2117 NE Oregon St., 353-6368, culminationbrewing.com. Noon-9 pm Tuesday-Thursday, noon-10 pm Friday, 2-9 pm Saturday, 2-8 pm Sunday.
Tomas Sluiter's year-old Culmination is a neighborhood spot without a neighborhood. The area just north of Sandy Boulevard is half trucking yard and half condo, like a factory housing tract for Burberry. But as a brewery, Culmination is pretty much Lake Wobegon: All its beers are above average. The flagships are two IPAs. The solidly piney-citric Phaedrus IPA is a balanced stew of Citra, Simcoe, Millennium and Mosaic hops. Euphoria Brett IPA is so dry it approaches clinical. Much of the rest of the list goes to variations of IPA from black to session to lager to single-hop experiments like the Vic Secret IPA, which felt like a really competent showcase for a middling Australian hop. Culmination has moved away from its early focus on saison, but the Trou Belle remains lightly yeasty and as floral as springtime. Note that the half-industrial brewery, which doesn't even look like it should have a kitchen, serves some of the best brewpub food in town. Whatever your feelings about the bar's candied bacon, those gringo brisket tacos (three for $10) are delicious. Note also that the restrooms are hidden far away behind doors, chambers, halls and a keypad door lock. The code is 1-5-3. You're welcome.
Drink This: Phaedrus is a very good IPA. Also get anything that says "saison" or "farmhouse," but avoid anything that says "blueberry lavender sour."