930 SE Oak St., 764-9152, basecampbrewingco.com. noon-10 pm Sunday-Wednesday, 11 am-midnight Thursday-Saturday.
[BEER, TENT] Craft beer's constituency includes the North
Face set, people who profess to love "the outdoors" but live in cities
because they like organic food and jobs where you don't have to sweat.
Well, this is their, um, base camp. This Southeast production brewery's
cans and bottles are printed to look like topographical maps and come
with instructions to cool them in a fridge only if there's no
glacier-fed mountain stream around. The branding stays consistent at the
pub, a spacious concrete room with light wood touches in the untamed
wilds of Buckman. A canoe hangs over the bar and carabiners hang on the
taps, which number 10 to 15, depending on what they're brewing. The
canoe may be the perfect metaphor for Base Camp. It's sweet, like your
childhood memories of learning to canoe at camp—a little watery.
Sometimes that tendency toward light body works out well, as with the
S'more Stout, served here with a roasted mini-marshmallow. It's sweet as
candy, and there's something nice about drinking a stout that isn't as
heavy as a steak and eggs breakfast. Other times, it's problematic, as
is the case with Base Camp's wit, whose sweetness flirts with "this
hurts my teeth" territory. But if you're looking for a place to show off
that new Patagonia, this is it.
DRINK THIS: The S'more Stout. It's sweet without being cloying, with a welcome boozy note.