6635 N Baltimore Ave., 719-7102, occidentalbrewing.com. 4-8 pm Wednesday-Thursday, 3-8 pm Friday, noon-8 pm Saturday, noon-6 pm Sunday.

Occidental, an industrial shed of a taproom just a sled ride downhill from St. Johns, is about as far west as you can go in Portland without actually being on the westside. You could choose to see a metaphor in this: Its brews are the Western traditions that existed before the American West was even conceived, a grab bag of German beer styles from Kölsch to alt to hefeweizen made using only malts and hops imported from Deutschland. And sure, the brewery is best known perhaps for its cans of hefe tailor-made for the Portland day-camper in the summer, but Occidental's beers are actually best in the winter, when the dunkelweizen and doppelbock—the brewery's two finest beers—come on tap. The dunkelweizen in particular is rich, yeasty and redolent of banana flavor beneath the thick malt, and it is splendid. Note that as a reward for making it all the way north, the bare-bones taproom offers just about the cheapest taster glasses in all Portland, a mere dollar for 4 ounces. Do as the Germans do and drink all day, then trudge lonely up the hill.

Emily Joan Greene
Emily Joan Greene

Drink This: The dunkelweizen, when it's available in winter. The hefeweizen when it's not.