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The Weekender: Portland, Oregon

A spirited guide to the artisanal capital of the country

Ah, Portland. Bustling hub of artisanal … everything. And as much as indie cred and the small-batch mindset are central tenets around here, some of the brands born and bred here have gone on to mainstream success—and you probably know them by name. From Stumptown and Olympia Provisions, Portland exports abound in their original, experiential forms. Here’s how and where to experience Portland goods at the source in 48 hours.

Friday afternoon: Check in at Portland’s Ace Hotel, where you’ll settle in before setting out on foot to the House Spirits Distillery for a tour and tasting. This local landmark is the birthplace of renowned labels like Aviation Gin and Westward Whiskey, arguably one of the country’s best American single malts. Tours are available daily and the tasting room and shop are open from 12 to 6 p.m.

Ace Hotel Portland

Ace Hotel Portland (Photo Credit: Ace Hotel Portland via Facebook)

Friday evening: Spend your evening close to home at Clyde Common at the Ace, which offers standout dishes like squid ink fettuccine, braised venison shank, and a T-bone feast for two. For drinks, don’t miss the house-bottled and carbonated Venetian Way (Luxardo Bitter Bianco, Carpano Bianco vermouth, and water).

Saturday morning: Rise and shine; the coffee experience of a lifetime is afoot. Sit down for breakfast and a cup of Portland’s finest, right in the lobby of the Ace. Stumptown is the pride of the city, and its cold brew is known the world over. Don’t miss out on the freshly baked pastries from beloved boulangerie Rushmore Baking.

Saturday afternoon: Once your coffee buzz wears off, it’s time for lunch at Olympia Provisions, which offers house-made charcuterie alongside a full menu of sandwiches, soups, salads, and a small selection of rich entrées (the grilled sausage is a must). The house cocktails, namely the OP Daiquiri (Plantation Pineapple rum, Atxa blanco vermouth, beet juice, lime, and cinnamon syrup) and the Last Resort (Ransom Old Tom gin, Appleton rum, Barenjager honey liqueur, Fernet, pear syrup, lime, orange, black pepper) are also not to be missed.

Olympia Provisions

Olympia Provisions (Photo Credit: Olympia Provisions via Facebook)

Saturday evening: Get ready for more eating. Mediterranean Exploration Company in Portland’s Pearl District offers Mediterranean fare in an inventive form thanks to chef Kasey Mills, who opened the restaurant back in 2014 in partnership with renowned restaurateur and chef John Gorham (Toro Bravo, Shalom Y’all). For those with particular drink tastes, Multnomah Whiskey Library is the perfect stop for a nightcap.

Mediterranean Exploration Company

Mediterranean Exploration Company (Photo Credit: MEC via Facebook)

Sunday morning: No trip to any Ace Hotel would be complete without experiencing their epic breakfast. Stop by the cozy nook in what was previously room 215 to fuel up on healthy homemade goodness (think homemade jams made with the local farmer’s market bounty, granola made fresh downstairs at Clyde Common, and of course, endless Stumptown coffee) before heading home.

Sunday afternoon: Bid farewell to good old Portland. But don’t dry out just yet; PDX’s House Spirits offers a tasting room just off of Gate C8.

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