5 Must Visit Oregon Breweries And Their Holiday Pours

Planning a quick trip or vacation this holiday season? If you’re a beer lover, you can’t do much better than visiting some of Oregon’s famous microbreweries. Oregon ranks fourth nationally in craft breweries per capita, and with a winter medley of award-winning seasonal brews, there’s sure to be something for everyone. We’ve compiled a short list of fiver breweries you won’t want to miss, along with their seasonal beers. Enjoy!

Rogue Ales – Santa’s Private Reserve

Founded in 1988, Rogue Ales quickly expanded from its original location in Ashland and now operates breweries in several locations throughout Oregon, California, and Washington. Rogue has produced over 60 different regular and seasonal ale varieties. Using a non-pasteurized process and all natural, locally sourced ingredients, Rogue beers have won major awards in worldwide competitions.

Rogue’s seasonal brew, Santa’s Private Reserve, is a delicious double-hopped red with a roasty, malty flavor and a spruce finish, and is recommended to pair with pork and beef.

Widmer Brothers – Barrel Aged Brrrbon

Brothers Kurt and Rob Widmer began brewing beer for themselves and their friends in 1979, and by 1984 they were ready to quit their day jobs and make beer brewing their full-time vocation. They established a brewing company in Portland, and in 1986 they created the first American-style cloudy and unfiltered hefeweizen.

Along with Bridgeport Ales and Portland Brewing Company, Widmer Brothers launched the Oregon Brewer’s Festival in 1988, which is attended today by over 80 breweries and 70,000 people and is the largest outdoor craft beer festival in the country. Not long after, they relocated to the current location in north Portland, where they continue to produce award-winning beers. Rent a car if you’re visiting as it can be the best solution for getting around to the different breweries and making the most of your experience.

Barrel Aged Brrrbon is a version of their winter seasonal ale aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels. It is a smooth winter ale, combining malty sweetness with vanilla, caramel, and oak flavors.

Deschutes – Jubelale

The fifth-largest craft brewery in the United States, Deschutes was founded in Bend, Oregon in 1988. Named after the Deschutes River, the brewery began as a small brew pub and quickly outgrew its original location. The company specializes in non-GMO vegan beers, utilizing a clarifying agent made from Irish Moss, a red algae. Deschutes brewery is also active in community and sustainability, purchasing or offsetting 100 percent of electrical power usage from renewable sources, and donating $1 for every barrel sold to charities.

Jubelale, available September through December, is a deep red ale described by Deschutes as a dark, malty celebration ale with layered flavors and beautifully balanced hopping. It is medium bodied with chicory, spice, earth, and fruit notes.

Full sail – Wassail

One of Oregon’s first microbreweries, Full Sail Brewing Company produced a total of 287 barrels in its first year, and currently brews 130,000 barrels per year. Along with its trademark Amber Ale, Full Sail began brewing Wassail Winter Ale in 1988, a year after opening. A medal winning brew with caramel and dark chocolate malts, Wassail is a deep mahogany color with a hoppy, malty aroma and flavor. Wassail Winter Ale is only available for 90 days, from October to December.

Hair of the Dog – Doggie Claws

Hair of the Dog is family owned and operated microbrewery based in Portland, Oregon. Founded in 1993, the brewery produces creative beers using traditional methods. Hair of the Dog brewery experiments with the barrel aging process, and is one of the first breweries in the United States to produce high alcohol, bottle conditioned beers.

Doggie Claws is a copper colored ale released annually in November. It is a barley, made in the West Coast style with hops and more hops, and is one of their most popular brews.

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By Brett Dugan

By Brett Dugan, a travel writer working for advantage

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