11 Oregon Brewery and Hiking Trail Pairings
If there’s one thing we know about Oregon, it’s that Oregonians love being outside and they love drinking beer—which, combined, is the kind of love affair we can get behind. Luckily, Oregon is home to some of the world’s best breweries and hikes, which we’ve paired here for you in the perfect modern marriage.
If you bring some cans or a crowler on the trail with you, remember to pack out what you brought in. Keep our wilderness wild!
Don’t wait—say “I do” to this perfect union and plan your next #brewhike today. Cheers, and happy hiking!
1. Fort George Brewery & Cathedral Tree/Astoria Column Trail
We’re starting hyper-local, with a hike that’s in town and not too strenuous. It begins at 28th and Irving Streets, and meanders up the hill to the Astoria Column. If you drive to the trailhead and park along 28th Street, it’s about a one-mile walk to the top. En route is the Cathedral Tree, a beautiful old-growth fir with a sort of Gothic arch formed at its roots that you don’t want to miss.
When your stomach starts to remind you that breakfast was hours ago, head to Fort George Brewery and Public House for lunch and some beer. Fort George’s powerful ales have won it a reputation as one of Oregon’s top breweries. We recommend getting a flight to see for yourself!
Try: 1,000 Years of Silence (Stout) & Crazy Gonuts (Porter)
2. Public Coast Brewing Co. & Ecola State Park
Our destination is the 2.5-mile Clatsop Loop Trail in Ecola State Park, which begins and ends at Indian Beach and climbs through Sitka spruce to a viewpoint. Ambitious hikers can do the first half of the loop, then continue another four miles north to Seaside.
When you’re weary and in need of refreshment head back into town. With its solid food menu (including build-your-own burgers and fish tacos) and excellent beer, Public Coast Brewing Co. is the perfect end to a day of hiking.
Try: Mango Sour (Kettle Sour) & ’67 Blonde (Ale)
3. de Garde Brewing & Tillamook State Forest
A series of intense forest fires in the 1930s and 1940s burned vast amounts of land in the northern Coast Range. A massive replanting effort ensued, and in 1973 the Tillamook Burn became the Tillamook State Forest. When you visit, make sure to walk out through the main center’s back door, crossing the footbridge to a number of hiking options. We recommend heading west from the bridge on the Wilson River Trail. Wilson Falls are about two miles and a nice walk away.
Once you’ve done enough forest frolicking, head back into town to wet your whistle. For sour beer fans, the most notable tasting room is de Garde Brewing, one of Oregon’s wild yeast breweries. The only place to taste de Garde’s wild beers on tap is at the brewery itself. It’s also the best place to buy their limited selection of bottled beer.
Try: Nectarine (Cuvee) & The Duo (Spruce Tip Cuvee)
4. Base Camp Brewing & Mt. Tabor Park
Mt. Tabor Park rises above Southeast Portland, and its distinctive cone shape reveals its primary attribute: The park contains the country’s only extinct volcano within the city limits of a major population center. Roping in nearly 200 acres, Mt. Tabor Park is large enough to offer several miles of hiking trails and a large off-leash dog park. During July, you can catch free concerts at the natural amphitheater on Wednesday evenings.
Base Camp Brewing has been making innovative lagers and ales for the adventurous palate since 2012, so they’re the perfect place to stop after an outdoor adventure. Be sure to grab some grub from one of the two local food carts outside.
Try: Lost Meridian (Belgian Witbier) & Ultra Gnar Gnar (IPA)
5. Great Notion Brewing & Forest Park
With over 5,100 acres and 70 miles of trails, Forest Park is the largest urban wilderness in the United States. For hikers, the park’s centerpiece is 30-mile Wildwood Trail, which links various parklands in the West Hills with Forest Park. The southern end of the trail starts just past the Vietnam Veterans of Oregon Memorial near the Oregon Zoo. From there it runs through Washington Park and Hoyt Arboretum and past Pittock Mansion. Don’t rush—let your feet lead the way until your stomach speaks up.
“With a passion for hops, and the patience for sours,” Great Notion Brewing boasts some of the juiciest beers around. Both the excellent selection of brews and flavorful menu make this taproom the perfect place to regroup after wandering through the park. Well-behaved children are welcome, as are dogs on leashes.
Try: Blueberry Muffin (Fruited Sour) & Juice Box (IIPA)
6. pFriem Family Beer & Starvation Creek Trail
Start your weekend off right with this this mellow, picturesque hike. Heading east on Starvation Creek Trail towards Viento State Park lets you experience a restored segment of the Historic Columbia River Highway. This mostly paved path runs a little over one mile each way and offers some beautiful gorge views. It also provides access to the other two trails in the area, Mount Defiance Trail and Starvation Ridge Trail, if you want to make it a full day of hiking.
If the trail name has you worried about your next meal, don’t panic: pFriem Family Brewers has you covered. pFriem gained a big reputation for its Belgian-style brews and a small menu of soups, salads, and sandwiches in Hood River’s industrial park. Grab a cool brew and rest your feet, you earned it!
Try: Frambozen (Lambic) & Belgian Strong (Dark Ale)
7. Rogue Brewer’s on the Bay & Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
“Outstanding” is indeed the word for the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, where the pounding ocean meets the land in a series of cliffs and tide pools. Grab a map at the Interpretive Center and follow any of the five trails to enjoy views of local wildlife and crashing waves. For a higher perspective, follow the Lighthouse trail to Yaquina Head Lighthouse and climb 114 cast-iron steps for a spectacular panorama of the headland and surrounding coast. After drinking in your fill of ocean views, turn towards more tangible beverages in town.
Rogue has a few watering holes in Newport, but Brewer’s on the Bay is where the actual brewing happens. The pub and brewery complex is across Yaquina Bay, near the Oregon Coast Aquarium. It’s a great spot to warm up after exploring the headland.
Try: Shakespeare (Stout) & Fresh Roast (Ale)
8. Ninkasi Brewing Company & Alton Baker Park
Just across the Willamette River from downtown, the 400-acre Alton Baker Park is home to a world-class running trail, gardens, ponds, picnic areas, a canoe canal, the Science Factory and its adjoining planetarium, and part of a cool scale model of the solar system. Take a stroll and picnic with your crew before quenching your thirst at a local favorite.
By now, Ninkasi Brewing Company, which has made some of Oregon’s best beer in the Whiteaker area since 2007, is a neighborhood institution. The namesake ancient Sumerian goddess of fermentation surely casts a fond eye on this brewery, as do the locals and visitors who gather at the tasting room. Stop in for a pre-dinner beer and an appetizer (they have a food truck on-site) before taking your pick of the local restaurants.
Try: Dawn of the Red (IPA) & Prismatic (IPA)
9. Crux Fermentation Project & Deschutes River Trail
The Deschutes River Trail, which will ultimately run 19 miles from Tumalo State Park north of town to the Meadow Picnic Area near Widgi Creek Golf Course, offers excellent river access to walkers, runners, and cyclists. Pick up the trail downtown in Drake Park or in the Old Mill District, from Farewell Bend Park on the east side of the river (you’ll find lots of parking on Reed Market Rd.). The trail is a combination of paved and unpaved surfaces, so there is opportunity for people of all mobility levels to enjoy it.
You may be expecting us to call out Deschutes Brewery here, but as much as we love it, we also like to surprise you. Instead, visit the tasting room at Crux Fermentation Project, which is sure to be a treat for any beer nerd. Crux employs nontraditional brewing methods such as decoction mashing, open fermentation, and the use of wild yeast strains and hops from all over the world. Food offerings consist of good salads, cheese and meat platters, and snacks, with the exception of Monday evenings, when the kitchen is closed and food trucks pull up to make sure no one goes hungry.
Try: Half Hitch (Imperial Mosaic IPA) & Cast Out (IPA)
10. Portal Brewing Co. & Upper Table Rock
The trail up Upper Table Rock is a little over one mile and can be muddy during the wet season, so plan your shoes accordingly. Enjoy the wonderful vistas it affords of the Rogue River and Sams Valley to the north. The ponds up here are smaller and fewer than those on Lower Table Rock, but the Mima mounds are more clearly defined. It’s easy to get disoriented with hundreds of acres to explore, so pay careful attention to the point where the trail heads back down the mountain. It’s marked by two large trees, a ponderosa pine and a Douglas fir, accompanied by a smaller cedar. We don’t want to lose you before happy hour!
Back in town, head over to Portal Brewing Co. for a beer and a bite. Housed in a historic fire station, Portal offers good brews plus tasty food such as lamb shawarma, carrot soup, and pretzels.
Try: Koko Blanco (Cream Ale) & Hoptopus (Imperial Cascadian Dark Ale)
11. Standing Stone Brewing Company & Lithia Park
Ashland’s centerpiece is 100-acre Lithia Park. Recognized as a National Historic Site, the park was designed by John McLaren, landscape architect of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, and is the perfect spot for a stroll. Paths line both banks of Ashland Creek and the park is beautifully landscaped. A good destination on a hot day is the swimming reservoir, 1.4 miles up the east bank, but the hub of the park in the summer is the band shell, where entertainment includes musical and dance performances and alfresco movies.
Bright, airy, and with a delightful back patio open in good weather, Standing Stone Brewing Company has one of the most pleasant dining rooms in Ashland. Not only are the beers tasty, but the menu is very broad—so gather your friends and dedicate an afternoon to sampling, sipping, and enjoying yourselves.
Try: Milk & Honey (Ale) & Pomegranate (Wheat)