Fifth Quadrant, 3901 N Williams Ave., 503-288-3996, lompocbrewing.com, 11 am-midnight Monday-Saturday, 10 am-11 pm, Sunday. Lompoc Tavern location at 1620 NW 23rd Ave., 503-894-9374. 11am-midnight Monday-Saturday, 11 am-11 pm Sunday. Oaks Bottom location at 1621 SE Bybee Blvd., 503-232-1728, 11 am-midnigh Monday-Saturday, 11 am-10 pm Sunday.
To understand Lompoc, you have to understand the Lompocolypse. As the original Lompoc location, a moldering yellow house on Northwest 23rd Avenue, was being prepped for demolition, the brewers invited everyone over for one final blowout brewday-slash-keg-draining party. The room was packed shoulder-to-shoulder, with tipsy revelers randomly tossing ingredients in the kettle to make a beer that was ostensibly a "Double IPA," but also a "kind of an imperial Oktoberfest." Most brew days are memorialized only by a few lines and numbers scribbled on a clipboard—this one became part of the lore of Portland beer. It's just one story that illustrates why so many Portlanders are fiercely loyal to this friendly mini-chain, which was founded by Don Younger of Horse Brass fame before the ever-affable Jerry Fechter took over. Lompoc is perhaps the city's archetypal brewpub of its generation—homey, friendly and totally lacking in all pretension. The core lineup, which has evolved slowly over 22 years, includes Stout Out Loud, Proletariat Red and C-Note India Pale Ale, named because it was one of the first beers to flirt with 100 IBUs. It also includes what's slowly grown into one of my all-time favorite beers in the city, Lompoc Special Draft. LSD is a hybridized beast of a beer that's far more complex than you may remember it— a sort of melding of '90s craft beer culture into a dry, hoppy dark amber with touches of anise and smoke. For kids finding their way into craft beer through fruit sours, pastry stouts and hazy IPAs, it's an alien lifeform that will never make sense. (You kinda had to be there.) In addition to churning out the core lineup with remarkable consistency, brewer Bryan Keilty makes brand-new IPA nearly every week. You can get a pint of it for just $3 at a day-long happy hour that varies between locations, which is a great way of making fiercely loyal friends.
Nearby: The best tap list in Portland? It's obviously subjective, and something you could spend days arguing about. But when we put together a panel of experts to tour elite beer bars grading the tap lists on one particular day, the winner was Tin Bucket (3520 N Williams Ave., 503-477-7689, beercheesesouppdx.wixsite.com/tinbucketpdx), a block from the Lompoc brewery. Look for Arch Rock lager and CBD soda.