After taking over for the long-neglected Mash Tun brewpub last summer, Great Notion quickly became the best beer bar ever to hit Alberta, even before it kick-started its own brews in December. The small bar space is a model of every contemporary modern Portland brewpub: wood grain everywhere, Timbers scarves hung with care, and a patio looking out on food carts. But the stout is dry and balanced, and Great Notion's IPAs are perhaps the most ambitious take on fruity, low-IBU brews in the state, with Juice Jr. and Ripe IPA ranking among the top five in a blind tasting of Portland IPAs. Juice Jr. is wondrously refreshing, while Ripe IPA is a kissing cousin, bolder and more alcoholic. The food has been upgraded, and the tap lists are now filled with Great Notion beer-geeky brews ranging from alcoholic root beer to maple stout to coffee and cream.
Happy hour: 3-6 pm daily. Food specials only.
Entertainment: Patio sittin' on a sizable patio.