412 NW 5th Ave., 564-2739, pintsbrewing.com. 11:30 am-11 pm Monday-Saturday, noon-9 pm Sunday.
In perfect Portland fashion, Pints opens its doors at 7 am weekdays as a coffee shop before transforming into an urban taproom around noon. Situated in an urban no-man's land between Old Town and the Pearl, the décor at this tight-fit shop is coolly modern and spare, with lots of exposed brick and muted walls set off by the wabi-sabi of a rusted saw blade. In the basement, German-trained brewer Alan Taylor uses a 3½-barrel system to make an impressive array of brews. Start with Seismic IPA or its big brother, Seismic Upgrade Imperial IPA. Even in Portland, man does not live by IPA alone, and Taylor's best beers are the ones he learned in Berlin, including that city's famed weisses and a killer kolsch. The food menu is concise and well chosen, with a burger, pub fries, salads, a charcuterie-and-cheese plate, and several sandwiches—get there early enough, and they also have bagels. FRANK JOHNSTON.
DRINK THIS: Seismic IPA is a joy to drink for its bright, crisp bitterness, and Taylor's Nikolaus Winter Lager is intriguing—a rich garnet in the glass, with a flowery nose, German malts and hops, and gingerbread spices added.