Tag Archives: Hop Valley

Road Trip Eugene

So Jeanette has decide Ninkasi is her favorite brewery and we need to do a brewery tour. So she organized a road trip to Eugene to tour the brewery and try out some other brew pubs while we were there. So I was initially not that excited about driving a hundred miles to tour another brewery not much different then the forty some I have already been to. Boy was I wrong. Ninkasi is the biggest brewery operation I have seen. And to find it in Eugene, even more of a surprise. We met up with Mike and Audrey at the Ninkasi tasting room at noon and soon began our tour. Another surprise was Matt our tour guide. First time I have had a brewery guide who was highly informed on all aspects of the brewery. Matt first took us through what had been their old brew house and still handles their smaller batch production. Then we walked across the street to the new brew house. The place is big and definitely on the regional scale if not larger. It was new and shiny and very automated. After being wowed by the tour we return to Ninkasi’s tasting room to try all of their beers. Out of ten beers Jeanette finally found a few she did not like. Which according to Matt was good as it meant they were still pushing the boundaries. From Ninkasis we head on to try some some other breweries in the area.

After a short walk we arrive at Hop Valley. Here we did another sample tray and had a little something to munch on. I was starting to see a trend here on the beer. The IPAs were fine but when it came to darker beers they just did not get it. So another short walk to Oakshire tasting room and another sample try. Again IPAs OK but as you move away from that not so good. Another short walk to our last brewpub Steelhead. This was the first brewpub to open in Eugene when a brewpub was a new idea. It was opening just as I was moving to Portland. This time we were ready for food and this place has a complete menu. The beer was old recipes and just so so but the food was good. So ended out Eugene visit. An land of IPA brewing but not a place for porters and stouts and other dark beers. Time for that long drive back to Portland.