by Emily Engdahl
Here in Oregon, we love our beer, and while many Oregonians are smart enough to avoid drinking and driving, there are times when the usual public transit options for safe imbibing create more of a headache than too many pints of an Imperial IPA on a hot day. Sometimes, in order to fully appreciate the beauty of our vast brewery choices, you have to get out and experience beer on a whole new level.
Looking for alternatives to the tried and true light rail, bus, trolley, or tour bus? These local options have the zest and zip to give you a pep in your step (or a push in your pedal). Create your own pub and brewery crawl, enjoy the fruits of your uphill labors with a pint after a breathtaking hike, cruise your way to victory (malts) on a wheeled adventure, or appreciate the local architecture and history with attentive walking tour guides.
Brewvana’s primary walking tour guide, Margot Ripley shared what she loves most about the new walking tours, and some fresh ideas for upcoming adventures with Brewvana!
The current walking tour is based in NW Portland, explains Ripley, “which has enormous historical importance not only for Oregon beer but for the city of Portland as well. There are many iconic breweries in the area, as well as many smaller locations trying new and exciting things. We include information about the Lovejoy Columns, the Benson Bubblers, the Park Blocks, and many other Portland icons. More than landmarks, we focus on the creation of the city itself, and the people who were important in that creation, like John Couch, Henry Weinhard, and Francis Pettygrove.”
While the tour is tailored toward anyone who may not have much knowledge about, or understanding of the history of Portland, it is still very applicable for people who have lived in the area for years. Says Ripley, “The beer aspect is very similar to the experience we provide on our other tours-- enjoy a wide selection where every palate will find something to love” including Deschutes Brewing, Pints Urban Taproom, and Rogue Public House. “This is a really excellent tour for folks hoping to introduce friends and family to Portland and gain an appreciation for Oregon beer.”
Ripley continues, “We're considering a "Walk the Dog" tour in South East Portland, where folks would be invited to bring their friendly four-legged friends along to some other wonderful breweries across the river as we learn about some other important things in the history of our city. A tour featuring man's two best friends-- beer and dogs! What could be better?”
The walking tours are designed to offer visitors and locals alike the chance to stretch their legs while enjoying great craft beer and learning more about the Pearl District of Portland. Starting at Deschutes Brewery Portland Public House with a full six-sampler tray offering a combination of classic and seasonal beers and Tasting 101, the tour then proceeds to Pints Brewing. There the tour will get a behind the scenes look at 3.5 barrel brewing system accompanied by a sampling of their beers. The last stop of the tour is Rogue Distillery & Public house for appetizers, more beer and trivia, with the winner taking home a BREWVANA trucker hat.
Tickets are $49/person and include behind the scenes tours, all beer and food, pretzel necklace, tasting journal, Pilsner glass and historical notes about the Pearl District. Space is limited and reservations must be made in advance. Tours will run 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. To register visit www.experiencebrewvana.com/tours.
Hikes & Pints - Brothers Keith and Dan Vandervort trek to the tops of craggy peaks, delivering beer enthusiasts to new heights, and rewarding them with stops at breweries like Double Mountain or Pfriem in Hood River. You’ll never feel as though you deserve that beer more than after hauling yourself up the side of a mountain beside these two inveterate hikers. Interjecting a healthy dose of humor and down to earth naturalist knowledge into their tours, you’ll enjoy fantastic scenery on any of their several hiking options.
Want to stay in town or create a bespoke tour? Take advantage of the Portland Pub and Brewery tour, or work with them to create a one of a kind chartered tour personalized just for you and your friends. Visit www.hikesandpints.com for more information, to book a hke, or create your own tour!
BrewCycle - Want to have fun getting some exercise, laugh with friends and visit some amazing stops in Portland to enjoy iconic treats, sights, and delicious beer? BrewCycle currently has 3 multi rider cycles, and can accommodate parties as large as 41 guests!
Choose from one of two current tours: the Portland Weird Ride includes transportation on the BrewCycle, a chilling tour and history breakdown in the famous Shanghai Tunnels, a delectable pairing of pizza and craft beer in the haunted Old Town Pizza location featuring Old Town Brewing Co., and a scrumptious dessert from Portland's own Voodoo Donuts. The Portland Weird Ride is $50/seat.
The second option is a BrewPub Crawl, where you will find transportation on the BrewCycle to 3 different Portland brew pubs (two options are available). The BrewPub Crawl is $25/seat Fri & Sat, $20/seat Sun-Thu.
Visit www.brewcycleportland.com for more information.
PDX Pedicab - Witness Portland's Old Brewery Blocks transformed into today's chic and trendy Pearl District. Experience the abundance of top-notch local breweries in the area, while riding in the comfort of the Pdx Pedicab. Sample local seasonal beers and partake in some old favorites via pedicab, visiting Bridgeport, Rogue, and Tug Boat Breweries. At each brewery, you will learn about each establishment's unique brewing process, as well as the history behind each one. Learn why Oregon produces some of the best brews nationwide and bring your out of town visitors to our beautiful state to fall in love with Oregon’s beers. What better way to experience classic This is no drink-&-run experience; 45 minutes at each location, sampling local seasonal specials and receiving discounted pricing on select items for your imbibing pleasure. Information can be found at www.pdxpedicab.com
Portland Beer Crawl - PortlandBeer.Org mastermind Matt Wiater and his crew have created the ultimate beer crawl tool. Log on to their website, where you can create a walking tour of your very own, 100% tailor made to suit your tastes and mood. Want to create a tour within a certain area? Visit breweries of a certain ilk? Show off your favorite breweries to your out of town guests? This crawl creator does it all, with easy navigation and mapping features powered by GoogleMaps. http://www.portlandbeer.org/breweries/crawls for more information or to create your own!
Stories from the print edition of the Oregon Beer Growler.