Runner-up: Astoria Coffee House & Bistro, Astoria
Honorable mention: Carruthers, Astoria
When told that their watering hole was chosen as the best in the area, Josh and Jared Allison raised their eyebrows.
“I’m actually kind of surprised we won it,” Josh said, laughing. “There are so many other spots in town.”
The brothers co-own Reach Break Brewing along with Finn Parker. Just over a year old, the small brewery has quickly drawn crowds of people — some beer enthusiasts, some not — to the corner of Exchange and 13th streets.
Outside the front door is a seating area featuring two food carts — Hot Box BBQ and Mai Thai Tong. Next door, Reveille Ciderworks offers a sweeter beverage selection.
The Allisons quickly learned that when the sun appears, more customers follow suit.
“In the summertime, the outside patio will just be completely filled,” Josh said. “People with their kids, people with their dogs. That’s been great.”
The brothers said they were surprised at how many regular locals the bar attracts rather than those coming from Portland, Seattle or cruise ships.
“We survive on locals now,” Josh said. “We’re much smaller than other places, so, like, people see us maybe a little bit more. We get to know people.”
Reach Break alters its selection of beers and avoids keeping one beer on the menu for more than a small window of time. The rotation contrasts the flagship beer options at other local breweries such as Fort George Brewery (known for brews like Vortex IPA and Cavatica Stout).
“People ask as, ‘When are you going to bring this one back?’” Josh said. “We say, ‘Probably never.’”
The brothers credit two servers, Trista Heeding and Chris Smirl, for the brewery’s ability to connect with locals. When the weather warms, those locals can also include young children playing outside and dogs lying by their owners’ side.
“I guess, maybe, that is a thing,” Jared said. “We’re really accommodating to families with the outside area. People can come down. Their kids can play with other kids. Parents can eat some food, grab a beer, hang out.”