930 SE Oak St., 503-764-9152, basecampbrewingco.com. Noon-10 pm Sunday-Wednesday, 11 am-midnight Thursday-Saturday.
Base Camp is an outdoors-themed brewery known for selling beer in aluminum bottles and for a recent incident involving its owner, homeless people, the Portland Police department and an AR-15. It balances big experiments—the X331 Session India Pale Lager, built with frankenhops from Oregon State University's food labs—with beers like the Crusher session, Base Camp's take on a purposefully basic German table beer. But the real house beer is the S'more Stout. Sold in stores in the brand's iconic metal bottles, at the brewery it comes with an actual charred marshmallow on the rim.
The seasonal taps here are generally more exciting than the bottles sold in stores: The cranberry is a convincing winter sour, moreish and crisp, while the Black & White IPA (a collaboration with Belgium's Oproer Brouwerij) drinks clean and refreshing while hinting at a growing complexity as you work your way through. If all you know Base Camp for is sugary dessert beer (or the AR-15 incident), you owe yourself a trip.
Drink this: Base Camp's gorgeous Owyhee Canyonlands Wild Ale combines Oregon Brettanomyces with dried wild Oregon sage for a beer that evokes camping in the Oregon wilderness; the X331 Session India Pale Lager is funky and downright dank while remaining eminently drinkable.
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