507 Columbia St., Vancouver, Wash., 360-566-2323, loowitbrewing.com. 4-8 pm Monday-Thursday, 4-10 pm Friday, 2-10 pm Saturday, noon-8 pm Sunday.
[INDIGENOUS PEOPLES] Where the party at, Vantown? Oh, yeah, Loowit Brewing. Yes, this 2-year-old brewery might just be the best and busiest bar in downtown Vancouver. A recent Saturday found it full with a crowd that looked like either recent divorcées or bewildered townies exploring their city's nightlife while the students are away on winter break. Which is to say that there's a good, if overanxious, vibe. In the back room, where grain bags hung from the rafters like league championship banners, there's a guy with Richie Sambora hair playing keyboard with a guitar case propped open for tips. A 20-something dude in a tie-dyed shirt stands directly in front of him, watching intently. In the main bar, an elderly man discusses coming changes to Social Security while a middle-aged woman confesses that her parents were homophobes until they met some gay people. The whole place smells like fresh hops, possibly from a batch of the pretty, copper-colored and ultra-hoppy Shadow Ninja IPA. You can just get one of those, or you can do the taster tray. Everything at Loowit is cocked, locked and ready to rock, as the locals may or may not say.
DRINK THIS: Shadow Ninja is very nice, but if you see an unfiltered wheat beer (we got a Dunkelweiss called Der Couvensteiner) go for that.