Blond-wood, low-light gastropub Grain & Gristle (1473 NE Prescott St., 503-288-4740, grainandgristle.com) began in 2011 with a preposterous premise—that a food-happy bar co-owned by Upright brewer Alex Ganum should have regular, everyday, boring beers that mostly didn't come from his own brewery.

Look, I like going to that little cash-only Upright brewery basement on game day as much as anybody, but think: For nearly six years, we were denied the pleasure of sitting down to one of the best burgers in town while drinking Portland's finest Pilsner or cherry lambic.

(Thomas Teal)
(Thomas Teal)
(Thomas Teal)
(Thomas Teal)

Well, thank God, our long and yeasty nightmare is over. With the addition of a six-deep selection of mostly seasonal Upright taps in December, and a food menu honed to meaty essence, Grain & Gristle is now perhaps the greatest beer taproom in all of Portland. For $15—the price of a burger with bacon at Burnside Brewing—you can get a full plate of braised lamb with fennel and tomato-kale ragu. Each day, one rotating meal for two charts in at $25—including two 12-ounce beers.

(Thomas Teal)
(Thomas Teal)

The meat comes from sister butchery Old Salt. The multitude of small-batch bottles comes from Upright. And that Hereford-beef burger? Dear Lord, it is a revelation in simplicity. Just $10 at happy hour and softly pink in the dim light, that patty is more flavorful than beef has any right to be. But more importantly, you can now eat that burger with a bottle of Upright's Fantasia, a world of skin-on, pit-in liquid peach. When summer comes, this is the patio you'll find us on—happy, dumb and drunk.