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Beer Guide 2015: Ashtown


1175 Hudson St., Longview, Wash., 360-353-5286, 3-10 pm Wednesday-Thursday, 3-11 pm Friday, noon-11 pm Saturday, 1-8 pm Sunday. 

[LONGVIEW LUMBERSEXUAL] Paging Billie Joe Armstrong: Longview isn't just for getting high and jerking off anymore. With its timber-lined walls, twinkly lighting, knotty wood tables, and rough-hewn tasting trays—a big eye bolt serves as the handle—Ashtown feels like a slice of Southeast Portland in Cowlitz County, albeit with a tad less flannel and a lot more Seahawks paraphernalia paired to a game-day discount for 12th persons. Longview-born cousins Erik and Jarrett Skreen (the latter easily identifiable by the scraggly thicket on his chin) started homebrewing in college and launched Ashtown in September 2013. On a recent visit, the half-dozen offerings ranged in quality. The Bridge Bender IPA was pleasantly bitter if lacking in bounce, while the Belgian Strong Dark tasted vaguely metallic, like you'd drawn blood after biting your tongue. The pub still earns serious points as a lively, appealing hangout when you find yourself in Longview watching the tube when nothing's on and twiddling your thumbs just for a bit.

DRINK THIS: The German alt is mild, malty and satisfying.