty eats, it’s the Super Secret Beer Club patio at their flagship location that really stands out. Many may have never been aware that Baerlic southeast had a normally closed to the public backside parking lot, but now it’s been converted into a European-style beer garden. Customers enter down one roped off aisle and leave through another, ordering at the back roll-up doors before grabbing an fully sanitized available patio seat. 16 outside tables have more then the required 6ft of distance and provide plenty of seating at the SE pub that offers a touchless only no cash payment system from 2-8pm every day. Baerlic Brewing taproom is 2235 SE 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97214 and the Barley Pod is 6035 NE Halsey St, Portland, OR 97213.
A nano brewery makes good on southeast Portland’s craft beer desolate upper Powell Blvd. Though Brewery 26 had the misfortune of opening just days before Oregon bars shutdown to stem the spread of the coronavirus, they are now back in operation.
On first glance the tiny taproom does not appear to offer much respite from the virus, but you would miss the mini beer garden they have thoughtfully set up in the hidden back parking lot behind the building. Owners/bartenders Andy Shaw and Keith Hattori will take your orders at the bar and deliver pints to you through their back door and directly to your picnic table out back. The still relatively undiscovered taproom is a nice quiet respite from the traffic out front and offers a selection of beers from Hazy IPA’s to Porter’s and Saisons.
Brewery 26 Powell is open Monday – Thursday 4-10pm and Friday – Sunday from 12-10pm at 5829 SE Powell Blvd,.
Gigantic has added a new southside patio outdoors amongst the barrels. The extension of their barrel room typically used for events and viewing parties is an addition to their regular existing out front beer garden. The only difference being the south patio is more secluded and not dog friendly like the front area. New COVID hours are M-W 3:00–9:00 and Th–Su 2:00-9:00. 5224 SE 26th Ave Portland, Oregon 97202
Dan Hart’s mini bar empire has been highlighted by top notch German and American pub grub, beers and cocktails and Bantam has been a hidden gem among them. Though the indoor space is small and made up of primarily bar seating, Bantam has expanded their idyllic patio on NW 21st into an extended garden with table side service. Stop in for a pint of Russian River and pair it with the creamy and cheesy crab dip with wontons from 3-10pm Monday – Friday or 1130am – 10pm on Saturday or Sunday. 922 NW 21st Ave Portland, OR 97209
Threshold Brewing & Blending
The 1-year old Montavilla neighborhood brewery has laid out a street-side greenway right off of the popping Stark st. business district next to Bipartisan Coffee. Threshold is keeping things fresh with new hazy IPA’s, coffee stouts, barrel-aged strong ales and wild farmhouse creations. Chances are one of the owners will be slinging the beers to thirsty locals and beer geeks from near and far, and both are happy to chat about the business and nerd out about beer and food. 403 SE 79th Ave, Portland, OR 97215
The Irish-themed brewpub on NW 21st is still serving their American and European pub grub and NW ales but now from picket fenced in new areas in front and to the sides of the building. 210 NW 21st Ave Portland, Oregon 97209
Produce Row Cafe
The classic industrial area beer bar has had one of the best patios in PDX for more then 40 years but because of COVID they have nearly doubled it into an adjacent lot. The new and wide open fenced in lot is drenched in sun with tables for medium and small groups with a handful of heaters when it gets chilly. 204 SE Oak St, Portland, OR 97214
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.