From its laid-back lifestyle to lovable oddities, Portland is known for a lot of things. Perhaps what ties it all together is the local love for great beer. With more breweries than any other city in the USA, it’s no wonder Portland is known as”beer city.” Although I have explored the beer scene on my own in the past, I’ve never had the privilege of getting a locals insight. This seemed odd to me. I mean I have taken craft beer tours all over the world. From Lithuania to Cape Town, Pilsen to Sydney. Why not Portland? With the help of a Brewvana Craft Beer Tour, this ends now.
For my Brewvana Craft Beer Tour I was lucky to line up with their Mississippin’ Walking Tour. This took me to a side of Portland I had yet to explore. What was once home to heavy industry, the Mississippi/Williams area of North Portland is now home to some incredible restaurants, shops, and, of course, breweries. This up-and-coming area is best explored on foot and with the Mississippin’s Tour, we did just that.
Our day started at Ecliptic Brewing where our guide and craft beer lover Kelene gave us rundown on what to expect that day. After signing an incredibly long waiver that included a throw up clause, we were given a handy pretzel neckless and an education on beer elements and ingredients. It was best to get this up front before the samples kicked and while my attention span was still held.
Kelene proceeded to walk us through Ecliptic’s beer samples, adding interesting tidbits and facts behind each type of beer we tried. Staying true to the brewery theme and owner John Harris’s love of astronomy, the beers are named after all things space related. This included Spectra Hoppy Pilsner, Orbiter IPA, andPhobos Single Hop Red Ale. A personal favorite was the Capella Porter. Although I love dark beer, I’m certainly not alone on this favorite as this brew has recently raked in a few awards including gold at the US Open Beer Championships.
Clearly, this Brewvana Craft Beer Tour was off to a great start.
Our Mississippin’ Tour continued with the stroll up Mississippi Street to our next stop, Stormbreaker Brewery. Along the way Kelene pointed out highlights and quirkiness that can only be found in Portland. At one point we passed a pair of dildos strung over a telephone wire.
Keep it weird Portland. Keep it weird.
The stroll between breweries was my favorite part of this Mississippin’ Walking Tour and would’ve been made even better if you could walk with beer in hand, like my recent cocktail tour in New Orleans. You would think Portland would be a little more liberal on this.
But I digress.
Pub and Grub
After sampling some seriously refreshing Total ReKolsch (even refreshing on that cool winter day) and a booze-heavy Imperial Mississippi Ryed, a red ale mashup with rye and hops, we walked (stumbled) to our last brewery. Hopworks Bike Bar is a popular brewery in the area, and on our visit it showed. This crowded bike themed stop was less about the beer and more about the food served with. Snacks were a surprise addition on this walking tour, but by this point a much welcomed one. Instead hearing more about the beer we were sampling we mingled with other guests and enjoyed the end of an already great afternoon of Portland’s best beers.
Brewvana Craft Beer Tour has you Covered
With over 60 breweries within the Portland area it should come as no surprise that Brewvana Craft Beer Tours offer several different types of tours. From behind-the-scenes tours for those interested in the back end to walking tours of the Pearl District, you could literally visit Portland again and again and see a different side of the craft beer scene with Brewvana as your guide. There is even a beer and food pairing options, two things Portland does incredibly well.
Brewvana I will be back, and I will be thirsty.
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Although I was provided a complimentary tour with Brewvana Portlans Brewery Tours,
the experience, opinions, and Mississippin’ were my own.