Red Ox Brewing

9795 SW Murdock St., Tigard, 310-8033, redoxbrewing.com. By appointment only.

[NEW NANO] As co-brewmaster Matt Shelby looks for a party tap to sample his pale ale, I gaze in wonder at the size of his weekend-only operation. Inside his Tigard garage, Shelby has slapped together a functional brewhouse that's no place for visitors, but serves his needs just fine. Red Ox, which Shelby owns with his college fraternity brother Adam Amato, sticks to the basics: pale ale, blonde, CDA and porter, on my visit. The pale beers are classic prickly-bitter and pleasantly malty. The darker beers are a nice surprise, with a clear profile and a silky-smooth finish. Sales thus far are limited to the Growlerie and a few other westside growler spots, but we're hoping 2015 brings this Ox to town.

Drink this: Imperial Pioneer Porter. Dark, but with absolutely no dark malt bitterness, this beer doesn't reveal that it is 8 percent ABV until you drink half a pint in 10 minutes in Tigard's coolest—like freezing cold—garage.