Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Eugene City Brewery

844 Olive Street 
Eugene, Oregon

I'm back in Eugene, my old stomping grounds, home of the mighty Oregon Ducks and delicious Willamette Valley beer.  When I lived in Eugene, I really enjoyed going to Eugene City Brewery.  It has great food, a relaxed atmosphere, and a wide variety of Rogue beers.  ECB is not technically owned by Rogue; it is a Rogue brewery.  That's where I was confused before, I thought that ECB was a brewery that had its own beers and was acquired by Rogue, this is not the case.  The name Eugene City Brewery is a historic name of a brewery that was established in 1866 and was open for 7 years.  The pub, now named Rogue Ales Public House, was the location of Eugene City Brewery in 1866 and housed a Henry Weinhard's distributor from 1890-1914.  This space, furthering its beer history, was revived as a brewery by West Brother's BBQ restaurant in 1996.  In 2004, Rogue Ales purchased the building, renovated the facilities, and restored the brewery's historic name: Eugene City Brewery was reborn.

So now we're here in 2011 and at Rogue's Public House: Eugene City Brewery.  While researching for this trip I asked the question "Does anybody care about Eugene City Brewery anymore?"  Even though I got little response through my social networks, the answer was overwhelming when I stepped into the pub: it was packed!  Trivia night + the eve of a Duck game brought hoards of people in.  This includes my own hoard of lovely Eugenians (and Portlanders) I miss so much: Shannon, William, Erik, Amy, Spencer, Brandy, and Joy.  Then Amy's roommate Adam popped by, followed by my parents, and Shannon's friends Jenny and Scott.  It seems more and more like people love it here!

What's not to love?  This place has a ton of beer to choose from.  Track Town Ales are the beers that are brewed in-house by Nate Sampson.  Nate loves to experiment, so if you're looking for something out of the ordinary definitely choose a Track Town seasonal.  The other beers are obviously Rogue ales; these ales are brewed on at Rogue's flagship brewery in Newport.  Lots of beers to choose from, all of them sounding delicious after a day of plane travel.  I went with the Wet Hop Ale; it had the earthy, fresh taste that makes the wet hop season something to look forward to.  Our waiter informed me that Rogue and Track Town both brewed wet hop ales with the same recipe but differing in type of hops used.  Rogue used cascade hops while Track Town used crystal hops.  In the end, I preferred the Rogue version; I'm a sucker for darker beers.

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