Unless you're recycling biodiesel or buying mountains of frozen seafood, you probably haven't explored the industrial tundra north of Northwest Nicolai Street.
Well, now you've got a great excuse.
But leaving your personal comfort zone is only one of the ways Great Notion Brewing's new 30-barrel production facility and pub (2450 NW 28th Ave., greatnotionpdx.com) demands an adventurous side.
The sister location to its tiny Northeast Alberta Street brewpub, the new space looks like a modern art museum from the outside. Floor-to-ceiling windows and bright lights draw eyes inside an oblong wooden space that's been added to the front of a massive warehouse. Walk up the stairs, through an elegant entryway lined with coal-black wood, and that's where you'll encounter the most high-energy brewpub in the state. Hard-walled and packed with robust industrial furniture, the shimmering wooden barroom is a beer-fueled echo chamber—and the beer is louder than the crowd.
Bright purple sour ales, hazy yellow IPAs and jet-black imperial stouts flow from 24 taps into sleek tulip glasses, which dot the room in various states of emptiness like actual wilting flowers. Huge, fruit-infused hop bombs like the Pineapple Juice Invader, massively decadent dessert stouts like Moon Pie, and a sour ale designed to taste like a Costco blueberry muffin assault the senses, fists finding all id and no ego.
The food is equal parts childish and mouthwatering. A housemade crunchwrap supreme filled with impossible burger beef ($16) is joined by an especially gluttonous interpretation of steak frites ($20), pairing a tender cut of Painted Hills rib-eye with crinkle-cut fries. The best way to finish off such a meal? A '50s-style milkshake infused with Double Stack Imperial Stout ($8), which tastes like what the angels serve at diners in heaven.
That's the thing about anything at Great Notion—if it sounds off-putting to every part of you except your inner teenager, then it's probably worth ordering.
Related: Great Notion is One of the Greatest Success Stories in Portland Beer.