When life gives you rain… brew beer
Falling Sky, Eugene’s newest brewery and brewpub, makes me want to go out for a beer more often. It’s comfortable, airy and family-friendly. The fries are excellent. And there’s no feckin’ TV or blaring music to make me want to split my head open with a maul.
Plus, Falling Sky is right in downtown Eugene, tucked into Oak Alley behind the Falling Sky Brewing Fermentation Supply Shop on 13th (same ownership, they simply renamed Valley Vintner & Brewer).
This could easily be Eugene’s best brewpub.
The ever-bolstered downtown Eugene brew scene
Here in rainy ol’ Western Oregon, we in Eugene have far more pouring than mere water. The last 10 years have brought a new flurry of brewing and microbrew goodness to Eugene, from local juggernaut Ninkasi and the diverse craft of Oakshire, to the ever-packed Bier Stein and the connoisseur selection in 16 Tons.
And, to be sure, we have brewpubs. Steelhead and McMenamins High Street have long held down the fort in downtown Eugene, but they needed company. When Rogue’s Eugene City Brewery came along, it further bolstered downtown’s brewpub scene. Hop Valley is fab (even typing their name has me fondly remembering their mac-n-cheese), but their I-5/Gateway location isn’t exactly stumbling distance for the Eugene dweller.
The new Falling Sky Brewing is something different.
Eugene’s best brewpub?
The light yellows, light blues and natural wood finishes give the place a convivial, welcoming air. The long, picnic-style communal tables make it easy to do your own thing, talk with friends or get to know the folks sitting next to you. A cabinet is marked “Kids Games”. Behind a large inside wall/window, the steel and copper-clad brewing equipment gleam. Come summer, I want to claim an outside table as a second home.
Yes, I like this place.
On my first visit to Falling Sky, with a friend and fellow dad on a recent Saturday afternoon, we silently fist-pumped at all the wee kids and families about the place. This was our kind of pub: the kids could play, and we could have a beer.
His burger satisfied; my fries came out wafting of potatoes, and crunched just right. We talked for ages, about the problems of the world, about being fathers, about the books we were working on.
This was definitely our kind of pub.
But is it Eugene’s best brewpub?
The verdict awaits the beer
No business startup is without its hiccups. For Falling Sky, the hiccup has been its brewing equipment. Kinks in the brewing system have meant Falling Sky isn’t serving their house beers yet (though some will be available at the upcoming KLCC Microbrew Fest). Instead, a diverse list of guest taps is pouring; when I was there, beers from Corvallis to California were filling up pint glasses.
And for now, that will keep the jury out on whether or not Falling Sky may, in fact, be the best brewpub in Eugene. The food and atmosphere are amazing… but until we can properly sample Falling Sky beers, we’ll just have to keep coming back to see when what’s pouring at Falling Sky, is Falling Sky.
More about Falling Sky in the news
- Brewing Beer While the Sky is Falling – KLCC (NPR)
- Eugene brew supply store readies new brewpub restaurant – KMTR
- New Brewers on the Block – Register-Guard
- Forecast for Eugene: Falling Skies – Beer and Coding in Eugene
- Falling Sky Brewing to feature handcrafted brews, locally sourced cuisine – School of Architecture and Allied Arts – University of Oregon