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Beer Guide 2015: The Commons

The Commons

1810 SE 10th Ave., 343-5501, 5-9 pm Thursday-Friday, 2-9 pm Saturday, 2-6 pm Sunday.

[BEST BELGIANS] Someday soon, we'll be nostalgic for the old Commons: a concrete-floored space with plywood walls, limited hours and too few chairs. When this small but mighty brewery moves from its current warehouse in industrial Southeast to a century-old former foundry on Southeast Belmont Street (estimated opening is late March) it'll leave behind its bare-bones past and upgrade to things like proper seating and longer hours (every day but Monday, from noon to 10 pm). Brewer Mike Wright, who launched the Commons in his garage four years ago, promises the new space will be aesthetically similar, but we know there's no going back. Don't get us wrong: We'll still be there, savoring the earthy and refreshing farmhouse ales. From the peerless Urban Farmhouse Ale (crowned WW's Beer of the Year in 2013) to a wonderfully tart nectarine saison to the fruity, funky Flemish Kiss, the Commons does Belgian-style beer better than just about anyone in town. That's not to say you won't find an oatmeal stout, German table lager or bourbon barrel-aged Baltic porter on tap, and the new location will include an expanded barrel system to allow for more experimentation—it'll be "a playground," Wright says. What else will the new location include? A "cheese annex" operated by Cheese Bar's Steve Jones, serving cheese and meat boards, fondue and grilled sandwiches.

DRINK THIS: If you can get it, the Biere Royale, a sour ale brewed with black currants. Otherwise, the Urban Farmhouse remains as satisfying as ever.