Visit Our Valley
Eugene, Cascades & Coast
Start your beer pilgrimage in Eugene, which has been affectionately dubbed “Brew-gene” for its abundance of breweries. Eugene’s brewery district is centralized in the historic Whiteaker neighborhood. Ninkasi Brewing started brewing in “the Whit” in 2007 and opened a tasting room in 2009. Eugene’s other major breweries, Hop Valley, Oakshire & Falling Sky all have tasting rooms within walking distance from Ninkasi. Drive or bike out to Agrarian Ales, located on a chili pepper farm ten miles north of Eugene in Coburg. They grow all their own hops and always have a chili pepper beer on tap. The tasting room is a farmstand that overlooks a cherry orchard, gardens, hop vines and the verdant Willamette Valley. There are hula hoops, backyard games and even a yurt on the property; dogs and kids are always welcome. Want to an easy way to hit the highlights of breweries in the Eugene area? Check out the Eugene Ale Trail, launched in summer 2014.
Continue north through scenic countryside via Highway 99W to the friendly university town of Corvallis. Sky High Brewing’s towering brewpub rises four stories above the surrounding downtown; enjoy a brew on their rooftop bar overlooking the Willamette River. Walk three blocks down the riverfront to Flat Tail Brewing, named in honor the mascot of the local university, the Oregon State Beavers. Two more blocks and you’ll find yourself at Block 15 Brewing, housed in a historic downtown building and with a wide variety of seasonal microwbrews on tap. Next door is Les Caves Bier Taverne, a pub modeled after the great dining pubs of Europe. On tap you can find beers ranging from local to international; their bottle list includes more than 120 fine bottled beers stored in a temperature and UV-light controlled bar.
From Corvallis, take Highway 34 west into Linn County. Stop at the Eastgate Center, where you can visit three tasting rooms in one central location. 2 Towns Ciderhouse brews specialty hard ciders and was named one of Oregon’s five best ciders of 2014. Nectar Creek Honeywine brews mead crafted from local honey, and Mazama Brewing specializes in Belgian-style beers. Continue to the historic town of Albany (www.albanyvisitors.com), home of the state’s largest collection of historic buildings. Stop and admire the artistry at the Historic Carousel Carving Studio and Museum, where volunteers are hand-carving animals for a historic carousel. Walk down the riverfront path to Deluxe Brewing, Albany’s first “brewstillery;” both microbrews and fine spirits are created in their converted industrial building. Just blocks away is Calapooia Brewing Co., a cozy brewpub famous for their award-winning chili beer.
Just north of Albany, Oregon’s capital city has come into its own as a brewing center. Family-owned Gilgamesh Brewing occupies a renovated warehouse turned into a full-scale brewery and restaurant. Sip a microbrew in their outdoor seating alongside Pringle Creek. The latest brewery to come to Salem – Salem Ale Works - was opened in July 2013 by two college friends and former wildland fire fighters who founded their business on the motto “friends don’t let friends drink swill.” Let your inner child out at the Coin Jam, Salem’s first “barcade” featuring old-school video games, plus pub grub & local beers on tap. Take Highway 22 west to the farming town of Independence, where the Chatoe Rogue Hop Farm grows hops, barley, honey and more, which is then transformed into handcrafted beer and spirits by the fiercely independent Rogue Brewing Company. Stay a night in the funky 100-year-old farmhouse on site, the Hop ‘N’ Bed.
Stop to sip local Pinot as you travel north though the vineyards of Yamhill Valley, but don’t worry--wine isn’t the only thing local artisans have perfected. The foodie town of McMinnville is Grain Station BrewWorks, located in a renovated barn in McMinnville’s historic Granary District, and Golden Valley Brewpub, anchoring McMinnville’s brewing scene for more than 20 years. Stay in the historic McMenamin’s Hotel Oregon, a quirky downtown hotel with hand-painted artwork in the rooms and a rooftop bar.
Oregon’s Mt Hood Territory
Take a trip back in time as you travel from the Yamhill Valley to Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory. Stop and explore Champoeg State Heritage Area and get an ice cream cone at the Historic Butteville Store, dating from 1863 and considered the oldest continously operating store in Oregon. Ride the historic Canby Ferry, especially delightful in August and September when dahlias are in bloom, and always popular with the biking crowd. Enjoy an incredible meal at Dar Essalam in Wilsonville, which serves up an evocative Moroccan atmosphere, paired with authentic cuisine from the region. Afterward stop by the Beer Station for a pint of your favorite Oregon microbrew. At the neighboring McMenamin’s Old Church and Pub in a renovated church, you can expect good meals, tasty brews, live music, movie screenings and special events. Today, the interior of the pub is filled with unusual artwork and colorful murals that hearken back to the Church’s long history.