Within the space of a few short weeks, three exciting new beer spots—Little Beast Beer Garden, Thirsty Monk, and Rosenstadt Brewery at Olympia Provisions—turned up in the vicinity of Southeast 34th and Division. You only need two or three more stops and you’ve got an impressive beer crawl.
One of a few Portland businesses with the word “growler” in its name, Growler’s Taproom is a fine place to kick off a beer crawl in the neighborhood. The 40-strong tap selection is adventurous and obscure, with a bounty of Oregon beers—including, on a recent visit, a Finnish-style farmhouse ale with juniper and rye called a sahti, made by two collaborating Eugene breweries: Alesong and Falling Sky. There’s a courtyard outside with good people-watching and two food carts where you can get bahn mi or chicken and eggplant parmesan. Growler’s Taproom, 3343 SE Hawthorne, Mon-Thurs noon-10 pm, Fri-Sun noon-11 pm, growlerspdx.com
Despite the countless restaurants and bars surrounding it, the most reliably interesting tap list on Division can be found at Imperial Bottle Shop, with 20 well-chosen brews and ciders, and countless more in the coolers. While there’s no menu to speak of, you can bring in outside food or get your beer to go. But the sidewalk seating outside—with a pint of something fantastic by pFriem or Logsdon in hand—is one of the better places to observe (and cope with) the touristy bustle of Division. Imperial Bottle Shop and Taproom, 3090 SE Division, Sun-Thurs noon-10 pm, Fri & Sat noon-midnight, imperialbottleshop.com
Sessionable is a good place to finish the night: it’s open late, and as the name implies, the tap list focuses on lower-octane beers, so you’re not going to accidentally guzzle down an 11-percent imperial stout and wreck tomorrow morning. Once you’ve settled with a 20-ounce pint of something not too strong, you’ll need to avert your eyes from the giant light-up beer list which dominates the bar—it’s the same kind of gimmicky screen you’ll find at most new beer bars these days, but it feels overpowering in this setting. Not all of Sessionable’s cutting-edge technology is bad, though: Their bathroom has one of those bidet toilet seats! Sessionable, 3588 SE Division, Mon-Thurs 3 pm-midnight, Fri 3 pm-2 am, Sat 11 am-2 am, Sun 11 am-midnight, sessionable.com