61 SE Yamhill St., 503-232-6585, hairofthedog.com, 11:30 am-10 pm Tuesday-Saturday, 11:30 am-8 pm Sunday.
This year, upon wandering into the right place at the right time, I was slipped a two-ounce taste of the very first Dortmund-style Adam beer ever made by brewer Alan Sprints at Hair of the Dog. The 23-year-old bottle contained beer as beautifully layered as any I'd ever had: chocolatey, smoky, rich, malty and complex. Another old Adam, and a similarly ancient Fred golden strong ale, were likewise marvels after decades in the bottle. But then, so is a current batch of Adam or barrel-aged Fred from the Wood. Much more recently, the Central Eastside brewery—its horseshoe bar always filled with regulars who've been drinking there since 2010, when the brewery moved from its former spot by a Brooklyn rail yard—became possibly the only beermaker to brew in a concrete egg. Early batches were full of oxidation and smutty minerals, but as the beer kept seeping into that egg, the "beers from the stone" got more and more complex. In October, the Adam from the Stone was also a miracle of depth, with more layers than a highway roadcut. Then, of course, the beer-soaked egg cracked—and they had to start over with a new egg. But that heady mixture of accident and mystery is what makes Hair of the Dog what it is. Your bottles might not always be carbonated perfectly, and the once-famous Blue Dot IPA is now known for inconsistency. But the history here goes deep: Dig, and you'll find treasure.
Nearby: Always pair Hair of the Dog with a trip to Produce Row (204 SE Oak St., 503-232-8355, producerowcafe.com), Portland's original beer bar. The patio is as good as it ever was, and the beer's better.