114 E Evergreen Blvd., Vancouver, Wash., 360-258-0413, trustybrewing.com. 4-10 pm Monday-Friday, noon-10 pm Saturday.
Neither of the two best things at downtown Vancouver's shoebox-sized, wood-walled Trusty Brewing is what you'd expect them to be. The first is a joke: The previous occupant dedicated one of his taps to wine, so brewer Gary Paul—a longtime veteran of the printing industry who got out when the getting was good—decided he'd also serve it at his little brewery. And so he slapped a box of wine onto a makeshift stand behind the bar, as an adjunct tap. By the time of our visit, four days after the brewery opened in early January, no one had ordered it. But the other best feature at Trusty is no joke at all: Not only is it the rare brewery to serve an extra pale ale at all; it's the almost unheard-of spot where the extra pale's the best damn thing in the house. But Trusty's is clean as hell, with grain flavor and a satisfying finish, an exercise in purity just like the idealism bleeding out of the Fugazi songs playing softly on the speakers. The stout and pale are likewise solid, and the brewery serves a small menu of P's: pretzels, poppers, pulled pork and Philly cheesesteak. The first brewing of the IPA was a little grassy, but we'll go ahead and have faith in Trusty that it'll work itself out.
Drink This: A crisp, refreshing pint of Trusty's extra pale ale.