Portland, OR Travel Tips from the City’s Ultimate Beer Nerd
His limited-edition brews sell out in hours, but his Portland isn’t all about beer—there’s parks, playgrounds, home-improvement stores, and Thai food. (Also: beer.)
Paul Reiter’s brewery, Great Notion, has won just about every beer-nerd award possible and has a rabid following in the West for making sensational sours and dialing in the nuances of hops (their limited-edition Saturday releases sell out in hours).
“Forest Park has a cool and super-easy hike to do with small kiddos,” says Reiter. “It’s close to the city, so in minutes you can find yourself in the forest with a stream running alongside you. In 15 to 20 minutes you end up at this cool, old dilapidated stone house, which we have nicknamed the Witch House, and you can pretend it’s Snow White’s old house with the dwarves or whatever.” Kids will also love Harper’s Playground at Arbor Lodge Park. “It’s a universally accessible playground with swings and other play structures accessible for all children. It has some huge gorgeous trees, tons of rad things for kids to play with, and tons of space to have a picnic. My kids geek out on the xylophone and sandbox.”
“EEM is an amazing new Thai restaurant created by three legendary PDX people,” says Reiter. Cocktails are from Eric Shipwreck, who hosted the popular cocktail pop-up Shipwreck, Thai recipes from Langbaan chef Earl Ninsom, and meats smoked by Matt Vicedomini from Matt’s BBQ. “Whatever you do, get the pork steak,” he recommends.
“Two of my favorite stores are on Mississippi Avenue,” says Reiter. “Sunlan Lighting always has the coolest window displays year-round, be it their full Star Wars collection in the windows, or a million Easter bunnies. You can simply stare in their windows forever and then get lost looking at their lightbulbs inside. He also loves the nearby ReBuilding Center for redo inspo. “They’ve got the cool reclaimed wood to redo your shed, or maybe that vintage window you were looking for. It’s a rad nonprofit for used building materials.”
Ever the beer geek, Reiter is digging the offerings at the new Ruse Brewing in Sellwood. “It’s a cool taproom in a cool part of town,” he says. “And their hazy IPAs and wild beers are top-notch.” At the NE Alberta location of Great Notion Brewing, Reiter’s suggested pairing is the Philly cheese-steak and a Ripe IPA.