1162 Wind River Highway, Carson, Wash., 509-427-3412, backwoodsbrewingcompany.com. 4-8 pm Thursday, 3-9 pm Friday-Saturday, 4-8 pm Sunday.
The farm behind Backwoods Brewing ain’t no petting zoo. This is serious agriculture, complete with rusted tractor parts and a dozen head of grazing cattle. Inside the barbed-wire fence that keeps the cows out of the dirt parking lot where lifted trucks stop for Backwoods or the neighboring Carson General Store, you’ll find shiny silver fermenters and a cinder-block hut of beer, pizza and camouflage ball caps. They say the taster trays at this brewpub, less than an hour’s drive from downtown Portland, come in 4.5-ounce samples instead of the customary 4-ounce, but they’re the size of rocks glasses and generously filled. Offerings are all over the board. The Log Yard IPA was perfectly serviceable while a Cascadian Dark Ale came out the muddy chalk color of Ovaltine and far below the advertised 100-plus bitterness units. Opt instead for the nutty Ridge Run Stout or the exquisite barrel-aged version pulled from vessels that previously held 35-year-old bourbon. MARTIN CIZMAR.
Drink this: Go for a barrel-aged stout if you can find it. If not, settle for the regular stout.