A Tualatin Valley Beercation
Guide to Craft Beer in the Tualatin Valley
Beer in the Tualatin Valley is a big deal. With more than a dozen breweries in the valley alone, it’s a part of the vast Greater Portland region, which beer lovers call a “Beervana.” Portland is one of the top cities for craft breweries, and the Tualatin Valley’s proximity to this famous beer city has its perks.
The Tualatin Valley—and more specifically, the city of Hillsboro—has grown as a beer destination in recent years, as more brewers choose this area to open shop.
Beer Tourism is on the Rise
In 2015, Travelocity conducted a survey and more than 75 percent of those surveyed said they desired to go on a trip to visit craft breweries and sample local beers. These types of trips, or “beercations,” are gaining in popularity, especially here in Oregon, which boasts several of the United States’ top beer destinations.
Take a beercation to the Tualatin Valley and explore the diversity of tastes of Oregon beer. To get you ready for your Tualatin Valley craft beer adventure, here is a glossary of beer terms to help you navigate our taprooms.
Glossary of Beer
Craft Beer: A beer made by a small brewery
Microbrewery: A limited-production brewery
Nanobrewery: A commercial brewery using a ten-barrel (or smaller) system
Taproom: A room in which beer is available on tap (in the Tualatin Valley, we use the term taproom to denote a business that offers beer, wine, cider, and non-alcoholic drinks on tap, including breweries; these usually have limited food menus)
Brewpub: A restaurant that sells beverages brewed on the premises
Hops: The flowers of the hop plant, which is used as a flavor and stabilizing agent in the production of beer
Nitro: The addition of nitrogen to a beer, making is smoother and creamier
Barrel-Aged: A beer that has been aged for a period of time in wood barrels to influence the flavor and aromatics (bourbon and Pinot Noir barrels are commonly used for barrel-aged beers in Oregon)
Understanding the Acronyms of Beer
ABV (Alcohol by Volume) is a standard measure of the percentage of alcohol contained in beer
IBU (International Bitterness Units) is a measurement of bitterness, which is a result of the alpha acid from hops. Beers with IBUs greater than 45 tend to be the most bitter.
SRM (Standard Reference Method) is a measure of a beer’s color intensity. The higher the number, the darker the beer.
Finding the Right Beer for your Palate
It can be a little intimating to find and drink beer in “Beervana,” because there are so many options. Many taprooms have dozens of beers available and craft breweries rarely only make one style of brews.
One of the best ways to find your palate, is to order a tasting tray, which are available at most breweries, taprooms and brewpubs. Tasters usually allow you to try four or six (sometimes more) beers, often 1.5 or 2.5 ounces, at a time.
Here is a guide to help you find a beer that may fit your palate:
If you like bitter hoppy beers, try Pale Ales, India Pale Ales (IPA) and Double IPAs.
If you like strong, dark beers, try stouts and porters.
If you like refreshing, crisp beers, try wheat beers, fruit beers and cream ales.
If you like malty, nutty beers, try browns, Scottish ales, and Belgian ales.
If you like tart beers, try gose, tout saisons and sour beers.
Remember to drink responsibly! Uber and Lyft are available locally to help you have a safe and fun Tualatin Valley Beercation.