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February 5th, 2014 12:01 am REBECCA JACOBSON | Beer Guide

Beer Guide 2014: Ambacht



1060 NE 25th Ave, Suite B, Hillsboro, 828-1400, ambacht.us. 4-8 pm Tuesday-Friday, noon-5 pm Sunday.

It was a dark and windy Friday night and Hillsboro was cloaked in fog. Ambacht Brewing’s tasting room, which opened last fall with unfinished-wood walls and three tiny tables, was empty, so co-owner Brandy Grobart sat playing dominos on his phone in the taproom. But then we asked the gray-bearded Grobart—a burly man dressed in khaki shorts in December—a question about his beer. He snapped into action, running through Ambacht’s offerings of farmhouse ales, which he and partner Tom Kramer call “Belgian-inspired,” presumably because actual Belgians never toss their leftover matzo in the mash, as Ambacht does with Matzobraü, a malty brown brew with distinct cracker notes that’s, sadly, not kosher for Passover. There’s nothing on tap yet—for now, cute cardboard cutouts of tap handles tease you from behind the bar—so we popped a bottle of the Golden Rose, a spicy if somewhat antiseptic ale infused with rose hips. The evening ended with an informal tour of the brewing area, with Grobart showing off the pie cherries in one of the fermenters and talking frankly about his failed brewing experiments. REBECCA JACOBSON.

DRINK THIS: The Hillsboro Brown, which is actually a Belgian-style dubbel with strong molasses notes, or the rightly popular Ginger Farmhouse Ale.

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