1221 NW 21st Ave., 248-9663, wildwoodrestaurant.com.
Wildwood’s not merely a fine restaurant serving fine beer; it’s easily the best beer bar anywhere near its Northwest ’hood. Chef Paul Kasten, who makes his own homebrew, orders up a delightfully completist classification of its various Bruerys, Hairs of Dog and Block 15’s, with categories that include hoppy and balanced; hoppy and bitter; light, unique and funky; and tart. A happy-hour visit, from 4:30 to 6:30 pm, will net $3 drafts that, we suspect, hover perilously close to costing the bar money to pour.
1239 SW Broadway, 222-9070, higginsportland.com.
Greg Higgins deserves his propers. He was perhaps the first restaurateur in town to understand beer—whether local or Old World—as a gastronomical category every bit as deserving as wine. A Hair of the Dog Adam #1 (yes, sir!) sits on the menu for $75, while your everyday Adam comes out of the tap for under $5. Familiar beers might cost a dollar or so extra, but the emphasis is on hilariously luxuriant rarities: Should you like to impress somebody or another with a $325 bottle of 2001 Chimay Grand Reserve, Higgins is your huckleberry.
726 SE Grand Ave., 232-6400, osomarket.com.
Oso Market is a pristine cross section of Portland obsessions from wine to charcuterie to raw cheese to, yes, craft beer, with a lot more attention to Belgians than is customary in Portland. Take particular note of Affligem blonde and Vanderghinste sour on tap—perhaps because the Belgian names sit well next to the obscure Italian wine varietals filling the wine list. The stocked beer cases are of terrifically catholic taste, globetrotting and tripping across the palate both. While a bottle shop in spirit, where else will you down your Flemish Kiss with a salad Niçoise, a tomato mint-jam montadito and wild-boar sausage?
Raven and Rose
1331 SW Broadway, 222-7673, ravenandrosepdx.com.
The English-influenced Raven and Rose restaurant likewise loves Belgian styles—although it’s perfectly happy to take them from wherever they come: a Flanders Red from Logsdon, a Champagne barrel-aged raspberry sour from Goose Island in Chicago, a quadrupel from Boulevard in Kansas City, a brett cider from Virtue in Fennville, Mich. The Ladd Carriage House the restaurant occupies is, however, a pure slice of Portland history.
4605 NE Fremont St., 971-229-0995, smallwarespdx.com.
Smallwares and Barwares, the large back room that serves the same menu along with light drinking snacks, have one of the most distinctive drink programs in town. Offerings are bunched by dominant flavor, with the nearby-ish Breakside getting two of four taps on a recent visit. Or opt for a $3 draft Rainier and spend the extra money on the oxtail curry.