If a single word could sum up a visit to The Ale Apothecary tasting room, it’s “wood.” It starts with the beer—owner and brewmaster Paul Arney’s founding vision was to “combine age-old techniques alongside modern ones” by brewing small-batch handcrafted beers with a unique profile. Wood is an integral ingredient in all of them, and is present in nearly every step of the brewing process. The beer is fermented and aged in barrels with a native wild yeast cultivated from the Deschutes National Forest. As a result, all of the beers exhibit various levels of sour, and sometimes funky, character. The tasting room has an eclectic charm that exalts wood and meets Arney’s goal of “familiarly exotic.” Located in an industrial brick building off Century Drive, the interior fuses the wood with industrial and iron elements into an attractive and functional space. It feels like a museum to brewing and family history, with handcrafted artwork, vintage decor, historic photographs and furniture from repurposed barrels. “It’s important for me that the environment helps to support the beer we make and the stories we are telling,” said Arney. “Just like the beer I make tells a story about history, food production in our modern age, Oregon farms and the importance of nature and artisans, I am also trying to share the story of my family history in small business.” Most beers are available by the bottle only, with a few available for individual pours and flights. The bottle list is extensive and showcases Arney’s creativity and versatility as a brewer; you may find beers brewed with wine grapes, apple skins, pine needles, lilac blossoms and more. “My suggestion is to go for the flight of available beers as we have quite distinct differences between our brands,” Arney said. First-time visitors unsure about sour beer and what to order should ask which beer is “best for initiation,” he said. See thealeapothecary.com.