While most Alaskans prefer visiting California, Hawaii or Mexico during the dark winter months, Adam and I are just as happy exploring the Pacific Northwest. With a long weekend and flight benefits, we took off for a weekend in hip Portland!
It was, straight up, a weekend of eating and drinking our way around town. Friday night included visits to Fat Head’s and Rogue Breweries and the realization that half pours are the way to go. I’m now also a card carrying member of Rogue Nation!
No tourist’s trip to PDX is complete without a visit to Voodoo Donuts, so we swung by Voodoo #2 Saturday morning with our hosts, Deb and Jarrod. They dropped us downtown after and we spent hours tracking down a Bloody Mary (or two), checking out cute shops, and walking along the Willamette River. We made a stop into Powell Books, an oasis for a couple of book nerds like Adam and me. After soaking up some sun (a winter rarity in PDX, we hear) we made our way to Back Pedal Brewery for a couple beers and rounds of Gin Rummy before meeting up with friends… for more beer.
We spent the rest of the day touring microbreweries and ale houses with our other Alaskan friends. In order, we visited:
- Ex Novo: the first brewery we went to. Great beers and delicious Dan Dan fries.
- Rev. Nat: a cider house just a few blocks away. Tied with Ex Novo for favorite. The Hopicrot and Apple Pie ciders were delicious (and dry, not sweet). There was a wine/cider blend as well that hit the spot, just before we left.
- Cascade: Adam’s favorite, thanks to delicious beers and a unique approach to brewing. I had a beer that was straight from the barrel, Adam had one aged since 2011.
- Bridgeport: you must have seen Bridgeport’s Hop Czar beer. This was our final stop and a really nice way to end the night. The bartender gave me a sample of cream ale on our flight. Not usually one I’d go for, but delicious!
Because of course, a cool city like Portland has reasonable public transportation, Adam and I took the MAX and Uber home that night.
Snow and icy roads prohibited us from riding bicycles around Portland’s roads, so Deb brought along the Columbia River to the Vista House and Multnomah Falls. As much as I daydream about a hip city life, it was really lovely to cruise out and away from the city through some of Oregon’s magical woods and hills.
If you’re not familiar, Portland’s reputation precedes itself as a hip, counter-culture city in the PNW, a sort of mecca to twee bicycle commuters, hipsters, and hippies. The show Portlandia has really done a number to further that perception, particularly with skits like this one: