It’s Not All Wine: Visit the Best Local Breweries

Craft Beer at Golden Valley Brewery, one of the best McMinnville breweries to visit while you're in town

Oregon is no newcomer to the Craft Beer scene. In fact, our neighbor to the north, Portland, is often considered the epicenter of the modern craft brew scene. There’s no shortage of fantastic breweries in Oregon, and it extends all the way down here to Oregon Wine Country, where you’ll find fantastic McMinnville breweries like Golden Valley Brewery. From traditional ales and lagers to experimental brews infused with unique local ingredients, you’ll find local breweries reflect the creativity and craftsmanship that define Oregon. 

Golden Valley Brewery is just one of the many fantastic local establishments to visit while you’re here. What makes Oregon’s beer, food, and wine scene so fantastic is the deep-rooted passion for high-quality ingredients and dedication to excellence in everything we do. This dedication to craft results in a vibrant beer scene that proudly stands on its own alongside the state’s renowned wine culture and some of the leading restaurants in the area. In addition to its flourishing beer scene, McMinnville offers many other attractions that make it a compelling destination.

Beyond libations, McMinnville charms visitors with its historic downtown, lined with boutique shops, art galleries, and restaurants. Cultural events, farmer’s markets, and outdoor activities in the picturesque Willamette Valley further enrich the visitor experience, making McMinnville a multifaceted destination for those seeking a well-rounded escape. To truly savor the McMinnville experience, stay for a few days at our top-rated Bed and Breakfast in McMinnville. Our Inn offers sophisticated, comfortable lodging, where you can start your day with a delicious, locally sourced breakfast before exploring the breweries, vineyards, and other local attractions. Book your room at our McMinnville Bed and Breakfast today!

flight of craft beer at local McMinnville Breweries like Golden Valley Brewery

Head to Golden Valley Brewery in McMinnville

On the eastern edge of downtown McMinnville’s historic Third Street, you’ll find Golden Valley Brewery, one of our favorite local breweries. Golden Valley Brewery is one of the oldest McMinnville breweries and was only the 12th post-prohibition micro-brewery in Oregon. It was established in 1993 and has remained a family-owned and operated establishment and a long-time staple of our local community. 

Golden Valley Brewery is, of course, known first and foremost for its exceptional handcrafted beers. Their brews are brewed onsite, and they offer a selection that ranges from classic lagers and ales to more adventurous, modern spins utilizing unique and local ingredients. Their ingredients, down to the hops and grains used in each pint of beer, are all locally sourced, contributing to a product that is not only delicious but consciously crafted. 

The first beer produced at Golden Valley Brewery, Red Thistle, is still among the best sellers today, with legions of dedicated fans around the region. This beer is Golden Valley’s version of a traditional English Special Bitter, with rich caramel and toasted malt notes, and an herbal finish. Red Thistle is just one of their many year-round beers, a selection rounded out by popular seasonal brews and experimental additions. 

But their dedication to quality and sustainability doesn’t stop there—it can also be tasted in their delicious farm-to-table menu. Golden Valley Brewery’s full-service menu features farm-fresh and locally sourced fare. The majority of the meat and seasonal organic produce featured on the menu come from their own farm, Angus Springs Farm, just outside McMinnville.

The farm features 76 acres of rolling, spring-fed pasture, where the cows are raised on a diet rich in spent grain from Golden Valley’s Brewery. Golden Valley Brewery is one of the select few restaurants in the country that raises and supplies their own beef, and it’s a difference you can taste in every bite. 

Friends drinking beer at top McMinnville Breweries, like Golden Valley Brewery

5 More Great McMinnville Breweries

Golden Valley Brewery is one of the many great spots to grab a drink in downtown McMinnville. The Willamette Valley as a whole is home to well over 700 wineries and tasting rooms and some of the most acclaimed Pinot Noirs in the country. But there are also several great McMinnville Breweries worth visiting while you’re here. Below, we’ve listed five more of our favorite spots to grab a cold, refreshing pint of some of Oregon’s finest craft beer. 

  1. Heater Allen Brewing is one of our favorite McMinnville breweries. It’s in the Granary District and is well-known for its German and Czech-style beers. Their taproom has been closed for remodeling but is scheduled to reopen in the spring of 2024. 
  2. Another Granary-District mainstay is Grain Station Brew Works. They have a great selection of house-made beers, local wines, and a great restaurant to round out your experience.
  3. Bierly Brewing, also located on Third Street, is another of the more popular McMinnville breweries, especially for those seeking a dedicated gluten-free brewery. 
  4. For another great gluten-free option, head to Evasion Brewing
  5. Finally, no trip to the top McMinnville breweries would be complete without a stop at Oregon Staple, McMenamins. McMenamins currently operates 24 breweries in the Pacific Northwest, and they have been doing so since 1985. They offer a great main-floor pub in which to enjoy their beers and a beautiful rooftop deck with a 360-degree view of the area.

Though not located in downtown McMinnville, there are a few other Oregon breweries nearby that we love to recommend to guests. These include Crowing Hen, Chehalem Valley Brewing Co., and Wolves & People Farmhouse Brewery.

If you’re ready to taste the different Oregon-grown can make in your next pint of beer, consider visiting one of these fantastic McMinnville breweries. While you’re in town, don’t miss all the other fantastic things to do – including a relaxed getaway at our top-rated Bed and Breakfast in McMinnville. Book your room today! 

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