Doesn’t it seem like all the new bars in Portland are fighting to out-boring each other? We’ve traded building elaborate booze cathedrals for yawn-inducing booze monasteries. Which is fine when you’re with a group of friends—Coalition Brewing (2724 SE Ankeny St., 894-8080, coalitionbrewing.com) has fine beverages (the Wu Cream ale, in addition to having a great name, is a smooth drink that goes down like a slightly lighter version of Smithwick’s; the maple stout is smoky and rich and sticks in your mouth for a while after the first gulp) that spruce up the distractionless wood-and-concrete watering hole. It’s just not the kind of place hyperactive folks like me would go alone (though I’m sure things get more lively in summer, when the garage door slides open). So while I may well drop by Coalition for a $14 growler of Mr. Pig’s Pale, I’ll probably stick to nearby joints like the Standard and Holman’s for my post-work pint. I need a pinball, a jukebox, a movie—anything!