1810 SE 10th Ave., Unit E, 343-5501, commonsbrewery.com. 5-9 pm Thursday-Friday. 2-9 pm Saturday. 2-6 pm Sunday.
The biggest Belgian tourist attraction since the Atomium, the half-dozen glimmering tanks of Mike Wright’s two-year-old brewery attract a steady trickle of pilgrims to a vast, chilly warehouse hidden in the redundant blocks of Industrial Southeast Portland. What the visitors find is little more than a gift shop: a chalkboard doodled with gnomes, a spare selection of T-shirts and hoodies, and tasting trays of beers so brightly colored, the flights look like Crayola boxes. The tastes are equally dazzling, from a Pear Honey Saison whose sweet punch hides a pastoral finish, to the welcoming pucker of a black-currant Bier Royale—one of our top 10 beers of the year (see page 18) and still the only sour beer I’ve ever bothered to finish. Being allowed to sample these wonders in such a utilitarian space (where you are welcome to set your glass on a barrel, but not encouraged to sit down) is a flashback to elementary-school field trips to post offices and printing presses: places so filled with everyday magic you never wanted to leave. AARON MESH.
Drink this: Wright’s first production, Urban Farmhouse Ale, remains the pinnacle of the Belgian renaissance. It was our Beer of the Year in 2013 and there’s no Portland beer I’d pick over it.