7805 SE Stark St., 503-954-3440, montavillabrew.com, 3-9 pm Tuesday-Thursday, 3-10 pm Friday, noon-10 pm Saturday, noon-8 pm Sunday.
Michael Kora dabbled in homebrewing for years before realizing he had the chops to make it on his own. In 2012, he brought a batch for analysis at Bridgeport Brewing, where he worked in front of house. The quality control folks told him it far exceeded the standards for what they considered a saleable product, and that was that. Kora and his wife spent the next two years outfitting a bare-bones space that has a steam-fired brewhouse and a handful of tables and barrels to lean on. The beer is good enough that you'll soon forget the lack of creature comforts like food and flat screens. The standouts on a recent visit happened to be commissioned-brewed beers for neighbors. Academy Amber is a smooth and malty ale for the nearby second-run movie theater. East Glisan Mosaic is a vibrant beer, with loads of Mosaic, which is intended to be paired with the pies at the pizza spot a few blocks north. Kora's deft touch on Old Fellowship, a bright yet smokey barrel-aged barleywine from 2015, proves he's willing to take risks.
Nearby: Not far up Montavilla's weird mini main street, you'll find Roscoe's (8105 SE Stark St., 503-255-0049, roscoespdx.com). It's a pool hall, pinball hangout, Creole restaurant, order-in sushi spot and, above all, one of the city's very best beer bars.