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State of Suds

June 29, 2017

I had my first sip of beer around the age of 14. I curiously asked my dad for a taste of his IPA. He raised an eyebrow, handed me the bottle, and I cautiously took a sip. 

The bitter hoppiness of it deterred me from beer, and alcohol itself, for a few more years.

In college I gave beer another try, but the crappy canned Keystone Lights didn’t do much for me either. Why did beer either taste like piss-water or spinach?

June 29, 2017

Beer scientist Dana Garves brewed her first batch of beer with her dad in their Seattle home’s basement when she was 17. Garves says her mom was furious, but the memory has fueled her love for craft beer ever since. 

Garves studied chemistry at the University of Oregon, where she put together a database of chemistry experiment resources for teachers from K-12 through grad school. She then took a job doing water quality testing at a local company in Eugene, but quickly found it unsatisfying.

June 29, 2017

Just when you think this town can’t get any more into beer, or any more into hoppy beers, Eugene is like, “Hold my beer.”

In our annual State of Suds issue, we dive into the beer scene as we look at non-hoppy beers, Oregon hops’ immigrant history and brewfests and talk to a beer scientist about brews and feminism in the beer industry. 

And beer news is always hopping; a quick survey of recent beer news tidbits reveals that Plank Town Brewing has a new location in Pleasant Hill opening in July that will be known as Hilltop Bar & Grill. 

June 29, 2017

The bitter fruit of the hop plant is at the heart of Oregon’s burgeoning microbrew industry. Oregon is second in the country only to our northern neighbor in terms of hop production. While hops are ubiquitous in the crafting and marketing of Oregon brews, the history of hop cultivation by Chinese immigrants in the Northwest is largely an untold story.

June 30, 2016

One of Eugene’s newest breweries features some familiar faces: Matt Van Wyk and Brian Coombs, formerly of acclaimed local brewery Oakshire. In 2015, Van Wyk and Coombs, along with Coomb’s brother Doug, struck out on their own, launching Alesong Brewing & Blending, a company with a unique emphasis on barrel-aged beer.

Van Wyk tells EW that Alesong, located in west Eugene, is an artisan brewery “that’s going to mainly focus on barrel-aged beer and Belgian-inspired beers.” 

June 30, 2016

The Falling Sky Pizzeria & Public House officially opened its doors June 20 at the newly renovated Erb Memorial Union on the University of Oregon campus. Falling Sky’s newest location sells “falling pies,” which includes The Firebird, with roasted chicken, pickled peppers, fried garlic, mozzarella, spicy marinara and hot sauce. Subs, soups, salads and pasta are also on the menu, along with Falling Sky’s tasty brews. Among the current beers on tap: Daywalker Irish Red, Hard Rain American Stout and Make American Wheat Again. Head over to fallingskybrewing.com for the full menu.

June 30, 2016

Brothers Stephen and Dan Hughes want their brewery to honor community members who sacrifice a lot and don’t get much recognition — namely, teachers and medical workers.

“Healthcare workers and teachers are probably two of the most unrecognized professions I can think of,” says Dan Hughes, who opened ColdFire Brewing Company with his brother in January. 

“There are a lot of unsung heroes out there, and we definitely wanted to recognize that those people are an important part of our community,” Stephen Hughes adds.

June 30, 2016

In his office at Oakshire Brewing, Eric Keskeys flips through a weathered paperback revealing hundreds of ancient shapes and patterns. The room is dark, save for the glow from his dual computer screens, where working templates of beer labels have been put on pause. 

He stops on a page to point out some trefoils in what he calls a design bible — the Handbook of Designs and Devices: 1836 Basic Designs and Their Variations, originally printed in 1946.

July 2, 2015

Let’s face it, we all have a little Homer Simpson in us, and sometimes leaving the house to replenish the beer supply is just too much. Enter ManCäve Brewing Company: “Give us a call and we’ll deliver your beer,” co-owner Brandon Woodruff says. As of early June, ManCäve officially has its license to do same-day home deliveries through OLCC’s Malt Beverage Delivery Privilege program. ManCäve will now deliver six packs, 12 packs and growlers within a 2-mile radius of the brewery (540 Fillmore St. in Eugene).

July 2, 2015

Nathan Bernard strolls through the third-story lookout and swings open the door. Salty breezes from the sea float over the tiny town of Yachats and up to the rooftop. Bernard steps out to the middle of the flat roof, built into the side of a cliff.

July 2, 2015

Downtown Eugene isn’t the only urban core in the area experiencing a revival — downtown Springfield is undergoing a resurgence as well. 

“I’ve been a craft beer aficionado for a long time,” says David Platt, owner and founder of Growler Underground located at 521 Main St.  

“I was watching what was happening downtown,” Platt adds. “With both downtown [Springfield] on the rise and this sort of business on the rise, I thought the two would work well together.”

July 2, 2015

In 1981, when Philomath hops purveyor David Wills first started tinkering with home brewing, “microbrew” was a burgeoning term, and not all that familiar to Oregonian ears. 

The hops available to home brewers at that time were “really ugly,” Wills says. “I thought hops were supposed to be brown, and it wasn’t until I visited the USDA Hop Research Farm that I realized hops are actually green.”

July 2, 2015
Walking the berggren watershed conservation area. Photo by Trask Bedortha.

 

Take a stroll, brew a beer: That’s the concept behind Beers Made by Walking, a program that uses the beauty of nature to inspire new brews in states around the country. 

June 5, 2014

Depending on where you’re from, the phrase “women and beer” may conjure up some less than empowering images of women in ads (ahem, Budweiser). You won’t see Eugene’s Barley’s Angels in a centerfold, however, because the group of women is shifting that image by advocating for women to actively engage in beer culture.

June 5, 2014

Of the hundreds of varieties of craft beers available at microbreweries throughout Oregon, bacon, oyster, horseradish, fig, beet and pork chop are not mouth-watering flavors that often come to mind when craving a cold pint. But according to members of the Cascade Brewers Society (CBS), home-brewed creations like Curry Stout, Licorice Logger or Beet Weiser are mighty tasty. 

June 5, 2014

The traditional cask-conditioned style of beer is very much alive, and you can see its influence growing in Oregon’s craft beer industry, where local brewers like Plank Town in Springfield and Oakridge’s Brewers Union Local 180 are making concentrated efforts to keep it a living force in the beer world — a time and place far from the English and European pubs where they were once the norm.

June 5, 2014

Craft brewing companies like Ninkasi have put Eugene on the map as the place to experience and purchase quality beer as well as support local causes. Now Elk Horn Brewery and Mancäve Brewing hope to make names for themselves by using innovative ideas and supporting the community.

 

Mancäve Brewing

June 5, 2014

The craft brew renaissance is in full bloom here in Eugene and Springfield, and nothing makes this sudsy success more clear than looking at local breweries and what they’ve been up to.

 

Agrarian Ales

May 2, 2013

Talk about starting off strong: When The Bier Stein reopened at 16th and Willamette on Tax Day, it was inevitable that the beloved beer bar would have a good day, but owner Chip Hardy says that the new location has overwhelmingly exceeded expectations. “Our best day ever at the other location we doubled on our opening day, and by Friday it tripled,” he says. “I was completely blown away by so many customers.”

May 2, 2013

Whether you’re a tour guide for out-of-town friends during Eugene Beer Week or you just want to soak up some sun while enjoying a few brews, a self-guided bike tour of breweries is an entertaining way to get immersed in the feel of Eugene and Springfield.

May 2, 2013

Ninkasi’s latest brew, crafted with the help of student brewers, is called Sasquatch Legacy Baltic Porter, but it’s not a reference to Bigfoot. The beer pays tribute to Glen “Sasquatch” Falcolner, a longtime Eugene brewer with close ties to the brewing community. He died in a 2002 accident, but his passion for helping other brewers was too powerful to quench, and now his work lives on through the Glen Hay Falcolner Foundation and its scholarship program.

May 2, 2013

Remember those old Olympia beer ads? “It’s the water.” When it comes to good beer, it really is the water, and that’s why Oakshire Brewing has begun its “1% for Watershed” program, donating one percent of the profits from its Watershed IPA in the lower Willamette Valley to keep the watershed and its water clean and healthy. In 2013, the McKenzie River Trust (MRT) will receive the funds to continue its restoration and conservation work. 

May 2, 2013

Sky High Brewing, located in downtown Corvallis, currently lacks a kitchen, seats not even a fifth of its desired capacity and has a second-floor staircase leading straight into the ceiling a la the Winchester Mystery House, but Scott McFarland, his co-owners and brewer Laurence Livingston were too excited to wait. They didn’t mind opening with a half-finished brewery in August 2012. 

Getting into beer has long been McFarland’s dream. “I did pizza for a number of years but always kind of had a hankering to get into the beer business,” he says. 

May 2, 2013

When Agrarian Ales was planting its first rows of hops seven years ago, an unexpected visitor dropped by. 

“An 85-year-old farmer stops his pickup and jumps out and has the biggest grin on his face I’ve ever seen,” says Ben Tilley, one of the owners and brewers. The farmer told Ben and co-owner-brewers Nathan Tilley and Tobias Schock that he used to pick hops by hand on that very field when he was a little boy.