For whatever reason – and I’d love to talk to anyone who has an opinion or theory on what exactly that reason is – Oregon is a mecca for gluten free beer. I’m not talking about gluten-reduced beer, which I don’t drink and I think people with Celiac Disease should avoid at all costs. I’m talking about beer brewed from naturally gluten free grains like rice, millet, buckwheat, and the like. There are now five dedicated gluten free breweries in Oregon. Three are inside the Portland city limits, and two are in McMinnville, which is about a 45 minute drive from downtown Portland and is well worth a trip if you love beer but need to stay strictly gluten free. Here’s a guide to gluten free beer in Portland, Oregon, including the three gluten free breweries in Portland (plus two just outside the city), and where to find their beer around town.
There’s more gluten free goodness where this came from! Read our gluten free guide to Portland for more restaurants, bakeries, breweries, and more in Portland.
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A Beer-Loving Celiac’s Guide to Gluten Free Beer in Portland
I’m well-known among friends and family for going to every grocery store and bottle shop I can to check out the beer and cider selection, and I’ve run all over Portland to seek out the best places to find gluten free beer.
Here is a guide to finding gluten free beer in Portland. Below, you’ll find a mostly comprehensive (I did my best!) list of places – the breweries themselves, bottle shops, and grocery stores – where you can find yourself some beer from one of Oregon’s gluten free breweries.
The 3 Dedicated Gluten Free Breweries in Portland
At the time of writing (early 2021), there are three dedicated gluten free breweries within Portland’s city limits. Here are the three gluten free breweries in Portland.
Ground Breaker Brewing
The OG of gluten free brewing, Ground Breaker Brewing is a must-stop for all gluten free beer lovers. It’s also the most conveniently located spot on this list. Their taproom, which also serves great 100% gluten free food, is in southeast Portland, just on the other side of the Willamette River from downtown Portland.
They’re a 100% gluten free facility – no gluten enters the premises – and they do their best to source ingredients locally. For example, both their hops and their chestnuts come from farmers in the nearby Willamette Valley.
They opened their brewery in 2011, and have been in the same facility since. All of their beers are brewed in that facility, which is also where you can go to try some of their beers on tap (or pick some up to go).
They have four year-round beers in their lineup:
- Pale Ale – dry-hopped, nice and light.
- Dark Ale – roasty toasty, brewed with chestnuts and lentils.
- IPA No. 5 – two kinds of hops give you a complex flavor profile that’s not TOO hoppy.
- Olallie Ale – blackberries + rosehips. YUM.
I’ve had all of them, and I really like both the Pale Ale and the Olallie, the latter was a staple on our summertime Oregon road trip. It’s the perfect post-hike beer on a warm day.
As for their experimental beers, I’ve managed to get my hands on a fresh hop IPA (“Gayle”), a German Lager, a stone fruit IPA, and their Paddy Porter, which I really enjoyed.
Stop by to see what they’ve got on tap – they usually have a couple of interesting beers that don’t make it into cans. Get a flight to try as many as you can!
You can also find their beer at most of the places listed below, and they sometimes make their way as far south as San Francisco and San Diego (San Diego is where I stumbled upon the Gayle Fresh Hop IPA completely by accident).
Moonshrimp Brewing doesn’t have a taproom per se, but they do have a beer pickup window in southwest Portland where you can grab their beer in bottles to go.
Their beer is 100% gluten free, vegan, and oat-free. As I was doing some digging on their ingredients, I came across this gem on their website: “Moonshrimp beer does not contain actual shrimp.” Which I chuckled at.
They have a bunch of semi-permanent beers, like their Dark Ale (“Negative Space”) and White Ale (“Starlight White”), along with some seasonals that rotate throughout the year. They also have some cool “beer window exclusives” that are small-batch experimental beers that you can only get at their location in Portland, which is worth a quick detour for gluten free beer lovers in Portland.
Mutantis Brewery and Bottle Shop
Mutantis is the newcomer to Portland’s gluten free beer scene, but their founder comes with some serious pedigree as one of the co-founders of Ghostfish, a dedicated gluten free brewery up in Seattle (read about them in my gluten free guide to Seattle).
The founder, Jason “Igliashon Jones” Yerger, was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2008 (hey, me too!) and spent five years up at Ghostfish before deciding to pursue something a little smaller, which is when he decided to move down to Portland and start Mutantis.
Mutantis is not just a gluten free brewery, but also a gluten free bottle shop that features the other four breweries in Oregon on tap and in cans and bottles. It’s a place for gluten free beer lovers to discover and try new, safe beers.
That’s not to say that Mutantis doesn’t brew great beer themselves. So far, I’ve only tried their Hazy Guava IPA and it blew me away. I have big, big plans to go back and try more. They brew in small batches, and don’t have plans to continually expand their distribution further and further out. Instead, it’ll be gluten free beer for Portlanders and visitors stopping by their taproom in northeast Portland.
Something cool that Mutantis does is publish the recipes for their beers on their website so gluten free homebrewers can try to replicate the magic. I think that’s super cool, and shows their commitment to becoming a place for gluten free beer lovers to connect over their shared love for safe beer.
Gluten Free Breweries in McMinnville, Oregon
Located about 45 minutes away from Portland to the southwest, McMinnville is a small town that makes a great jumping off point for visiting the Willamette Valley, one of the best day trips from Portland.
In this small town, there are TWO dedicated gluten free breweries. Here are the details.
As I’m writing this, I’m sipping a Bierly Double IPA that I picked up on my recent visit to their taproom in McMinnville. And I’m a fan.
Bierly was started in 2016 by JP Bierly (what a convenient name for opening a brewery, am I right?), who had been dabbling in homebrewing beer full of gluten since 2005. His wife, Amelia, has Celiac Disease, and he set out to brew a beer that she could enjoy with him. Like most gluten free small business stories I’ve heard, JP tried all the options out there (this is circa 2010…not so many good options back then!), saw that there really weren’t any good options on the market, and decided to set out to make his own.
They recently opened their own tasting room in McMinnville, and are in the process of opening up a spot on Third Street in Downtown McMinnville, which is a prime location!
Now, on to the beer.
No gluten reduced garbage here – all of their beers are crafted with gluten free ingredients. They work hard to ensure all of their grains and yeasts are gluten free, and they avoid oats, knowing that some Celiacs react negatively to oats.
At the time of writing, they have five flagship beers:
- Felix Pilsner
- Amber IPA
- Rendezvous Double IPA
- Blackbird Stout
- Baker Street Porter
That’s a nice, well-rounded lineup of gluten free beers, if you ask me.
Their seasonal releases rotate… seasonally (duh), and I happen to have a Pumpkin Belgian Dubbel and a Czech Dark Lager that I picked up recently.
Oh, and their donuts are at the top of my list of the best gluten free donuts in Portland, even when you include the 45 minute drive to get there!
Aside from their taproom in McMinnville, here are some places you can find Bierly Beer (see their “beer locator” here).
- Most New Seasons Markets in the Portland area
- Market of Choice (Belmont, Cedar Mill, and Goat Blocks)
- Whole Foods in Portland (Pearl District, Laurelhurst, Hollywood, Fremont)
- Belmont Station
- Mutantis Brewery & Bottle Shop
Unfortunately for me, Evasion uses gluten free oats in a lot of their beers, so I’ve avoided those varieties. I don’t do well with oats, even the gluten free variety.
However, their Blonde and their “This is My Party Shirt” don’t, so I have tried those two.
Whoever came up with “This is My Party Shirt” – both the name and the packaging – is a genius. It’s their blonde ale mixed with agave, hibiscus, and lime, and it’s a perfect summer beer. I first tried it last summer on a warm day in southern Oregon, and recently saw it again in 16oz cans. It’s one of my favorite gluten free beers of all time, I think.
And not just because I love party shirts.
They have a taproom, but it is currently closed, and I’m looking forward to heading out there to check out their brewery and tasting room at some point here in the future.
Bottle Shops in Portland with Gluten Free Beer
While I am more than certain that there are more places to find gluten free beer in Portland, here are four surefire bottle shops where you’ll likely find multiple brands at any given time.
Of course, I’m not including Mutantis, the gluten free brewery above that is also a bottle shop. That should be your first stop, especially if you find yourself in NE Portland.
Belmont Station: You can check out their bottle list here, which usually has offerings from Groundbreaker, Bierly, Evasion, and Ghostfish out of Seattle. Also a really good spot to find cider in Portland.
John’s Marketplace: They have multiple locations around Portland, including one on Powell in SE Portland. They have a full display of gluten free beer, with all of your favorite Oregon gluten free breweries. It’s truly a huge selection!
Imperial Bottle Shop: Multiple locations around Portland, including one on Division Street and one on Alberta. Current offerings include Evasion and Groundbreaker, but that will change. Call ahead to check what they’ve got.
The Portland Bottle Shop: A great little bottle shop in Sellwood-Moreland that we stumbled across on a walk through the neighborhood. At the time, they only had Groundbreaker, but they rotate their selection regularly.
Grocery Stores in Portland with Gluten Free Beer
The upscale grocery stores in Portland are a surprisingly good place to find gluten free beer. Here are three chains with multiple locations to stop by.
New Seasons Market: Might be my favorite grocery store of all time. I’ve been to a bunch of their stores – at least five or six – and all have a killer selection of gluten free beer, and hard cider too. Recently, I’ve found all four of Oregon’s commercially-produced brands at their stores, along with Ghostfish and Glutenberg.
Market of Choice: They have a dedicated section for gluten free beer, and it’s usually full of all sorts of goodies. I’ve seen all of the brands listed above, plus a few from other states like Ghostfish. They have two locations in the city – one in SE Portland on Belmont, and one over in West Portland at the Cedar Blocks.
Whole Foods Market: They have a few stores in Portland, and I found Groundbreaker and Bierly on my latest visit. Not the best selection, but it’ll do in a pinch.
That’s all I’ve got!
Here’s what you should read next if you’re planning a trip to Portland.
- Gluten Free Portland: Complete Guide for Celiacs
- 5 Incredible Dedicated Gluten Free Bakeries in Portland
- The Best Cider in Portland, Oregon (Cider Bars + Bottle Shops)
- Where to Stay in Portland: Guide to the Best Neighborhoods
- The Best Airbnbs in Portland
- 14 Cool Hotels in Portland, OR
- The Best Day Trips from Portland
- A Complete Guide to Planning an Oregon Road Trip
- The Best Airbnbs in Oregon