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Beer Guide 2015: Burnside Brewing

Burnside Brewing

701 E Burnside St., 946-8151, 11 am-10 pm Sunday-Tuesday, 11 am-11 pm Wednesday-Thursday, 11 am-midnight Friday-Saturday.

[NORMCORE] Burnside Brewing used to be known best for the oyster one-offs and uni goofballs and especially its perennial Sweet Heat, a refreshing Scotch bonnet apricot beer that inspires deep loyalty in some. And sure, they still plop an improvised firkin onto the bar once every few weeks, and the seasonals usually outnumber the regulars. Natalie Baldwin—the winning homebrewer at Willamette Week's 2014 Pro-Am festival—recently came on as a brewer, kicking out a bourbon-aged strawberry-chocolate stout for Valentine's Day. But the classics are also getting a bit more attention lately. The Burnside IPA will join fast-selling lawn-mower brew Couch Lager in cans this year. The brewery's been making its barleywine long enough it's now blending batches; a two-year Whiteout mixed vintages aged in port and bourbon barrel for a beautifully warm, balanced result. And the new Other IPA, a four-hop blend thick with juicy Mosaic, is splendid when fresh. Not everything succeeds—a cranberry stout was unpleasantly sour, a strong bitter slightly hollow—but four years into life, Burnside is shedding the novelty act and taking on some depth.

DRINK THIS: If you can get hold of it, try the Mutter, a lightly salted and uncoriandered gose that ends up tasting like a really friendly version of Berliner Weiss.