Lager, Pilsner, Kölsch & other German Styles

Pils | Heater Allen Brewing, McMinnville

This crisp, refreshing, and substantial pilsner is a classically European pale brew that’s cold-conditioned for six weeks plus. It’s the beer you want in summer, and Heater Allen—currently doubling capacity to meet demand—makes the best in the state, if not the entire country. 4.8% ABV

HUB Lager | Hopworks Urban Brewery, Portland

HUB introduced this grainy, golden, 100 percent organic, formerly draft-only brew spiced with Zeus hops in 16-ounce cans just last summer. It already feels like a mainstay. 5.1% ABV

Na ZdravÍ Pils | Southern Oregon Brewing Co, Medford

True to style, this Czech-inspired pilsner is grainy, bready, spicy, and full-bodied, with a smack of spicy “noble” (read: delicate, hard-to-grow) hops. 4.8% ABV

Pilsner | Breakside Brewing Co, Portland

Suddenly Oregon is awash in great pilsners (a welcome development), and Breakside’s is among the best of the bunch, with biscuit-like maltiness and a light, tangy, citrusy kick. 5.3% ABV 

Session Lager| Full Sail Brewing Co, Hood River

Barbecue-friendly stubby bottles, critically acclaimed pre-Prohibition-style recipe ... what’s not to love about this crisp, golden brew? It comes in six-packs, but it’s wise to buy by the case. 5.1% ABV 

Kölsch | Occidental Brewing Co, Portland

A clear, dry, golden ale that’s cold-conditioned like lager, kölsch—the traditional brew of Cologne, Germany—is a great thirst quencher. Occidental’s, with spicy Perle hops, nails it. 4.4% ABV

Sterling Pils | Ninkasi Brewing Co, Eugene

“We love to make lagers,” says founder Jamie Floyd. It shows. This malt-forward, German-style pilsner with spicy, crackling hop notes may be your new summer standard. 5.1% ABV

Omission Lager | Widmer Brothers Brewing, Portland

Widmer’s gluten-free lager has the ample body and crisp, hoppy finish one expects from the style, minus the offending proteins. 4.6% ABV

American-Style Gold, Wheat & Pale Ale

Sweet As! Pacific Ale | GoodLife Brewing Co, Bend

Pale gold and faintly sweet at first sip, this wheaty brew’s mellow, marmalade-y tang from Pacifica and Galaxy hops grown in New Zealand is set off by a crisp, dry finish. 6% ABV

River Ale | Deschutes Brewery, Bend

It’s fair to call this a session beer—sociably low-alcohol, makes for extended sipping—but ample Cascade and Crystal hops kick this light golden ale up a notch. 4% ABV

ISA| 10 Barrel Brewing Co, Bend

A hugely refreshing ale with a late dose of grapefruity-tasting Cascade, Summit, and Centennial hops, this one is fast becoming a standby—if on the high side of “session.” 5.5% ABV

The Vaporizer |  Double Mountain Brewery, Hood River

Hazy-gold with a sweet, grainy start and a dry, lemony finish, this dry-hopped summer sipper is brewed with pilsner malt and Challenger hops grown in Washington’s Yakima Valley. 6% ABV

 

IPA & Imperial IPA

Watershed IPA Oakshire Brewing Co, Eugene

Now in 12-ounce cans, this hazy amber, floral, citrus-kissed brew has just enough resinous hop character to satisfy the jones without overpowering those caramelly malts. 7.1% ABV

RPM Boneyard Brewing Co, Bend

Gorgeous coppery color? Check. Massive hop flavors from four Pacific Northwest varieties? Check. Juicy, citrusy taste, faint cereal sweetness, and clean, crisp finish? Check, check, and check. RPM nails it. 7% ABV

Chainbreaker White IPA | Deschutes Brewery, Bend

Named for a legendary mountain bike race, this delicious cloudy-gold ale is a lovely hybrid of Belgian wit—orange peel and coriander-spiced—and tangy, Northwest-style IPA. 5.6% ABV

IPA | Long Brewery, Newberg

Paul Long’s one-man wine country operation is proof that big brews can come from small places. His American-style IPA, brewed and dry-hopped with six hop varieties, bursts with bright, floral, tropical notes. 6.2% ABV

Workhorse IPA | Laurelwood Brewing Co, Portland

The best thing about this pungent, biscuity West Coast–style IPA? You can fill an empty growler postsecurity at PDX (concourses A and E) and take fresh beer to your next port of call. 7.5% ABV 

Blue Dot Double India Pale Ale | Hair of the Dog Brewing Co, Portland

Next to brewer Alan Sprints’s barrel-aged beasts, Blue Dot seems tame by comparison. But few Imperial IPAs are this well behaved. It’s brawny and resinously hoppy without the acrid finish that can mar lesser interpretations. 7% ABV 

Whole in the Head  | Gigantic Brewing Co, Portland

As intended (“a freakin’ hop bomb”), the latest Gigantic offering—an Imperial IPA—assails the taste buds with massively delicious waves of citrusy Northwest hops. 8.5% ABV