You may not have yet stopped by Ecliptic Brewing (825 N Cook St., 265-8002, eclipticbrewing.com), but you've almost certainly had John Harris' beer. The Oregon brewing luminary perfected the recipes for some of the state's most iconic brews, including Deschutes' Black Butte Porter and McMenamins' Hammerhead. Harris spent three decades working under others, most recently at Full Sail. Now, he's his own boss, running a just-opened brewpub in a colossal former auto-body shop off Mississippi Avenue. The space pays homage to Harris' love of astronomy, with constellations pinpricked in the concrete walls and a chandelier shaped like a lopsided figure eight to represent the sun's path through the sky. The beers, accordingly, are named after stars. Try the supremely balanced Procyon Pale Ale or the Spica Hefepils, which is bottom-fermented like a Pilsner but unfiltered—it's a cloudy golden lager with a pleasant, lingering bitterness. On a recent Friday, the place was packed, with grown-ups eating trout po' boys and kids munching on grilled cheese. I'll be back in a few weeks—Harris plans to roll out new beers around the solstices and equinoxes, and next up is a hearty winter ale.
Click here for a review of Harris' Rigel Sparkling Ale.