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Welcome to my blog. I document my adventures in travel, adventure, and style. Hope you have a nice stay!

Portland Beercycling

Portland Beercycling

I met my good friend Evan, owner of Beercycling, over 10 years ago, and we’ve bonded over a love for travel and music. On my recent trip to Portland with a group of L.A. friends, he graciously planned a Beercycling tour for us. This is a real treat since he normally just does tours abroad. Biking is part of Portland culture, it’s the #1 bike-friendly city in the U.S. according to Bicycling Magazine. It also boasts 58 breweries! So basically, a perfect spot to get on some bikes and go searching for some quality microbrews. Below are some descriptions of each of the breweries on the route as described by Evan, and some photos of our amazing day! I've also included a map for anyone who's interested in doing the route themselves. You can rent bikes at Cycle Portland.  
 

1. Ground Breaker Brewing and Gastropub

Portland is paradise for those with gluten intolerances. Ground Breaker's brewmaster James of takes gluten free brewing to the next level. With a nearly endless amount of materials to work with like Chestnuts, Squash, Lentils, Tomatoes, and other fun grains/fruits, he has created some really fun beers that taste great.  
-Evan

Flight of Ground Breaker Brews, all Gluten Free Beer

 

2. Base Camp Brewing Company

Base Camp primarily makes lagers, and is a located in a unique outdoor adventure-inspired taproom. A regular "meeting place" for my friends year round as they also have a giant outdoor patio.  
-Evan

Basecamp Brewing Flight

Basecamp interior (left); Tamra sipping a taster (right)

3. Culmination Brewing

Culmination is newer brewery but already making a mark locally for quality, consistency, and variety. There's a rad "music venue" inside the brewery as well.
-Evan

Evan slurping up a taster

New Coaster Collection

Riding to the next stop

4.  Ecliptic Brewing

Ecliptic is another newer brewery in town, but making huge marks with their beers and scaling up real fast. Owner John Harris is a pioneer in Oregon brewing, having a long history inventing beers for Deschutes and Full Sail. Great kitchen menu, and great personal tours offered from John himself.  
-Evan

Look at that selection!

Evan and his fiancée Claire

Map of cycling route:

Interview with Evan, owner of Beercycling
 

Me: What is Beercycling?

Evan: Beercycling is an outdoor adventure company specializing in multi-day bicycle tours visiting breweries. We immerse ourselves into a region's beer history, speak directly with the people directly responsible for making the beer, and strive for a happy balance of exercise and beer tasting enjoyment.

Me: What inspired you to start Beercycling?

Evan: I was having a lot of neck and back pain from sitting at an office chair every day for 8 years. I wanted a better work environment and to do something more sustainable for my health during my career. Cycling touring, travel, and beer happen to be three of my favorite things to do outside of the office. With the right intention, lots of planning, and some luck, little by little they I developed those interests into my new work space. 

Me: Where do you currently do tours?

Evan: We currently offer 5-10 day tours in Belgium (Spring, Summer), the Netherlands (Spring during the Tulip season), and our newest destination is Italy (Spring and Fall).

Me: Why Belgium and the Netherlands?

Evan: In all my travels I've never seen a region that is as easy to travel by bicycle as it is in Belgium and Holland. Dedicated, traffic-free bike paths go all the way across the countries, allowing even people who are new to cycling to feel comfortable going anywhere. The north half of Belgium and Holland are also very flat and the towns/cities are close to each other. (Belgium is only the size of Maryland). And of course if that wasn't enough you have all of the rich beer history here. Trappist Monasteries where monks still brew beer, family breweries going back 7+ generations, all of the cool glassware and attention to detail / presentation when people serve and talk about beer. Beer there is more than just getting a buzz there, it's a part of their culture and heritage.

Me: What makes these tours unique?

Evan: I like to think of Beercycling as a niche touring company. The kinds of people that like the idea of cycling around for a week visiting breweries in a different country would absolutely love our tours. It isn't for everyone, but the kinds of people it attracts leads to amazing groups that have so much in common. We even had a couple meet on a tour that went on to get married and return to do another tour with us for their honeymoon!

In addition all of the tours are lead by either myself, or our lead Dutch guide, Henk. The two of us have been building the company for almost 6 years now and work really hard to develop great relationships with the breweries we visit. All the brewery tours are intimate and personal. We get to invite our riders to all kinds of fun and random events... private beer tastings in castles, wandering around an organic farm hearing stories from the farmer, 6+ course meals paired with delicious beers, enjoying beer cocktails under the sun on the North Sea, tracking down hidden bars in secluded alleyways, and visiting charismatic, interesting people working hard making great beers in really remote parts of the country. Every tour offers different things that would be hard to experience outside of our tour groups. 

Me: What are your top 5 favorite breweries in Portland?

Evan: It's a tough question as great new breweries open every month or so and it's always changing. Current favorites:

Breakside Brewery

Breakside is one of the most experimental and consistent breweries in town. Always something extra special on tap.

Hair of the Dog Brewing Company

Hair of the Dog is a legendary brewery with over 30 years here in Portland. They are known for their strong beers and have cult-like status worldwide.

Base Camp Brewing Company

Base Camp primarily makes lagers, and is a located in a unique outdoor adventure-inspired taproom. A regular "meeting place" for my friends year round as they also have a giant outdoor patio.  

Culmination Brewing

Culmination is newer brewery but already making a mark locally for quality, consistency, and variety. There's a rad "music venue" inside the brewery as well. 

Alameda Brewing Company

Alameda is a sometimes overlooked brewpub in town making great beers, tasty food and $5 growler fills on Saturdays!

Me: Do you have any plans to start doing official Beercycling tours in Portland?

Evan: Not at the moment, but I'm sure that will change in the future! There is certainly so much great beer and scenic cycling in my state.

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