108 W Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver, Wash., 360-993-1827, oldivybrewery.com. 11:30 am-11 pm Tuesday-Saturday, 11:30 am-9 pm Sunday. Closed Monday.
Old Ivy is Vancouver's original brewpub, dating back to the days when folks up here had to brave the bridge to drink local beer and play the lottery. On a quiet afternoon, we found the place to ourselves, but for a table of women chatting with an affable bartender. Old Ivy has always been as much a taproom as a brewery, and of the 24 beers on tap on our visit, only a handful were made here. Those beers tend to be strong and malty, like an imperial brown ale and a classic porter. In the warmer months, they've got a sizable, pet-friendly patio, ideal for enjoying a brand-new barbecue-centric menu they sadly introduced after our visit. Although downtown Vancouver is dense with brewpubs, Old Ivy's blond wood, light pouring through the windows and always-there owner makes it feel like the whole town's neighborhood pub—which it literally was until just a few years ago.
Drink this: The Corn Star cream ale lives up to its name: a soft cream ale with a robust corn backbone. It's light and eminently drinkable.
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