630 SE Belmont St., 503-420-0799, moderntimesbrewing.com. 11 am-10 pm Sunday-Tuesday, 11 am-midnight Wednesday-Sunday.
It's almost eerie walking into the Belmont Fermentorium, the new Portland outpost of San Diego's rapidly expanding Modern Times Brewing. Only two months after the Commons farmhouse brewery closed in the same space, it's like a team of retro-obsessed vegans immediately moved in and started a tech company. The cavernous brewing area is filled with a wealth of shiny new tanks, while the pub's 24 taps are busting out better-than-average hazy IPAs and truly excellent sours and coffee stouts—with many of the non-barrel-aged beers already brewed onsite, the others sent up from California. Modern Times came in with a swaggering reputation as a brewery, and the beer is good, particularly an Order of Hermes "Super Berliner" sour that's a swirl of tropicalia and an excellent mixed-fermentation Pescespada. A 40-foot, shiny piñata looms overhead like a balloon from the Macy's parade, while the halls leading to the restroom have turned into a yarn web that looks like the world's most complicated game of cat's cradle. Earth tones prevail, from a Southwestern-style mosaic behind the taps to tiling of 3.5-inch floppies lining the front of the bar. The beer and food is vegan, including a tasty but expensive $12.50 à la carte burger made with Beyond Meat. The prices have been imported from San Diego—Portlanders are not used to paying $7 for 5 ounces of beer, even if it's a strong, barrel-aged vanilla stout, nor do we usually pay $6.50 for a pint of Pilsner or basic IPA made onsite. But that hasn't affected business much: Even on a Tuesday, it's like a beer-fueled nightclub in there.
Nearby: Want meat? Around the corner, Tokyo-born ramen house and izakaya Afuri (923 SE 7th Ave, 503-468-5001, afuri.us) offers a stellar sake menu and even better noodles, skewers and dumplings.