‘Tis the season to get those summer lips to sipping on some seasonal brews, and lucky for you, we’ve staked out the best of the best in our greater Oregon region. Here’s a taste of what’s brewing this summer, and a look at who’s behind the brewer’s curtain.
300 SW Jefferson Avenue and 3415 SW Deschutes Street, Corvallis
Block 15 brews a wide variety of ales including pale, fruit wheat (spiked with seasonal Oregon-grown fruit), red, or their Hop Experience Ale. Currently on tap is their Powder to the People progressive IPA, brewed with only the finest hops. Beyond the hop and ale universe are their unfiltered pilsner and oat stout. Or if, for some reason, you’re not in the mood for a fermented brew, there’s always their draft root beer.
202 SW 1st Street, Corvallis
Looking for a good sour, or something malty and light-bodied? Just across from North Riverfront Park in downtown Corvallis, Flat Tail has plenty of outdoor seating to enjoy the view with their award-winning Kölsch or Saison. You can also add a little more heat to your summer brew with El Guapo’s habanero infusion, which includes a bit of cucumber and lime to mellow out the kick.
160 NW Jackson Avenue, Corvallis
Sky High’s rooftop is the one place to drink your beer in Corvallis closer to the sun, moon, and stars. They have a wide selection of ales of the pale, amber, and wheat variety along with an interestingly hoppy pils. The light and summery Corvall—also served at Knights games—and Farmer’s Tan Saison are great for keeping cool over the summer. Check in often, though, as new brews continually appear.
33930 SE Eastgate Circle, Corvallis
Mazama Brewing is the place to go if a quaffable Belgian ale is your desire. Although that is their specialty, Mazama also offers a selection of American ales and IPAs. There is even a porter available for those who like their brews on the darker side. It’s definitely worth checking out the taproom, which often carries Mazama beers that are hard to find elsewhere. Catch a whiff of their Cherry Blossom Saison, brewed with tart cherries and sitting at a 6.7% ABV.
420 NW 3rd Street and 2001 NW Monroe Avenue, Corvallis
McMenamins is a chain. It’s true. Get over it. All of the house beers are solid contenders in their respective styles. Taking it to another level are the seasonal ales and other one-off batches that can be truly unique and engaging. Try the Boysenberry Cream Stout on nitro or the Red Riser IRA, with a tropic hops flavor.
Oregon Trail Brewery
341 SW 2nd Street #A, Corvallis
No brewery feels more like a part of Corvallis than the Oregon Trail Brewery. Tucked away in the back of the Old World Deli, Oregon Trail Brewery has been operating since 1987. You can find the beers on tap at the deli. While several brews are old standbys, the relatively small scale of the operation allows for constant creativity. Stop by and ask what they’re working on, and you might just get a taste of something brand new—or opt for classics like the Ginseng Porter or the Oregon Trail IPA.
2 Towns Ciderhouse
33930 SE Eastgate Circle, Corvallis
A Corvallis gem, 2 Towns Ciderhouse is coming up on seven years of residency here. Their tap room is across the river just off of 34, with 14 rotating taps and a minimal snacking menu. Their latest release is the Prickle Me Pink ^2, made with Northwest apples, prickly pear, and new this year, watermelon.
Calapooia Brewing Company
140 NE Hill Street, Albany
Sitting just up the Willamette River in Albany is local staple Calapooia Brewing Company. If not known for being sold in just about every pub in the valley, their most famous brew is the Chili Beer. Amber in color with light hops, the chili beer combines jalapeno, serrano, and Anaheim peppers to create an award-winning drink with quite the kick.
2195 14th Avenue SE, Suite 103, Albany
The Outpost is an extension of Vagabond Brewing out of Salem. The brewery, with roots in the Marine Corps and a welcoming soul, has only been open in Albany for a few months, but seems to have found quick success. Marketed as a sports bar, they serve brews of their own along with local craft favorites.
Deluxe Brewing Company
635 NE Water Avenue, Albany
Deluxe has been brewing in Albany since 2011, but its founders were winning awards before that. After enjoying their specialty lagers, check out their distillery for something harder. With its genuine amber color, Deluxe’s Wild Beaver Amber Lager is possibly the prettiest and the sweetest of their ales, with a strong citrus taste.
980 Kruse Way, Springfield
990 W 1st Avenue, Eugene
Hop Valley entered the ranks of Oregon brewer heavyweights in 2009 and has gained more and more followers ever since. Hop Valley has a tasting room and production brewery located in Eugene and a restaurant and brewery located in Springfield—the former hop production center of Oregon. Like their name suggests, Hop Valley offers a range of tasty spirits brewed with hops. Want one for the summer? Try Sir Orange Lot Pale Ale.
31115 Crossroads Lane W, Eugene
Just north of Eugene, Agrarian Ales sits on 25 acres of farmland, exemplifying the true farm-to-table, table-on-farm experience. Their main goal is to grow every single ingredient of their beer on their own land. Their most recent release is the Herbal Kettle-Sour. Head over to their barn to get a taste.
272 Van Buren Street, Eugene
Launched by two friends in the early 2000s, Ninkasi has become one of the largest and fastest growing craft breweries in the country—the 33rd largest in 2016 to be exact. Another Eugene-based brewery, Ninkasi can be found pretty much everywhere. Though their menu may not be as extensive as some, each beverage is brewed to perfection. Their original creation, Total Domination, remains an excellent choice 98% of the time.
Falling Sky Brewery
1334 Oak Alley, Eugene
Falling Sky came on the scene in 2012 as a collaborative project—with a brewer, an owner of a brewing supply, and a soon-to-be restaurant owner, Falling Sky was born. Now the Eugene-based enterprise includes a brew house, a pour house and delicatessen, a pizzeria, and a fermentation supply shop, all in its home town. Next time you are in Eugene, drop by their pour house and delicatessen and enjoy the professionally designed aesthetic with a glass of Tank Top English Golden Ale.
1030 Tyinn Street, Eugene
A newish brewery, Claim 52 opened in Eugene in 2012. In addition to their original location, the brewery now also operates the Abbey, a converted church in downtown Springfield. The brewery has a fun, community feel, boasting beers with names like Fluffy IPA and We Smoked It All, plus regular Wednesday-night pub runs. Don’t miss the brewery’s Claim 52 Kolsch, a beer that will redefine your understanding of “light” beer.
520 Commercial Street, Unit F, Eugene
Not to be confused with braggart, a braggot is a fermented drink traditionally enjoyed by Vikings. Imagine beer mixed with mead. Viking Braggot uses local honey and organic craft beers to create something truly unique. Sunna, a seasonal favorite, is brewed with organic clover honey, hibiscus, and blueberry. It’s slightly tart with a beautiful purple hue. It’s easy drinking for summer, when the living is easy, too.
1055 Madera Street, Eugene
Oakshire’s Perfect Storm Double IPA is a cheerful beer that is light in color and energetic in flavor, well-suited to a summer afternoon and exactly what one expects in an IPA. Oakshire’s Overcast Espresso Stout, on the other hand, is dark and has a strong, distinct scent and flavor, providing a caffeinated boost for your summer adventures.
263 Mill Street and 207 Madison Street, Eugene
Community chalk art is all too often an underutilized medium of communication—but not at ColdFire. The Western Sun is sure to satisfy those in search of a classic West Coast IPA this summer, with hints of grapefruit, berry notes, and just a touch of tangerine. ColdFire and Flat Tail Brewing in Corvallis collaborated to create Tribal Knowledge, a dry hopped guava sour beer, just ahead of Eugene Beer week earlier this June.
686 E Broadway, Eugene
Not much else will make you feel more at home than fried catfish, jalapeno hushpuppies, and big bowl of collard greens—except maybe the tap list. Eugene’s Elk Horn Brewery is a family-owned gastropub, brewery, and cider house that specializes in Southern-style dishes fixed up with Northwest flavors. If you find yourself thinking dangerously down south in Eugene this summer, Elk Horn’s Playing with Fire Smoked Helles or Liver Cleanse Apothocary Belgian Ale more than merit consideration.
540 E 8th Avenue, Eugene
A block south of the Willamette River and the Ruth Bascom Riverbank Trail, Sam Bond’s Brewing resides in Eugene’s historic Foundry Building. Sam Bond’s Garage opened in 1995 and has offered a laid-back atmosphere and a fantastic local microbrew selection ever since. Escape a bit of the heat this summer with a pint of their American Wheat Ale, Rosie, spiced with spearmint, rose hips, and hibiscus. Stop by for live music most Monday, Friday, and Saturday evenings.
2320 SE Marine Science Drive, Newport
3590 Wigrich Road, Salem
Who could ever forget their first Dead Guy? Here in Oregon, the nearly 30-year-old Rogue Brewery remains a stalwart of the craft-brewing scene. The brewery’s main facility in Newport is worth a visit, but this summer, don’t miss the chance to visit Rogue Farms, just off I-5 south of Salem. There you can spend a sunny day tasting a wide range of rotating specials and playing outside near fields and fields of hops. Locally, you can always find Hazelnut Brown, my Rogue standby, on tap at Squirrels Tavern in downtown Corvallis.
833 S Main Street, Lebanon
The first ever commercial brewery in Lebanon, the owners describe Conversion Brewing as a coffeehouse that serves beer, meaning it’s family-friendly and not as rowdy as a typical bar. If you want something fruity and piney, try a pint of Amen IPA. Want to learn how to drink beer like a pro? Join Conversion Brewing the first Tuesday of every month and participate in a beer judging class.
33180 Cape Kiwanda Drive, Pacific City
This brewery opened in 1996 and now has more than 20 years of awards under its belt. In addition to the original location in Pacific City, Pelican operates a restaurant/brewery in Cannon Beach and a taproom in Tillamook. Pelican’s variety pack is a good go-to for parties, and this summer, look for the seasonal brews Sun Flare, a dry-hopped pale ale, or their lager cerveza Pelicano starting in July.
4649 SW Highway 101, Lincoln City
Looking for a brewery that promotes sustainable practices in their community? Rusty Truck is going green by reusing water and recycling their used malt for animal feed. This summer, check out their Stupiphany Imperial Red Ale. What’s a stupiphany? Just that “sudden, inspired, and profound feeling that you did something stupid.” We’ve all been there. For something a little fruitier, try the Juicy IPA with passionfruit and mango.
210 NW 11th Avenue, Portland
901 SW Simpson Avenue and
1044 NW Bond Street, Bend
For a fresh summer buzz, try Deschutes’ Inversion IPA, distinguished by an attractive label showing a rocky mountain peak surrounded by a sea of fog which the morning sun is just beginning to burn away. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the Obsidian Stout, a very dramatic beer, pouring from the bottle in a black stream. It has a distinctive scent and flavor that give a strong sense of satisfaction as you drink it, making it a good accompaniment to meat and bread.