1321 NE Couch St., 971-678-7116, natianbrewery.com. Brewery not open to public, tasting room hours TBA.
If you asked Natian's head brewer and founder where you could find his beer on tap around town, he probably wouldn't be able to steer you in the right direction. That's right: Ian McGuinness is not even sure where to go if he's in the mood for his own beer. But all of that's about to change with the opening of a tasting room on East Burnside Street, just a block away from the brewery. That's welcome news to any curious drinker who's tried to find a way into the Portland Bottling Company, where Natian's brewing kettles are visible from the sidewalk. Since the brewery shares space with industrial canning equipment, the public isn't allowed to visit. Even though the arrangement hasn't been ideal for would-be customers, McGuinness feels lucky his boss at PBC signed off on his proposal for a mothballed corner of the building. We got McGuinness to invite us in for a tasting in the boardroom perched above his 10-barrel system, where Handful IRA offered a balance of roasted malty flavors after an initial citrus pop. The intermingling of whiskey, wood chips and honey makes the Irish Water imperial golden ale go down almost too easy, even with an ABV of 9.2 percent, and the Kahlúa in the Cease & Desist Milk Stout provides bitter coffee notes that contrast well with a chocolate sweetness. McGuinness hopes the treasure hunt for Natian beers is coming to an end in March, when he opens a space with 24 taps and a movie screen showing bootleg videos of concerts from the '60s and '70s. The only person happier about the move than McGuinness? The long-suffering receptionist at Portland Bottling Company.
Drink this: Everyday IPA is bursting with juicy citrus flavors and a floral aroma, particularly for a beer that's a sessionable 5.5 percent ABV.