It’s no secret that Portland, Ore., is the center of the craft beer universe. In the late 1980s, when most drinkers were still chugging light beers and lapping up the antics of Spuds MacKenzie, Portland brewmeisters were turning out flavorful artisan suds modeled after European exemplars. Fast-forward a quarter-century, and craft beer culture has gone global. Fizzy yellow beers are positively passe, and even casual drinkers these days know their IPAs from their hefs and pilsners.
Yet Portland remains in a league of its own, pushing craft brewing to new, hoppy and occasionally weird heights. For tippling travelers and beer snobs, it’s a liquid Shangri-La.