326 S. Broadway St., Estacada, 503-630-2337, fearless.beer. 4-9 pm Wednesday-Thursday, Noon-10 pm Friday-Saturday, Noon-9 pm Sunday.
Estacada's modest downtown square consists of only a few blocks of shops, a handful of murals, one coffeeshop and a brewpub. Fearless Brewing, the creation of local mechanic-turned-brewer Ken Johnson, has been making Scottish style beers in this quaint country town since 2003. He was one of the first craft brewers in the area to can his product, partly because the format suited customers on their way to hikes, floats or fishing holes. Fearless has some duds, but it also has an uncommon touch for untrendy styles, which manifests in beers like Loki, a red ale we named one of our top 10 in 2013. The sensibility and austerity one might expect from a rural mechanic reign in the pub, and the result is a homey, no-frills atmosphere. The taster tray is a generous spread of 10 glasses of beer, served unceremoniously on a fast-food style platter. The classic Scottish Brown is smooth, lighter and tastes like liquid Nutella. Peaches & Cream Ale is another standout, with an aromatic pinkness and a well-balanced fruity flavor. If you're making a winter trip to Bagby Hot Springs for a soak sans pants, grab a glass of the 12% barleywine, which tickles the tongue with sweetness and dankness.
Nearby: Depending on your route out here, you might end up passing Sandy's science-themed microbrewery, Bunsenbrewer (16506 SE 362nd Ave., Sandy, 971-225-3874, bunsenbrewer.com).
by TRICIA HIPPS