240 N Broadway, Suite 2, 735-5337, uprightbrewing.com. 5-9 pm Thursday, 4:30-9 pm Friday, 1-8 pm Saturday, 1-6 pm Sunday, 6 pm-tipoff on Portland Trail Blazers home game days.
Upright isn't like the other girls. Last year, its ethereally clean, tap-only Engelberg Pilsner was named our Beer of the Year, and owner-brewer Alex Ganum continues to innovate and improve on an already superb lineup. Upright's basement tasting room comprises a few tables couched among rows of barrels and equipment in the brutalist concrete maze of the Leftbank building. Here you can enjoy the small selection of top-quality Belgian-style beers to a soundtrack of quiet conversation and Frank Zappa's Hot Rats on vinyl. Beers are cheap—probably cheaper than they should be—and the cash- or check-only policy reflects Ganum's homebrew roots. Even with all the acclaim, Upright's tasting room still feels like you've stumbled onto an incredible secret and is very possibly the best brewery in Portland.
Drink This: Most of Upright's beers are better than the best offerings at other Portland breweries, so one would struggle to go wrong with any choice. If you must choose one, sample either the Engelberg at its absolute freshest, or the Four Play, a transcendent, barrel-aged sour take on Upright's Four saison that has touches of cherry, almond and clove.