Head to Velo, a bike shop, bar, coffeehouse, event space and museum all in one. (Photo: Velo Cult)
What’s more legendary than Portland’s epic cycling scene? The city’s thriving craft beer community. Fortunately, there’s no need to choose between the two — it’s never been easier to fuse PDX’s favorite pastimes into one must-experience product.
From guided tours and cycle-themed bars to beercentric bike shops, there’s a beer-and-cycle adventure for you. Here are a handful of excursions worth their weight in suds.
Cycle Portland’s Brews Cruise
Instead of worrying about plotting your path between breweries, let the guides at Cycle Portland handle the logistics — all you have to do is show up with a little thirst, curiosity and willingness to pedal six miles.
In return, you’ll cruise through the east side’s “Brewery Blocks,” visiting two breweries on your hybrid bike before finishing with a complimentary Oregon microbrew straight from the taps in the bike shop. Your pint glass parting gift will remind you of your time in Beervana (one of Portland’s many nicknames).
Apex is a bar that doesn’t have car parking, credit card transactions or food. What does it have? Tons of bike parking, a shelf on which to store helmets and an impressive selection of beers, both bottled and draft.
Instead of big-screen TVs playing a traditional lineup of football and basketball games, you’ll find motorcycle races and bike rides — think less Super Bowl, more Tour de France. You might want to read up on the 50 current tap selections (kept up to date on the website) beforehand to avoid being completely overwhelmed when you roll in and have to make the big decision.
Calling itself “the most Portland thing you can possibly do,” BrewCycle is a pub crawl on wheels. You and 14 fellow “beeroisseurs” will take to the streets on a square-shaped bike with countertops, pedaling the sizable contraption to three stops in pursuit of a cold one.
There are three routes to choose from: Northwest (featuring a few established stalwarts), Dive Bar (classic, unpretentious spots) and Old Town (where you’ll be exposed to some of the new kids on the block). The pedaling along the two-hour expedition can get to workout levels, so prepare to earn your drinks with good old-fashioned sweat equity.
Velo Cult Bicycle Shop
Press A: Bike Shop
Press B: Beer
So says the colorful, video game–themed mural that covers the back exterior of Velo Cult Bicycle Shop. But really, you have more than two options at Velo, which manages to be a bike shop, bar, coffeehouse, event space and museum all in one. While your set of two wheels gets a tuneup, grab a drink from one of 12 taps, or better yet, order the tasting flight — it comes photogenically presented on a mini skateboard.
Sit at one of the tables that does double duty as a display case, with bike parts and accessories artfully displayed under the glass, or pop into the photo booth for a few pics. If you’re on a break from beer, there’s pour-over coffee and kombucha on tap. Much like a good hybrid bike, this shop deftly adapts to all kinds of situations.