All About That Barrel

A lesson in barrel-aged beers from the new Alesong Brewing & Blending

Doug and Brian Coombs with Matt Van Wyk

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.”  Continue reading 

Bier Stein Booms

Hopping to a larger location

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.” Continue reading 

The Farmhouse Brewery

Agrarian Ales redefines brewing in the 21st century

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. Continue reading 

Walking the Plank

Another awesome anchor in downtown Springfield

Head Brewer Steve van Rossem is still finishing the assembly of the brewing side of Plank Town Brewing Company, but the fledgling first brew, Bart’s Best Bitter or B^3, is already a refined recipe. Van Rossem, who is transitioning to Springfield’s newest brewpub from Block 15 in Corvallis, brewed B^3 test batches up at Block 15, and he says that Plank Town will likely stick with the recipe. “It’s made using British yeast, British malt and British hops,” van Rossem says, “a classic-style British best bitter.” Continue reading 

Brew Scholars

Sasquatch Legacy Project pays tribute to a local giant

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. Continue reading 

Sky-High Aspirations

Corvallis brewery builds up

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.  Continue reading 

One Percent for the Watershed

You can give back with Oakshire’s IPA

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.  Continue reading 

Bike for Beers

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. Continue reading