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July 2015 Eugene Craft Beer News

Oregon Beer Growler - July issue

Find the July issue of the Oregon Beer Growler online, all over Oregon, or by subscribing

July is Oregon Craft Beer Month, and amazing beer is flowing at events are underway all over the state.

There’s also lots of news and features in Oregon’s craft beer world. The July 2015 issue of the Oregon Beer Growler shares stories of pioneers and key figures in Oregon’s beer world, from beer writer Fred Eckhardt to the ins and outs of running beer festivals. I’ve also got a few briefs and features in here:

  • Bad Backs But Good Hearts: Volunteers Make Sasquatch a Success, p. 13
  • A Craft Brewery for Junction City, p. 16-17
  • Mancave Launches Bike Delivery, p. 17 & 20
  • Long Game Leads to Year-Round Lager, p. 17

The lager piece, about how Eugene’s Ninkasi Brewing has been building to offering lagers in their flagship, year-round beers, is one I’ve been especially stoked about.

In other news, the Summer 2015 edition of Eugene Magazine is out, and is packed with tips on exploring Oregon this summer, an interesting dream home, paddle-boarding, and a tree-house primer. You can also check out my feature on Agrarian Ales, a farm and brewery near Coburg: “Farm-Fresh From Plate and Pint: Agrarian Ales offers seasonal food and ales.”

Now that you’ve got some reading material, here’s to curling up with a good beer too.




Summer Beer Picks

Wunderbier Kolsch. Image: Ninkasi Brewing Company

Wunderbier Kolsch. Image: Ninkasi Brewing Company

A cold beer during the hot summer satisfies in ways no wine or cocktail ever could. And here in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, our beery summer has already kicked off with lots of events, such as our recent Eugene Beer Week and Sasquatch Beer Fest, both held during the first week of June.

With summer and all the amazing beers out there, there’s no time to waste.

Here are some of the beers that’ll be keeping me cool:

Heater Allen Pils: In McMinnville in the heart of Oregon wine country, there’s a wee brewery that does something uncommon: brew nothing but craft lager. Lagers take longer to make than ales, so breweries don’t do them as often—if at all. And that makes Heater Allen so wonderful. They focus solely on lagers and refining that craft. Pils is crisp, malty, and refreshing, like the Czech beers it is based on.

Ninkasi Brewing Wünderbier: This kolsch-style beer from Eugene’s largest brewery combines the best of both worlds: fermented like an ale, conditioned like a lager. This golden, German-style beer is a great summer tipple.

Full Sail Session Premium Lager: For starters, I am a sucker for stubby bottles. And this slightly bitter easy, low-alcohol summer sipper is perfect for hot days.

What are you drinking this summer?




English-style Real Ale in Oregon

A Visit to Brewers Union Local 180 in Oakridge

Confession: my wife’s birthday was crap. She was sick and it was a rough, rough week. So we made up for it with a really, really good Mother’s Day of hiking in the foothills of the Oregon Cascades, followed by a late lunch and a pint of English-style cask ale at the Brewers Union Local 180 in the wee town of Oakridge, about an hour’s drive southeast of Eugene. (The BUL is also part of the Eugene Ale Trail.)

Founder Ted Sobel learned the craft of cask ale from brewers in England. He brought it back Stateside and decided to set up shop in the downtown of Oakridge, a town once bustling with logging and now known more for mountain biking and outdoor recreation. It’s an unlikely spot for some unlikely beers, and we had a brilliant time.

True cask ale is a wonderful beer experience. I’ll leave it to Britain’s Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) to describe it:

Real ale is a natural product brewed using traditional ingredients and left to mature in the cask (container) from which it is served in the pub through a process called secondary fermentation. It is this process which makes real ale unique amongst beers and develops the wonderful tastes and aromas which processed beers can never provide.

In other words, instead of forced CO2 and a chilled keg, real ale is typically served between 50-55ºF, and the carbonation comes from continuing fermentation in the cask. The beers change over time, and are complex in flavor and aroma, while also smooth and fun to drink.

The BUL is very family-friendly, and is made with traditional view of a pub in mind: it’s a place for the public to gather and be together.

In addition to the regular pool table, there is also a kid-size one. Books and games are everywhere. Live music is common. There are LED lights and bright colors, and wood paneling and dark corners. If this place were near my house, it would be a second home.

We feasted on fish-n-chips, steak-n-chips, and pints of light rye mild and Young Harry Porter—quite possibly my new favorite beer name.

So, for a truly unique Oregon beer experience that hails from across the continent and across the pond to England itself, take any chance you can to get to the Brewers Union Local 180. And if I can’t be there, have a pint for me.




3 May Eugene Craft Beer Articles

May has been a fun month for craft beer writing! Here are 3 big features about the Eugene, Oregon craft beer scene:




May Craft Beer Articles for Eugene & Lane County

May’s craft beer articles for the Eugene/Springfield area include one of my favorite topics to write about for the Oregon Beer Growler: women in the brewing industry. This year I had the privilege of interviewing Kate Price, who along with her husband Ben founded newcomer Hard Knocks Brewing in Cottage Grove. Our talk is on page 14 of the May Oregon Beer Growler, which you can read online or find in print all over the state.

Also, new for this month is an article for a new publication, Lane Monthly Magazine. Lane Monthly is highlighting the news, events, and lifestyle in the rest of Lane County. It was fun to talk up all the amazing craft beer happening in the rural areas outside Eugene/Springfield. Enjoy, cheers, and slainte!

And now I’d better get back to work. Deadlines ahead.




April Eugene Craft Beer Stories & Eugene Beer Week 2015

For fellow fans of the latest and greatest in the Willamette Valley’s craft beer scene, the April edition of the Oregon Beer Growler has some great stories in it. There are also 2 pieces of my own:

  • “Beer Is Love” Donates More Than 120,000 Pints to West Coast Causes, p. 13
  • Crowdfunding Drives New Growth for Springfield Startup, p. 18–19

You can read the OBG online, or find it in print in various locations.

In other news, the dates for Eugene Beer Week 2015 have been announced: June 1–7. More details and this year’s events coming soon to Eugene Beer Week.org.

Lots more to come over the next few months. The beer scene here just keeps heating up!




Eugene Craft Beer & Cider Stories, March 2015

Tap handles from Eugene and Springfield craft breweries and brewpubs

Image: Collin Andrew/The Register-Guard

What an exciting time to be a beer lover in the Willamette Valley! There is so much going on, and I’m so happy to have been part of some recent stories:




2 Homebrew Clubs & More Craft Beer Stories

Image: Oregon Beer Growler

Image: Oregon Beer Growler

Here in Oregon, the cities of Eugene and Corvallis are known for their football-driven rivalry. During November, that comes to a head in the Civil War game. And when it comes to beer and homebrew, there’s lots going on in both cities too.

In the November 2014 edition of the Oregon Beer Growler, I’ve written the cover story of 2 homebrew clubs, one in Eugene and one in Corvallis. There’s also a big round-up of everything craft beer in both cities. So if you want to know how to get your beer (or brew) on in these areas, you are all set!

Read the Oregon Beer Growler online or find a print copy »

See more of my Craft Beer Writing & Homebrew Articles




Halloween Beer: McMenamins Black Widow Porter

McMenamins Black Widow Porter 2014

The other night, my wife and I settled down to watch Great Estates Scotland: Rosslyn Chapel on PBS. I popped a beer that had come my way recently: McMenamins Black Widow Porter.

It was a lovely companion for learning about one of the world’s most mysterious buildings.

Black Widow poured thick and dark. On the palate, a silky, rich texture gave a pillowy mouthfeel, while bringing on flavors of plum and a hint of licorice, with a nice balance of sweet and roasted malt plus a refreshing bitterness. Given the pleasant tang on the finish, I was all the happier to savor this beer.

McMenamins Black Widow Porter 2014

  • Malts: British Pale Malt, Munich, Flaked Barley, Wheat, 135/165 Crystal, Black, Roast
  • Hops: Horizon
  • Additional Ingredient: Licorice Root
  • OG: 1.074
  • TG: 1.017
  • ABV: 7.35
  • IBU: 40
  • SRM: 38

Black, roasty, smooth, and scary good, Black Widow Porter is available only during October at select McMenamins locations throughout Washington and Oregon.




Sept. 22: Reading & Book Signing at The Bier Stein, Eugene

Mon., Sept. 22, 6 p.m.

Events at The Bier Stein, Eugene

Beer and books!

See you at The Bier Stein!

See you at The Bier Stein!

Travel. Destiny. Beer. Join local author Anthony St. Clair in the back room of The Bier Stein for an evening of wit, adventure, and beer as he reads from Forever the Road, his newly released third Rucksack Universe travel fantasy novel. Audience Q&A, book/travel/beer chat, books sales and signings of all 3 Rucksack books too. Sláinte!

FREE admission.

More events & interviews




Hi.

Anthony St. Clair - Travel Fantasy Author / Craft Beer Writer / Business Copywriter

Author and copywriter Anthony St. Clair has specialized in online content since 2000, blogged since 2004 and is the author of the Rucksack Universe travel fantasy series.

FREE Sample

Check out this free sample of FOREVER THE ROAD

Anthony's third book, FOREVER THE ROAD, is a Best Books 2015 Fantasy pick from Library Journal's SELF-e, and a 2015 Oregon Book Award nominee.

Download your free sample to find out why Nth Degree's reviewer said this "high-stakes story, told with wit and compassion," left him "completely gobsmacked."

Rucksack Universe

Travel fantasy tales
of wit, adventure & beer

Forever the Road by Anthony St. Clair, a Rucksack Universe Fantasy Novel - learn more and buy now

Home Sweet Road by Anthony St. Clair, a Rucksack Universe Fantasy Novella - learn more and buy now

The Martini of Destiny by Anthony St. Clair, a Rucksack Universe Fantasy Novella - learn more and buy now

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