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Beer Guide 2015: Ambacht


1060 NE 25th Ave., Hillsboro, 828-1400, 4-8 pm Tuesday-Sunday.

[ANTI-IPA] Ambacht defines itself by what it's not. It boasts of being "Oregon's only brewery without an IPA," a claim that is certifiably false but which says everything about how this 6-year-old operation views itself in the scene. As conscientious objectors to the hops arms race, co-owners Tom Kramer and Brandy Grobart didn't just opt out of chasing higher and higher bitterness units when founding Ambacht in 2008—these longtime homebrewers stayed clear of stiff competition in the city proper, setting up shop near the Hillsboro airport and building their brand on easy-drinking Belgian farmhouse ales. As production has increased, their ambitions have remained humble: After outgrowing their original space, Kramer and Grobart simply moved across the street, beckoning off-duty Intel employees to its tiny taproom with only the glow of a "PUB OPEN" sign. Don't mistake modesty for puritanism. If Ambacht isn't really the only Oregon brewery without an IPA, it's certainly the only one with Matzobrau, a malty wheat beer that combines the base Golden Farmhouse Ale with matzo leftovers from Passover.

DRINK THIS: Golden Rose, a flowery, rose hips-infused almost-saison that tastes like summer in a glass.