I recently asked two of our fantastic regular volunteers, JJ Grinvalds and Brittany Beem, to share a review of the food and beer at Backwoods Brewing in the Pearl. We’re running there on May 18, 2019. Since this is a relatively new brewery in Portland, we thought it would be fun to learn just a bit more. A sort of “pre-run-party” if you will. JJ and BB describe themselves as, “just a couple of Run-Loving, Beer-Drinking, Food-Eating PNWesterners with years of eating and drinking experience, but no formal training on how to talk about it.”

So here we go!


The original Backwoods Brewing Company was founded in 2012 in Carson, Washington, but their new location in the Pearl is a perfect fit for the Portland brewery scene. They brought with them the same focus to source local ingredients and provide as many house-made items as possible.

The rustic space felt very homey and cozy on this drizzly evening, made even more so as fellow OBRS fans, JJ’s brother and sister-in-law, Nate and Rachel, joined us. Their floor-to-ceiling windows dripping with rain on the outside and the Portland city lights glowing behind were quite Pacific Northwesterny, staying true to their original Backwoods roots. This particular Saturday night, they won our hearts with their throwback 90’s jams. BB nearly spilled her beer in excitement when her favorite song – Return of the Mack came on over the speakers. We all smiled as the next song came on – “this is how we do it” – well this is how WE do it – beer reviews that is!


To get some variety, we ordered a taster flight, which allowed us to try 6 delightful options: the Logyard IPA (their flagship IPA), the Ridge Run Stout (a must with having the word “run” in it), the Mosaic Pale (a reliable option), the Pecan Pie Porter (so dang good!), Anderson Valley Chai Solstice (surprisingly chai-y and unique), and the River Pig Lager (an excellent light option.) In retrospect, ordering another flight would’ve been the way to go so we could have tried nearly all of their unique handcrafted brews!

Neither of us are usually huge IPA fans (is that Oregonian blasphemy!?), but agreed that this could be the gateway to expanding our beer horizons to IPAs. The Pecan Pie Porter was our favorite, but if dark and sweet isn’t your thing, their Logyard IPA is a safe bet for any beer fan!


To start things off, we went with the Hummus Platter and Pulled Pork Nachos. The house-made red pepper hummus came with an assortment of vegetables and pita bread, as one would hope! The nachos were a table favorite, with generous amounts of sweetly seasoned pulled pork topping layers of house-made tortilla chips, surrounded by tomatoes, jalapenos, onions, cilantro, and sour cream. Definitely enough to fill you up—BB said it’s what she’ll order next time as an entree!

Their service was speedy, so it wasn’t long until our Mushroom Swiss Burger, and Pa Dale’s Chicken Sammich were ready. Both choices were loaded with fresh toppings, and the chicken was particularly juicy and delicious. Factor in the sides (sweet potato fries and tots) and we were pushed past safe stomach capacity!


Overall, Backwoods Brewing Company’s rustic ambiance, quick service, handcrafted brews, and fresh food made for a fantastic experience! We are looking forward to running with the Oregon Brewery Running Series on May 18th at Backwoods Brewing Company, then kicking back and enjoying a beer or two and some bomb.com (still working on our fresh lingo) Pulled Pork Nachos.

BB’s SCORE: 4-pint glasses, 3.5 pilsners, 2 snifters, and a stein
JJ’s SCORE: 6 blooming tulips and a waterfall

Run with Us!

We’re excited to be wrapping up our 2019 spring season of beer run fun at Backwoods in the Pearl! There aren’t a lot of great places to run in the Pearl, so this course is similar to another we did this year. Check out the course map here (subject to city approval), and you can register here!

See you then!