21420 NW Nicholas Court, Hillsboro, 645-6644. 4-9 pm Monday-Saturday.

Secreted away from downtown Hillsboro in a maze of buildings that blur the line between "temperature-controlled storage facility" and "light-industrial flex space," it's hard to imagine Vertigo getting much foot traffic. But on the frigid night of my visit, I found Vertigo to have a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Most of the tables were occupied by groups of locals laughing and drinking merrily ('twas the night after Christmas). A $9 flight of six beers toured the classics of early American craft, from a citrus bomb of an IPA, to the somewhat cloying apricot cream ale, to a balanced pale ale. While the coffee and cream ale was a dead ringer for a cup of diner joe, I'll stick to the hot stuff.

Drink This: Pale ale, a deftly balanced and quaffable take on an old classic.