12562 SW Main St., Tigard. 624-9400, maxsfannocreek.com. 11 am-10 pm Sunday-Thursday, 11 am-11 pm Friday, 9 am-11 pm Saturday, 9 am-1 pm Sunday.

Everything at this jewel in downtown Tigard seems better this year. The beer, which was pleasantly surprising last year, is even better now, from a golden ale that's among the metro area's top sessions to the lush Pacific Red. The facade is more impressive. The Fanno Creek Trail bike lane, once a muddy track, is now bright and paved. Even the creek itself is bubbling happily. Max's is quickly becoming the toast of Tigard, which, granted, is like being the toast of The Dalles. But it's the toast of something, damn it. And things are looking up! JORDAN GREEN.

Drink this: Pagan Pale Ale, a pristine Northwest pale much like Deschutes' Red Chair.