Tuesday, May 15, 2007

On the Road-Part Deux

So if you've been following our blog lately, you got the beginning of my trip to Oregon story. This will continue into day two when I visited a few breweries in Eugene Oregon.

For those who haven't been with us for a while, you of course are cursed by the downfall of this scrolling blog and you have to look down for part one of my journey. Go ahead, we'll wait....

Good, you're back. So we set out to visit some breweries on Friday since I knew it might be hard to catch people on the weekend. First we cruised down to Eugene City Brewery. This is the former West Bros. brewery which was bought as a Rogue Outpost. The beauty is that Trevor (met for the first time this trip) gets to brew 5-6 of his own beers, while having a full back bar of Rogue beers. Those that are familiar with Rogue know that that can be quite a draw, and once you have 'em in the door-whamo, they'll be hooked on your great beer, or so we hope. Anyway, we got the full tour and were treated very well. I think I had about 25 samplers-they had a lot of beer! You can see from a few of these pics though that the brewing system is a little "pieced together". Not so much a showpiece for people to ooh and ahh over, but it gets the job done. Trevor had some great beers on Tap.

Next was Steelhead(sorry no pics-we have been here several times), probably the closest brewpub to what we have here at Flossmoor. Not upscale, but definitely some work was put into the menu and decor. Ted is the new brewer here and doing great stuff. I had a delicious Baltic Porter. Ted replaced long-time (16 years I think??) brewer Teri Fahrendorf (yes a woman-and a woman who makes great beer). See here blog about her new upcoming adventure.

After that, we stopped to pick up a growler at McMennamins-High Street. If you haven't been to one, check out their website. It's a big chain, but they are far from it. Each location is unique and they tend to take historic buildings and make them into brewpubs. Schools, theaters, houses, you name it. High Street is in a residential neighborhood and it looks just like any old house in a college hood, until you get closer, it is a brewpub. The best spot is out back where you can sit on the deck with a beer and dip some tater tots in peppercorn ranch dressing. Heaven! Seriously, you'd think you went to your buddies house to sit on the back porch. Only your buddy has a draft system with 8 craft beers on tap and his wife is serving you for 20%.

Finally we met up with Jamie Floyd. No, not a long lost brother to the ones in Munster. This guy was the brewer at Steelhead for maybe nine years. He has started his own brewery, Ninkasi, and is doing quite well. Currently he leases a brewery to make draft only beer for the market while he builds his own brewery in Eugene. Here are some pics of the construction:

Jamie also stays busy with the Oregon Brewers Guild and was great to take time out of his brewing and construction hassle for us.
You will be hearing more of Ninkasi in the future if you follow the craft beer scene in America.

Finally we took our growlers home and enjoyed a great day of beer hunting. Dang! Two days down and it feels like we put a week's worth of sampling great beer. What's next.....? -winery, mountains, Bend and Deschutes..and more!

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