Beer Battle: Portland vs. Seattle Microbreweries

Mug of beer at the Athenian at Pike Place Market in Seattle, WA
Behold: liquid joy and liver damage in one single frosty mug.

Beer is awesome. You know it. I know it. Your grandma knows it.

What’s more, I’m from Portland, Oregon — the beating heart of the microbrewery revolution. Oh, and I live in Germany — you know, that one country which fancies itself the reigning king of all things beer? HAH, I say. GUFFAW, I say.

Just because they’ve been brewing the exact same 4 beers ever since the highest form of entertainment was watching some poor bastard get his ass tarred and feathered in public for diddling a chicken does not make German beer the best in the world. (But I have to admit, a liter of ice-cold pilsner pouring down your throat on a hot summer day? Yeah, that’s pretty much the greatest experience one can have short of magic porno sex on top of a rainbow made of cocaine and happiness.)

Anyway, I’m not here today to argue about German beer. (Yes, it’s awesome, and I love Germany and all its many splendors.) Instead, I’m here today to ask you a very simple question: Which city has the absolute best microbreweries — Portland or Seattle?

See, my German wife and I recently flew to the States again, and spent most of our time visiting friends and family members in Portland and Seattle. We drank many, many brew doggs, and each was tastier and more intoxicating than the last. (I’m a red/amber man myself, while my wife leans more toward pales and blondes. Heh heh, that sounded sexy.)

What follows is a picture tour of our trip — day by day, from the moment we dropped our dog off at the in-law’s until we flew back to Germany and picked him up again — so you can experience the Pacific Northwest right along with us. Please click one of the thumbnails below to start the slideshow. (And yes, I am aware of the typo in the watermark I placed on some of these pictures. Clearly I was hammered at the time.)

Thank you for reading and have an awesome day!

— OGM

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12 thoughts

  1. They’re both fantastic cities for the craft/micro scene! I don’t see how you can go wrong with either, but since this is a post about comparing them… I’m going to have to agree with Thrillist’s list here: https://www.thrillist.com/drink/nation/best-beer-cities-in-america
    Partially because Chicago is at a respectable #5, above New York. :) … but the list puts Portland a #1, and I agree. It felt more authentic to me and more ubiquitous. So cheers and prost to Portland!

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  2. This is like trying to pick your favorite between two tits. We just got back from Seattle and Portland two weeks ago! Drank aaaalllll of the beer and I have to give them both two enthusiastic thumbs up.

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  3. Yes! I’m pro-Pilsner too, especially in the never-ending summer heat of late. By far, the best in Portland is Occidental Brewing’s in St. Johns by Cathedral Park. They also have a fantastic Kölsch + Altbier: https://www.occidentalbrewing.com/beers.html

    I’m sure you must have sampled their wares by now, they’re suddenly on every restaurant menu in town—the new Stumptown Coffee?—good AND bad to see.

    Occidental recently took over the restaurant next-door, now the ‘Wursthaus’ with food from Urban German. Ah, hahaha.

    So taking you there next time you’re in pdx!

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