131 NW 13th Ave., 503-820-7721, fatheadsportland.com. 11:30 am-11 pm Monday-Thursday, 11:30 am-midnight Friday-Saturday, 11:30 am-10 pm Sunday.
As any dirt-bike racer or figure skater will tell you, it's only "too much" if you don't land it clean. Nobody in the Northwest is better at going over the top—and sticking the landing—than Fat Head's. This Cleveland-born brewery, which opened its first and so far only offshoot in the Pearl in 2014, specializes in big, hoppy beers along with football-sized sandwiches and smoked buffalo wings.
The oafish branding couldn't be more at odds with the Portland aesthetic, just reading the food menu can cause mild angiotensin, and it signed with a distributor who already has two macho, hop-forward breweries. But Fat Head's has a stack of medals to testify to its prowess—not to mention taking both first and second place in our blind tasting of the city's IPAs last year. The best part? The IPAs are just the opening salvo. Dig deeper into the beer list, and you'll be impressed by everything from a decedent, deep Belgian chocolate stout or any of the off-kilter barrel beers, which come from wood painstakingly collected by brewer Mike Hunsaker, who just left to open his own spot in Camas called Grains of Wrath. Without Hunsaker, there's a chance Fat Head tumbles. We really hope it doesn't.
Drink this: Head Hunter is Fat Head's famous IPA from Ohio. Instead opt for one of the Portland-originated IPAs, like Built for Speed or Semper FiPA.
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