1343 Duane St., Astoria, 503-468-0743. Noon-8 pm Thursday, noon-9 pm Friday-Saturday, noon-8 pm Sunday.
Reach Break opened its doors this year, a block way from Fort George Brewing in downtown Astoria. The brewery and tasting room are small for the wet winter months, but there's a massive seating area outside for summer tourists. Reach Break follows what's fast becoming the industry norm, focusing on beer and leaving food to carts outside. It also follows the trend of splitting its offerings between hoppy beers and barrel-aged creations. On my visit, the draft offerings covered a broad swath of styles. My favorite was a barrel-aged Caramel Brownie stout. Where Reach Break really shines is with mixed-fermentation, barrel-aged offerings. A bottle of wine barrel-aged Proprius Mykiss Brett saison was phenomenal.
Nearby: One block west of Reach Break, partake in the oddly civilized ritual of a locally made absinthe poured in appropriate glassware at Pilot House Distilling (1270 Duane St., 503-884-7175, pilothousedistilling.com). Owner, distiller and barman Larry Cary always seems to have a new experiment in the works, and his esoteric booze catalog already includes a floral Painted Lady gin, a savory aquavit made with porcini mushrooms, a "Northwest-style" agave spirit and a seriously good house Bloody Mary. Those Bloody Marys became so popular, in fact, that Cary decided to can them up and sell them in stores across the state. Last June, his Bloody Knuckles "Astoria Mary" tallboys became the first pre-mixed, canned cocktails ever sold in the state of Oregon.