929 N Russell St., 281-2437, widmerbrothers.com. 11 am-10 pm Sunday-Thursday, 11 am-11 pm Friday-Saturday.
Brewers love Widmer Hefeweizen. I've had more than one tell me the American wheat is their all-time favorite beer, and an inspiration for their career. Maybe it's because I was weaned on Belgian-style wits like Great Lakes' Holy Moses and my favorite guilty pleasure, Blue Moon, but I've never understood why anyone prefers the heft of wheat when it's not there to hoist up bold yeast or hop flavors.
So this time I went with Upright's Alex Ganum, whose taste I trust over pretty much anybody's. "Forget everything you know about this beer," he says. "Most people's experience with this beer is in a bottle, which is not the same, or at a bar with shitty tap lines, and this beer really suffers in shitty beer lines. I've never had it like I've had it here. It just tastes…." Ganum trails off, a faraway look in his eye. He's right, though—you haven't really had America's Original Hefeweizen® until you've had it fresh at the pub, where it's extra soft and the haze takes on an ethereal quality. So get the Hefe, along with whatever small-batch stuff they're pouring from the pilot brewery, all of which is well-crafted and very fresh.
Drink this: Hefe Shandy! Nah, just kidding, the classic American-style Hefe.
The Best Portland Bars for Hardcore Bar Geeks | Portland's Best Cider Bars | These Are the Bars in Portland Where We Get Our Beer to Go | Where to Get Crowlers in Portland | Big Beer Halls Where You Can Drink With Half of Portland | The Six Best Spots to Take Little Ones For a Little Nip | Warm & Cozy Beer Caves | Portland Spots Where Great Food and Beer Come Together | Tap a Belgian or German at These Portland Bars