Ah Portland, a city that loves caffeine and alcohol almost as much as it loves cycling and the Timbers. Maybe more.
To lend a little credibility to that statement, consider this: there are over 80 breweries in the Rose City’s metropolitan area, which seems like an impressive number until you realize that the same landmass also encompasses more than 2,500 coffee shops.
That’s a whole lotta beans and barley.
It should go without saying, then, that a visit here isn’t complete without a sampling of some bitter brewed grounds and a few bottles (or cans) of an exotic hoppy infusion. That’s where Spinlister comes in. We’ve taken the liberty of mapping out a ride to some of our favorite cafes and brew pubs in Portland, all on roads that are conveniently cycle-friendly.
It’s our way of introducing you to a Portland pastime that’s near and dear to our hearts.
One thing to note before hopping on your rental bike: drinking and cycling don’t mix. While one 3-oz sample probably isn’t going to do you in, we’d recommend simply bringing a backpack to load with all the goodies you’d like to imbibe later. Your safety is important to us, so please bike responsibly.
HOPWORKS BIKE BAR
If you’re a fan of both bikes and beer, Hopworks will be right up your alley. Their brewery is located a little farther south on Powell Blvd, however the Bike Bar/Restaurant on Williams is a cyclist’s dream destination. Ample spacing both indoors and out (that includes parking for your ride), unique bicycle-themed decor, tons of taps to sample, and even a couple stationary bikes out front that help power the restaurant and earn you a well-deserved drink discount. It’s hard to find a more Portland-esque combination than that.
3947 North Williams Avenue, Portland website
Artisanal coffee that’s expertly roasted and varies with the seasons – now that’s a cafe we can get behind. While Ristretto Roasters has a handful of locations throughout Portland, their North Williams spot is especially appealing thanks to its relaxed vibe, plentiful seating (with a few tables out front as well), and available outlets for those who prefer the coffee shop to the cubicle. Snacks and teas are sold at the counter as well, but our go-to has always been a cup of their delicious drip coffee. You can’t go wrong with a classic.
3808 North Williams Avenue, Portland website
WIDMER BROTHERS BREWING
As is inevitable when a hometown company achieves success on a national scale, there are Portland purists who decry Widmer Brothers for “selling out”. Hey, you can’t please everyone – unless, of course, you’re offering them one of the brewery’s flagship Hefeweizens on a hot summer day. Founded in 1984, Widmer Bros has become the 9th largest brewery in the US thanks to its highly touted craft brews that, for a number of years, were only available on tap. Stop in for a tour, or simply park yourself at an outdoor table and soak up the killer atmosphere.
929 North Russell Street, Portland website
Situated on the banks of its titular river in Bend, Deschutes has become synonymous with Oregon craft brewing thanks to dark, malty staples like its Black Butte Porter and Abyss Imperial Stout. Don’t worry, there are plenty of crisper, hoppier selections to choose from as well. If a trip to Central Oregon isn’t in the cards, don’t fret; the Deschutes Public House on NW 11th in the Pearl District will more than suffice. Indoor/outdoor seating, a warm, wood-carved interior, and all the bottles/tap handles you can ask for await in this can’t-miss staple of downtown Portland.
210 Northwest 11th Avenue, Portland website
Stumptown is slowly becoming Portland’s answer to Seattle’s native Starbucks, which may or may not be a good thing. Whatever your take on its expansion, however, the fact remains that the company continues to build its reputation on the quality of both its beans and its roast. Of the multiple retail cafes available in the city, our favorite continues to be the Stumptown adjacent to the Ace Hotel in downtown Portland. Intimate and centrally located, it’s a perfect setting whether you’re looking to indulge in a steaming cup of coffee with a friend or grab one to go.
1022 Southwest Stark Street, Portland website
BASE CAMP BREWING COMPANY
The great outdoors are palpable at Base Camp’s brewery and tasting room on SE Oak Street, whether it’s the canoe hanging from the wood ceiling or the carabiners hooked onto the tap handles. This is an example of Portland’s brewing culture at its best, with a selection of delicious craft beers served up to a jovial crowd of thirsty, adventurous locals. On a hot day, you can take your drinks outside to the large, tented patio and indulge in any number of food truck options that are perpetually available just around its periphery. You’ll probably want to take your time here.
930 Southeast Oak Street, Portland website