The Session #29: Will Travel for Beer

The SessionThe first Friday of the month may mean different things to different people, but for beer bloggers it means it’s time for The Session: group blogging on a common theme, as suggested by the host for the month.

This month’s host is Beer by BART, and the theme is “Will Travel for Beer“:

If you just wrote or read about the trek to the furthest brew pub in the last round of the Session, and you immediately thought of other beer destinations near and far, we want to hear all about the good ones that didn’t quite fit the assignment! Tell us about that beer trip.

If you see the words “travel” and “beer” and instead of your best tourist sagas you think of work or logistics, we want to know your tips and strategies on the road. (Perhaps for getting prized bottles home.)

Immediately two beer destinations come to mind: Portland, Oregon, and San Diego, California, both of which I’ve done—though not necessarily as beer trips. Anyone paying attention to my blogging this week knows I’m recounting our recent trip to San Diego from the beer angle, so I won’t rehash too much here, but suffice to say there is a really vibrant beer culture and plenty of breweries to be found:

  • Stone Brewing
  • The Lost Abbey
  • Various Pizza Ports
  • Green Flash
  • Various Oggi’s
  • San Diego Brewing
  • AleSmith
  • Coronado Brewing
  • Alpine Brewing
  • Ballast Point
  • Karl Strauss

Portland, now, is a gem of a beer destination. And I’m not just saying that because I’m clearly biased in favor of Oregon. The Portland Metro area boasts dozens of breweries and brewpubs (what, 37 or something at last count?), with many more in outlying areas. Among them, you’ll find iconic Northwest breweries.

  • Widmer
  • BridgePort
  • Hair of the Dog
  • Deschutes
  • Lucky Lab
  • Full Sail
  • Rogue
  • McMenamins (many!)
  • Laurelwood
  • and many, many others

There are a ton of beer festivals, too, the biggest of which is the hugely popular Oregon Brewers Festival. I’ve been to that a number of times and let me tell you, that is a destination in and of itself. If there’s any one Portland beer trip you can make, this is the one—and it’s coming up fast, at the end of this month (always the last full weekend in July).

Not for nothing is Portland known as “Beervana”.

The only “logistics” advice I have is this: have a notebook and a camera with you. And if you go to a beer festival, make sure you have water available. Other than that, bring your thirst and sense of adventure for beer!


  1. Jon, you’re always welcome to come visit Santa Rosa and the surrounding communities for a little beer excursion. Here’s what Sonoma county has to offer:

    Russian River
    Bear Republic
    3rd Street Aleworks
    Sonoma Springs
    Ruth Magowans’

    The best part is downtown Santa Rosa. Russian River, and 3rd Street Aleworks brewpubs, tasting rooms for Lagunitas and Moonlight and a nice pub with a rotating cask handle all within a couple blocks.

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