108 W Evergreen Blvd., Suite A, Vancouver, Wash., 360-993-1827, oldivybrewery.com. Noon-11 pm Tuesday-Saturday, noon-9 pm Sunday.
Old Ivy brewer Chris Spollen is clearly a popular man. Portland's Upright Brewery occasionally taps a nice dry abbey beer called the Spollen Angel in tribute. Another brewery in Vancouver lamented the recent loss of its brewer, who went to work with Spollen: "When you get the chance to work at Old Ivy…," said the man at the taps, shaking his head, as if the conclusion were foregone. Spollen struck out from Rogue to make the beers at this 22-year-old downtown Vancouver beer house and expansive bottle shop his own. The beer has been getting better ever since at the former Salmon Creek Brewery. Settle into an expanding variety of house brews, including a series of hip-hop-themed nut browns (Nutorious F.I.G., Figgy Smalls), and a solidly banana-estery dubbel. But it's the Oro Del Diablo Belgian golden strong ale that shows Old Ivy's promising future: It's a lovely and complex blossom of malt and yeast disguising a 9.3 percent alcoholic kick.
Drink This: The Oro is a must. Also, sometime soon we would like to see a "Fig Boi" nut brown.