113 W 9th St., Vancouver, 360-696-5521, mttaborbrewing.com. 4-8 pm Thursday, 4 pm-close Friday.
Stepping inside this cozy neighborhood brewery, located on a bustling block in the heart of downtown Vancouver, is like stepping back in time to the mid-1990s, a simpler time when Sublime was on the radio, Will Smith was in theaters and everyone was rocking JNCOs. Inside Mt. Tabor Brewing, I had the sudden urge to feed my Tamagotchi. The beers are a throwback, too, to the days when craft beer was brewed by bros, for bros, with none of this namby-pamby, rose-petal infusion crap. You can choose between dark, coffee and hoppy, all redolent with the citrus scent and big, bitter aftertaste of Cascade. A seasonal winter blonde was as coppery and malty as a Scotch ale, with enough hops to choke a horse. After that, the Bridge Lifter IPA—named in honor of all those suffering drivers who have gotten stuck on I-5 between Oregon and Washington—seemed light and well-balanced, despite its 86 IBUs. It’s something Bruce Willis might have enjoyed, perhaps, after a session of dying hard with a vengeance. ADRIENNE SO.
DRINK THIS: The Little Bull Stout, which has enough heft and body to stand up to all those hops.