BITTER END // Beer Staycation

By Chad Walsh

Just because you can’t get away this spring for that much-needed trip abroad—whether you’re too broke, too busy, or both—doesn’t mean that you can’t explore the world through A single city. The world, Portland, Oregon, is your beery oyster. And here are but a few doors you should probably darken.

For a taste of England

The Fish & Chip Shop

1218 N Killingsworth St., 503.232.3344

The unfussy name that London expat Mick Shillingford has dubbed his pub says it all. What it doesn’t say is that those fish ’n’ chips are deep-fried in beef tallow, and, really, where else are you going to find that? They also pour drafts (think Boddingtons Cream Ale, Guinness) and feature 75 bottled beers, including Bass, Harp, and Old Speckled Hen. Fancy Dr. Who? The long-running BBC program is consistently broadcast on televisions in the TARDIS Room, Shillingford’s pub-within-a-pub, where every Tuesday night is Whosday night, encouraging you to show off your mastery of Dr. Who trivia.

For a taste of the Midwest


1004 N Killingsworth St., 503.206.4252

Saraveza’s owner, Sarah Pederson is from Shawano, a small town an hour north of Green Bay, Wisconsin. When she moved west to Portland, she decided to share her Midwesternisms: hospitality, love of beer, and allegiance to their beloved Green Bay Packers. The pub stocks about 250 bottles—including beers from Jolly Pumpkin (Ann Arbor), and Lakefront Brewery (Milwaukee)—and one of the nine rotating taps is permanently reserved for Hamm’s. And remember: the second Monday of every month is Free Bacon Night. That means for every craft pint you drink, you receive a complimentary slice of Wisconsin applewood-smoked bacon. Oh! And they make pasties, too—a must-eat.

For a taste of Germany


4237 N Mississippi Ave., 503.954.2674

In spite of all of the crafty, imaginative Northwest IPAs, we can all agree that, when it comes to beer, the Germans reign supreme. And this German themed pub stocks 15 hard-to-find German bottles and pours 11 German drafts in 10-ounce, half-liter, and liter glasses. Do you and your friends have something to celebrate? Belly up to one of their beer hall-style communal tables and share a two-liter draft that comes in a boot-shaped glass known as a stiefel. You’ll also want to swing by in the fall for Oktoberfest—be sure to bring your accordions, tubas, dirndls, and lederhosen.

For a taste of the world’s far corners


1465 NE Prescott St., 503.954.1104

Did you know that younger Italians are passing on their parents’ beloved wines and choosing to drink beer instead? Simply put, Italy is producing outstanding craft beer, and this new bottle shop is where you find it. Named for the year in which it dawned on Louis Pasteur that yeast is what makes the fermenting world go round, 1856 offers six global craft beer taps and carries bottles from countries you don’t think of when you think beer: Like Malta. And Sweden. And China. And Denmark. And Norway. And Switzerland. You get the idea. If someone, somewhere, is brewing it, this shop will try to score some.

For a taste of Belgium

Bazi Bierbrasserie

1522 SE 32nd Ave., 503.234.8888

So what inspires someone born in Guatemala, of Spanish and German blood, and who grew up in Texas, to open a Portland pub specializing in Belgian beer? The beer, of course! But owner Hilda Stevens also includes beers by local brewers crafting Belgian-style ales (like Upright Brewing and The Commons), and you can always find their beers pouring alongside Belgian imports from Bazi’s 17 taps. Bazi (BAH-zee) also takes pride in the Belgian tradition of serving ales in just the right glass and at just the right temperature, pairing them with traditional Belgian farmhouse foods such as mussels and papas fritas.

For a taste of Ireland

Kells Brew Pub

210 NW 21st Ave., 503.719.7175

Kells Irish Pubs have long been a family-run West Coast institution. You can find one in San Francisco, Seattle and, until recently, you could find only one in Portland. Now you can find two, and the second one brews its own beer, including an Irish Red ale, an IPA, and a crisp, biscuity, thirst-slaking Irish lager, made with Irish hops and yeasts. So listen to the whispers and swells of the sound system’s Irish melodies and order from your vested bartender an Irish microbrew. Of course, says managing barman Garrett McAleese, Kells also pours a good pint of Guinness using nitrous gas processed by a device behind the bar that captures the very air you’re breathing. So if you feel winded after all that hard breathing work, you definitely deserve a pint of the black stuff.

For another taste of Ireland

M Bar

417 NW 21st Ave., 503.228.6614

This small, cozy, friendly space quietly promotes what the bartenders insist is the finest Guinness pour in the city. It’s gassed with more nitrogen than the average pour, meaning you’ll wait a little longer for that first sip while the stout settles. And the line that carries the beer from keg to glass is kept ultra clean and measures just three feet—resulting in a velvety, thick, creamy-headed pint that’s impossibly plush.

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One Response to “BITTER END // Beer Staycation”

  1. In the shameless self-promotion dept (sorry Chad and Megan), if you’d like to overdo it in the Belgian beers dept, with advance notice you can check into Inn Beervana a few blocks away (toward that taste of England-meets-Portland, the Horse Brass Pub). A Bed & Beer just sorta rounds out the staycation concept.