Why don't local versions of traditional German lagers live up to the originals? Ask your average Portland beer geek, and they'll have a bunch of excuses. My take has always been that the locals are just too (ahem) frugal and busy to bother.

Falling Sky's doppelbock is proof that if they will it, it's no dream.

The Eugene brewery has a German-made brewing system built for old-world techniques. Falling Sky set out to be as traditional as possible, building a recipe exclusively with German Weyermann malt and Hallertau hops. Then, they put in the work—a 16-hour brew day with the three time-consuming boil cycles necessary to render a lager with that dark candy flavor of a beer like Ayinger Celebrator.

The result is a wonderful beer that's not too sweet, but has lots of caramel. For me, there was a touch of juicy strawberry. Apparently, the kegs are all but gone, but we got ours at The Abbey on Northwest 23rd Avenue. If you're a fan of traditional German lagers, get there. Recommended.