2730 NW 31st Ave., 503-228-5269, portlandbrewing.com. 11 am-9 pm Monday-Thursday, 11 am-10 pm Friday, noon-10 pm Saturday, noon-9 pm Sunday.
The only pub in town where everyone serving you is a certified Cicerone? That'd be 30-year-old Portland Brewing. At the pub attached to the large production facility on the industrial northwestern fringe of the city, every bartender and server is required to pass the test to become a sommelier of beer. It actually makes a big difference, as our bartender gave confident and considered recommendations on Portland Brewing's various IPAs and stouts, warning us off one beer and providing a tasting order that made a lot more sense than ordering samplers by IBUs or color. After a series of mergers and acquisitions involving conglomerates removed from the crafty side of beer, this location now makes all the packaged beer you see from both Portland Brewing and Pyramid, which has retreated from California to run just two pubs, here and in Seattle. Efforts to revive the brand are ongoing, but everything we sampled from the stately copper kettles on display next to the pub was clean and balanced, and a new pale ale called Triangulate made with Lemondrop hops and lemon peel impressed us with a fruity pop. The food is absurdly overpriced, including a meatless $13.25 nacho platter of modest size with canned jalapeños and olives. It's got a solid happy hour ($5 nachos, $7 chargrilled burger) and a lot of history.
Drink this: I've always been a huge fan of Pyramid Apricot, but since you've got the services of a certified Cicerone, ask for a recommendation on something new and tasty.
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