Cascade Brewing Barrel House
Also known as the "House of Sour," Cascade Brewing stays busy year-round because of its impeccable sour beers flavored with everything from Bing cherries to apricots. Summer is the perfect time to grab one of these unusual brews, sit at a shaded table on the sun-bathed patio, and watch the herd of goats clear the weeds from the field across the street.
What to Order at Cascade Brewing Barrel House
You'd really be missing out if you didn't at least taste some of the sour ales at Cascade's Barrel House. The Sang Noir (left) is a full-bodied sour cherry beer aged in oak Pinot Noir and whiskey barrels, while the Elderberry III (right) tones down the vinegary aspects of most sour beers with a smooth, slightly sweet finish coming from the elderberries on which the ale was aged for 10 months.
Green Dragon/Buckman Brewery
Just one of several Rogue Meeting Halls in Oregon, the Green Dragon has one of the most extensive taplists in Portland (62 in total). In addition to the smorgasbord of rotating beers (most of which aren't from Rogue), the Green Dragon plays host to Buckman Brewery, which specializes in beers spiced with unusual ingredients like ginger, hemp, and chamomile. There really is something for everyone here, all of which may be enjoyed in the pub's private fenced-in patio.
One of Portland bike-friendliest beer bars, Apex transformed its parking lot into a large fenced-in patio replete with ample bicycle racks. The beer list is formidable, with no fewer than 50 rotating craft beers on tap and plenty of refreshing brews to help you cool off in the heat. Thankfully an updated beer menu can be found on the Apex website, so you always know ahead of time what to expect.
Germans have no shortage of great beers to drink outdoors in warm weather, so lucky for us that Prost! opened its doors just a few blocks north of Amnesia Brewing in 2009 to satiate cravings for these distinctive flavors. The pub's back deck peers over an entire pod of food carts, significantly opening up your lunch options if you're not interested in the bratwurst and pretzels sold inside.
What to Order at Prost!
When you're at Prost!, go big. A cold liter of Franziskaner Weissbier, vibrant with overtones of bananas and cloves, will set you back only $9.50 (and work out your forearm in the process), but darker options such as the Köstritzer Schwarzbier are also available if you're longing for the day when cooler weather makes its inevitable return.
Eastburn's covered back patio means that Portlanders can drink their beers outdoors rain or shine. Taps rotate frequently, with recent offerings such as Fearless Brewing Co.'s Peaches & Cream Ale providing drinkers with something light and fruity to cool off in the summer. A full restaurant with a menu filled with snacks, sandwiches, and entrees, Eastburn is a great place to plant yourself for the evening and indulge with friends.
First-time visitors to Portland often find themselves perusing the shelves at the dauntingly large Powell’s Books, and after all that browsing it’s only natural to want to wind down with a craft beer. Henry’s Tavern is just one block over from the booktore, and it’s hard to find a larger draft selection in Portland. (Henry's has 100 taps.) The offerings run the gamut from the familiar (Pabst Blue Ribbon) to the harder-to-find-on-tap-once-you-leave-the-West-Coast (like the Russian River Damnation, seen here). Grab a beer and shield yourself from the busy city streets with a seat on the quiet patio wedged between the historic buildings.
For drinking beer outside on Division Street, Southeast Portland's rapidly burgeoning mecca of restaurants (you'll find Pok Pok and Sunshine Tavern mere blocks away), few can top the Hedge House. One of five Lompoc Brewing pubs in Portland, the Hedge House features a taplist of Lompoc standbys, including its malty LSD and summer-perfect Fool's Golden Ale.
Drive down Mississippi Avenue on any remotely warm weekend and you'll undoubtedly see the picnic tables outside Amnesia Brewing overflowing with an all-ages demographic clutching frosty pints and munching on sausages and burgers off the large outdoor grill parked in the corner. A good portion of the seating is covered, so whether you're out to escape the sun or bask in its glow, there's probably a spot for you. Just remember to get there early!
Amnesia Brewing: 832 N Beech Street, Portland, OR 97227 (map); 503-281-7708
With a brewery, winery, and distillery all on-site and acres of land to explore, the Edgefield location of Pacific Northwest's most expansive name in brewpubs offers visitors more options to drink than just about anywhere in the greater Portland metropolitan area. Located just beyond the edge of the city in Troutdale, Edgefield hosts concerts throughout the summer and boasts a lodge for overnight stays, a movie theater, golf course, spa, and a soaking pool. Grab a brew from any of the complex's numerous pubs and take a stroll through peaceful garden settings, or grab a chair in a cozy courtyard between the old brick structures.
Belmont Station's outdoor drinking space is limited to the tables on the sidewalk in front of the building, but what it lacks in ample seating it makes up for many times over with sheer selection. In addition to the 16 constantly rotating taps, Southeast Portland's premier beer shop offers beer geeks over 1,000 different bottles to choose from ranging from the popular to the obscure, all of which may be drunk on site for a nominal corkage fee.
What to Drink at Belmont Station
If it's variety you're after, be sure to try Belmont Station's Flight of the Day, featuring a selection of beers from the bar in 5-ounce tasting glasses. Seen here are Deschutes Brewery's bold and fruity The Stoic, a Belgian-style Quad, and Upright Brewing's crisp and puckery Lactovasilios, a barrel-fermented Berliner Weisse.