Bucking the trend, Fat Head’s Brewery opens Monday in Portland

The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Fashion follows the same path: what’s trending on the streets of New York today will be in Chicago tomorrow, Seattle next week, and Portland six years from now. (Kidding. Take a joke.) Fashion, art, pop culture, business and everything else stems in the east and spreads to the west.

Craft Beer is a notable exception. These days, beer flows upstream, from west to east. Notable western breweries like Stone, Lagunitas, Sierra Nevada, Green Flash, and New Belgium have recently expanded their operations to the east, building new breweries in places like South Carolina and Virginia.

Fat Head’s Brewery is bucking the beer trend and expanding to the west. The highly decorated, Cleveland-born brewery opens its new brewery and restaurant in Portland, Oregon next Monday, November 3. The new brewpub will offer freshly brewed Fat Head’s flagship beers like Headhunter IPA and Hop Juju Imperial IPA along with other lots of other house-made beers.

This will be no small affair and, according to a report on OregonLive.com, the new Fat Head’s brewery and restaurant accommodates more than 275 patrons, with the beer provided by a ten-barrel brewhouse, 13 fermenters, and a dozen bright/serving tanks. No word yet about plans to distribute the beer beyond the restaurant.

Ya, they’ll have food there, served at reasonable prices and in Cleveland-sized portions, blah blah blah. Did I mention Head Hunter and Hop Juju?

Located in the heart of the Pearl, find Fat Head’s Brewery and Restaurant at 131 13th AVE NW. Google map.

Will Portland’s notoriously provincial beer drinkers welcome these out-of-towners? We’ll see. Fat Head’s is totally not Portland. It is totally Cleveland: working class, blue collar, middle America, damn-straight craft beer! Maybe Fat Head’s will prove itself too ironic to resist. The true beer geeks will have no issues as long as the beer is good, and I’m betting on that.

Welcome to the Northwest, Fat Head’s Brewery! I can’t wait to stop in and say hello.


  1. I went to college in Pittsburgh (where Fat Head’s began life as a bar before opening the brewery in Cleveland)… Do not dismiss the food. Oh my, I’m so excited they’re opening a mere 3 hours away from Seattle.

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