Guide to German Beer Bars in Portland
Portland boasts the most breweries of any American city and Germany is the birthplace of beer, so it makes sense that there’s so much German love around town. Check out these great spots to compare the international standards to your favorite local brews, and make sure to grab a pretzel or two while you're at it.
Gruner: This SW bar and restaurant proves German food isn’t all pretzels and bratwurst. Gruner focuses on the diverse European contributions to German cuisine that are often overlooked by typical American beer gardens. For drinkers, this focus on the finer side of things means Gruner offers a great selection of wines from Austria, Germany, France and Switzerland in addition to a great beer and spirits list (527 SE 12th Ave.; 503-241-7163).
Gustav’s Rheinlander: Founded in 1963, Gustavs’ Portland location is truly an experience. First, pick from one of the elaborately decorated theme rooms, where you’ll be served by traditionally dressed waiters who are even known to sing a folk song from time to time. Once you're seated, make sure to take time to look through the impressive beer list. If you can decide, go for a sampler, but either way you know you’re in a great German bierhaus when the smallest glass is half a liter! (5035 NE Sandy Blvd.; 503-288-5503)
Occidental Brewing Company Brewery and Tap Room: Located in St. John’s, you’ll find Occidental’s tap room right at the base of the St. John’s Bridge. Sip on the Hefeweizen, Kölsch, Alt or the Dunkel, in additional to seasonal taps. Occidental often flies under the radar but the handful of brews it produces are solid and can be enjoyed around Oktoberfest AND throughout the year (6635 N. Baltimore Ave., 503-719-7102).
Prost!: If you’re looking for an outside beer garden experience, head to Prost at the first sign of a sunny day. The patio boasts a great Mississippi Avenue location and plenty of seating. Grab some friends, order a boot of beer and come up with your very own prost to how great it is to live in Brewvana (4237 N Mississippi Ave.; 503-954-2674).
Stammtisch: The NE 28th Avenue German bier spot is the newest German pub by Chris Navarra and Dan Hart. The bar is Prost’s sister bar and stocks some of the best German biers in the city (18 taps to be exact). The building once occupied by Spints Alehouse has Old World feel to go with its Pils, Kölsch and Hausgemachte Wurst (401 NE 28th Ave.; 503-206-7983).
Edelweiss Sausage and Delicatessen: Although Edelweiss is more delicatessen than bar, it still has one of the best selections of German beers and wines in all of Portland. The best thing about this European market is that if you can’t find something around town, they’ll gladly track it down and order it for you. If you’ve been looking for that one special product, head down SE and check out this spot. Like all delis, you can either eat and drink there or take it home for your next party (3119 SE 12th Ave.; 503-238-4411).