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Beer Guide 2015: Ground Breaker

Ground Breaker

2030 SE 7th Ave., 928-4195, 4-9 pm Tuesday-Wednesday, noon-9 pm Thursday-Sunday.

[HOARY OLD CHESTNUT] When it opened, Ground Breaker wasn't Ground Breaker, but groundbreaking. The former Harvester Brewing opened in 2011 as the nation's first dedicated gluten-free brewery. It's since expanded to include a taproom with gluten-free food options. It also changed its name to avoid getting sued by a winery that used to make a boxed wine of the same name. Though the standard barley, wheat and rye are eschewed, Ground Breaker beers don't lack in flavor. With a little creativity, the brewers have been able to create full-bodied ales including the four year-round options—pale ale, dark ale and two IPAs—as well as an ever-changing selection of seasonals. The base for most brews is chestnuts, locally sourced from a farm in the Willamette Valley. Every hop flower they use comes from Oregon. Beyond the basics, you'll also find them juicing fermentable sugars from all sorts of unlikely ingredients—sweet potatoes, carrots, beets and even candy canes. The brewery and gastropub are located on a quiet strip in the inner eastside industrial district, with big windows enclosing the corner location. The surrounding neighborhood is expected to see rampant redevelopment in the coming years—remember, these gluten-phobes broke ground first.

DRINK THIS: The Fresh Hop pale ale, brewed with local Cascade and Meridian hops, is bright and crisp, with no bitter aftertaste—a perfect compliment to the gluten-free burger.