Pourlandia: Hipster-Approved Brewery and Winery Tours Where If You Puke, You Pay


The many colorful taps of Hopworks is emblematic of Portland’s growing brewery scene. (Photo: Travel Portland)

By Lawrence Ferber

There’s a strict “no puking” rule on this tour. The Brewvana is an ever-changing tour of three to four of Portland, Oregon’s 50-odd craft breweries, and violators of that no-puke rule pay a $100 fine — and clean up their mess. “If you vomit from overconsumption of alcohol, that’s a pretty amateur move,” says Brewvana’s Julia Marchionna.

Duly warned, the first stop on my crawl ($59 per person) is Hopworks Urban Brewery, which imparts unique flavors in their line of organic IPAs, lagers, ESBs and single-hop ales by aging several in old wine and whiskey barrels.

To minimize their carbon footprint, HUB doesn’t ship product out East, so drink up! Next up is The Commons Brewery, which offers ever-changing lineups of refreshing draught creations including the Citrus Royale, a refreshing sour ale with citrus juice and zest. At the final venue, Cascade Brewing, sour, barrel-aged beers rule, some verging into Willy Wonka territory, like the bourbon barrel-aged honey ginger lime sour ale.


The great wall of Hopworks. (Photo: Travel Portland)

The next afternoon found me sitting in the back of a PDX Pedicab for an “Urban Wine Adventure,” a tour of three urban wineries ($75, plus gratuities). Most of these wineries produce wines on-site, using grapes sourced from vineyards throughout the Pacific Northwest; many also offer food and go by the term “enopubs.”

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First stop: the two-year-old Southeast Wine Collective, where I tour the production facilities and sample wines from Willamette Valley’s Division and Dundee Hills’ James Rahn (flights begin at $8), padding them with chef Althea Grey Potter’s deliriously scrumptious deviled egg trio — each with different toppings — and lemongrass pork meatball bánh mi.


A snack plate of local foodie delights, courtesy of the Southeast Wine Collective. (Photo: Joshua Chang)

At Enso, I sample budget-friendly Resonate White No. 6 ($5 per glass/$14 per bottle) and Portland Sangria at a long wood bar, while a Judah Friedlander-esque hipster warns, when they prepared to fill his wine growler, “Nothing too jammy, I don’t want sugary crap I’d put on toast.” I wound up the tour at Cooper’s Hall Winery & Taproom, an airy, bright space dedicated to wine keg production, with impressive food and on-tap offerings that include beer and ciders.

Related: Portland, Oregon vs. San Diego: What’s the Better Beer City?


It takes a village to prepare the grapes at Enso. (Photo: Kristine Weilert, We Are SISUKristine Weilert, We Are SISU)

Admittedly, the pedicab proves a less-than-efficient mode of touring urban wineries, which are scattered widely about the city — unlike the Central Eastside’s dense, centralized Distillery Row, a once industrial eyesore filled out with small-batch craft distilleries. A distillery passport, $20, includes tastings at six venues.

House Spirits Distillery’s sensational Aviation American Gin is omnipresent in Portland’s craft cocktail spots, and even NYC’s better liquor stores like Astor Wines & Spirits. The decade-old New Deal produces several mind-blowing, flavorful vodkas, including chili-infused Hot Monkey and cacao-nib steeped Mud Puddle Bitter Chocolate Vodka.

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Set in a different part of town, Clear Creek is exalted for its pear-in-the-bottle and Douglas fir-infused eau de vies. If you can’t decide where to focus your time and energy, the Pearl District’s Pearl Specialty Market & Spirits stocks a comprehensive lineup of these local bottles, including difficult-to-find and brand-new offerings from outside city limits.

Where to stay


A premiere guest room at the Sentinel. (Photo: Provenance Hotels)

Opened in March 2014, the downtown area Sentinel (from $189) is made up of two historic buildings transformed into a lovely boutique property with Bee Local beehives on the roof (the honey’s used in some local brews and cocktails). Central Eastside’s retro motor lodge-styled Jupiter Hotel (from $135) offers booze-centric “PDX Urban Winery Experience” and distillery packages.

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