28779 Hunter Creek Loop, Gold Beach, 541-247-0555, archrockbrewingcompany.com. 11 am-6 pm Tuesday-Friday and 11am-5 pm Saturday.
In September 2014, very few people in Portland had heard of Arch Rock. Then this brewery in tiny Gold Beach shocked everyone by winning a gold at the Great American Beer Festival for their Gold Beach Lager. The surprise wore off as soon as people got a pint of the straw-colored and effervescent lager, which is smooth and lightly biscuity, with a kiss of bitterness from noble hops. If you like that, you'll like everything else Arch Rock does. Brewer James Smith mostly makes just three beers on his 15-barrel system, and both the porter and the pale ale show the same clean lines and refreshing balance. Arch Rock self-distributes, and supply is spotty, but they have no trouble finding takers when they make it to Portland, becoming the only mostly static tap at Tin Bucket on North Williams. Note that the taproom keeps very limited hours, but if you want to try a fresh keg the dive bar next door always has their stuff on tap.
Nearby: The bar next to Arch Rock, which ends up being the de-facto taproom for anyone who's not there before the end of the business day, is Hunter Creek Bar & Grill (28773 Hunter Creek Loop, Gold Beach, 541-247-6100). Be warned that it's a locals' spot that's not especially friendly or efficient when it comes to serving tourist types.