Whether you have cycled into Independence, drove in for a concert at the Riverview Amphitheater, or just stumbled upon this quaint little town while cruising down highway 51, there is quite possibly a chance you might be thinking to yourself…now is a good time for a nice frosty beer.

Here are five options for you to solve the quest to quench that thirst.

Parallel 45 Brewing

Parallel 45 Brewing

Owned by Greg Laird and Ryan Booth, Parallel 45 Brewing is the only in-house brewery in Independence. Laird and Booth make great craft beer and are enjoying much success and regional recognition since their opening in summer of 2019. They have also created an enticing outdoor space to savor the suds, and for those who are hungry, order from the food truck options of Cusinela Delicious Food parked directly adjacent to the brewery, or Lonnie’s Lunch Wagon parked on the other side of the building. Tacos and beer? Yes, please! Booth and Laird play upon the current pandemic with humor by making a beer called Social Distance, only to follow it with another beer called Social Double Distance with this definition: All the tasty bits of the original Social Distance, but double dry-hopped and with the wallop of 10% ABV. Enough to knock you back 12 feet.

The River

The River restaurant in Independence is the third expansion location for Gilgamesh Brewing. The mothership location of Gilgamesh is just over the river, no pun intended, in South Salem. With an opening date in the spring of 2020 at the start of the pandemic and the start-stop-start dance of the last year for restaurants, The River has fared well with an abundant outdoor dining area and their in-it-to-win-it attitude. Primed with ample seating, a designated stage equipped for live music, a pizza oven, and taps upon taps of beer, this will be a fun summer evening for you and your friends. Soon, too, The River will house Gilgamesh’s newest effort, a distillery.

Arena Sports Bar & Grill

Arena Sports Bar and Grill, located immediately across from Riverview Park in the center of downtown, is the only bar in town that features pool tables and, the pool is free on Sundays! Legend has it that Arena, under a different name back then, opened the first day after prohibition was lifted, and the line to enter wrapped down the block and around the corner. Miranda Garrison and Julia Parks, who both enjoyed working as servers in this same sports bar during their college years are now the owners taking this town favorite into the next era. Since owning the bar in 2014 they have adopted a motto stating “if we all succeed, we all succeed”, explaining that partnership is where the community wins. They have taps of beer from both Gilgamesh and Parallel 45 always available, participate in events like Main Street Tattoo, the annual Bike Raffle, and provide the beer tent for Western Oregon University events. Arena Sports Bar is anchored to stay decades more. If you need even more incentive to visit, come for the nightly menu specials, trivia nights, in-house events, and watch the big games on any of the multiple televisions.

The Tap Station

The Tap Station is a converted retro gas station, complete with roll-up doors, and windows facing every direction. The indoor-outdoor vibe is perfect for families and people who want to get a pint with their pup. Picnic tables and chairs are scattered around the Tap House in just that perfect way to compliment a kick-back-and-relax feel. With 16 taps and menu items ranging from popcorn to cheeseburgers to a kid’s menu, there is something for everyone. Grab a board game from the game nook and soak in a sunny afternoon with friends. One of the most notable and admirable things about the Tap Station – Veterans receive Happy Hour prices all day, every day.

BREW Coffee & Taphouse

BREW Coffee & Taphouse is on the opposite side of Riverview Park from The Tap Station. In fact, with Arena Sports Bar and Grill directly in front of the fountain, the park is flanked by beer houses on all three streets, with the river on the fourth side. Brew Coffee and Taphouse is a full service coffee-and-breakfast in the morning to beer-and-dinner in the evening destination and is open all day. With a landmark corner location, visible to everyone passing by, it is as if you are drawn into their doors without realizing it. Indoor seating varies from tables to cozy couches for afternoons spent with friends, to outdoor seating in their patio. Tables, firepits, and hanging Edison lights twinkling above the space create an ambience to close down the sunny day into the evening. On concert days at the park, the local expert knows to grab a pint or a cocktail from Brew and settle onto the back deck for an absolute win-win.

It is of no wonder you are having a thirst for beer while visiting Independence, the town was affectionately touted as the Hop Capital of the World  from 1900 to the 1940s.

Pints Up! Enjoy drinking responsibility.


~Valerie Estelle Rogers
V Estelle Travel