Brother Ass

11700 NE 54th Court, Vancouver, Wash., 360-607-3275, 4-7 pm Thursday.

Wally Wakeman knows people giggle when they hear the name of his year-old brewery. But it's not a frathouse joke, it's what St. Francis of Assisi called the stubborn spirit that keeps people from getting things done. As it turns out, every beer brewed in his home garage—in tanks named "Patience" and "Virtue"—has a story attached. His serviceable Mortal Peril IPA is so named because he almost blew himself up with the first batch. And the Uncle Albert farmhouses are named after his Uncle Albert, who had a farm. An IPA drinker, Wakeman nonetheless does his best work with beautifully subtle farmhouse beers, especially his blueberry Uncle Albert, the result of a trade in which he picks up fresh blueberries from a local farmer, in exchange for feeding the farmer's horses with spent grain. His CDA likewise has a graceful subtlety unusual to the style, the result of using tropical-tinged Mosaic hops that pair well with dark malts. And his coffee stout tastes like you should have to chew it to taste as much coffee as you do. Brother Ass' name might not be subtle, but the beer has a light touch more characteristic of breweries much, much older.

Drink This: If you can, get the Uncle Albert Blueberry Farmhouse, for a load of flavor without the cloying syrupy quality of most of its kind.

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