South of Portland: Oakshire Brewing in Eugene
Our last stop of the day was Oakshire Brewing, in an industrial section of Northwest Eugene. While it's not an easy walk from downtown, it's definitely worth the trip to check out their offerings. It's currently only open on Saturdays for samples, but they have plans to expand your experience. From their website: "Oakshire Brewing’s tasting room is open every Saturday from 12-4pm for tastings and tours. We currently are only able to offer samples during our tasting rooms hours but will soon be able to sell full pints as well! Some great plans are on the horizon to add some picnic tables outside and maybe even bring in some live music as the weather continues to improve." UPDATE: I grabbed the above from their website, but Matt Van Wyk informed me that they are currently serving pints and up to seven different Oakshire beers on draft.
Oakshire Brewing was founded in 2006 by brothers Jeff and Chris Althouse with a 4 barrel brewing system and 8 barrel fermenters. For everyone that can do the math: yep, a lot of double batches to fill up those conicals. They have recently expanded to a 15 barrel brewing system and added much larger fermenters, taking as many as five batches to fill up the largest. Their current capacity is now 7500-800 barrels You can see the effects of the new capacity on the their production timeline:
- 2006: 6 barrels
- 2007: about 300 barrels
- 2008: about 1100 barrels
- 2009: about 2000 barrels
- 2010: about 3600 barrels (expected)
Their flagship beers are the Watershed IPA and Espresso Stout, making up 50% of their total production. Estimates on current bottle and draft production fall into the 88% draft, 12% bottles.
March 30th 2009 was the official start date for brewer Matt Van Wyk, who took over the brewing helm at Oakshire after an impressive and award winning career at Flossmoor Station in Illinois. We toured the facility with Matt and tasted some beers from the fermenters. Most surprising was their latest creation: O'Dark:30, a Cascadian Dark Ale. With only two days in the fermenter, it already tasted quite good. Usually, beer this young can taste very unfinished since it's still in the middle of the fermentation process. The O'Dark:30 still had a bit to go, but one sip of this creation easily pointed to the beginnings of a great beer. Portland will be able to taste the finished product when bottles and draft start hitting the shelves and taps this week.
So, keep your eye out for the Oakshire name on tap handles and bottles in your area. Below is a summary list of their offerings. Check out their website for the full list and more details on their year round and seasonal and single batch offerings.
Year Round Beers:
- Oakshire Amber – ABV: 5.4% / IBUs: 30 / OG: 12.8° Plato
- Watershed IPA – ABV: 7.1% / IBUs: 75 / OG: 16.1° Plato
- Overcast Espresso Stout – ABV: 5.8% / IBUs: 37 / OG: 14.5° Plato
Seasonals and Single Batch Beers:
- Cornucopia Frog’s Wort Pale Ale – ABV: / IBUs: / OG: ° Plato
- Smokin’ Bagpipes Strong Scotch Ale – ABV: 7.0% / IBUs: 12 / OG: 16.5° Plato
- Very Ill Tempered Gnome Winter – Ale ABV: 9.7% / IBUs: 100 / OG: 18.8° Plato
- Ill Tempered Gnome Winter Ale – ABV: 6.8% / IBUs: 65 / OG: 15.5° Plato
- Red Nugget American Red Ale – Fresh Hop Series
- Harvest Ale – Fresh Hop Series
- Cascade Conundrum Black Pale Ale – Fresh Hop Series
- Line Dry Rye – ABV: 5.5% / IBUs: 35 / OG: 12.0° Plato
- Perfect Storm Imperial IPA – ABV: 10.0% / IBUs: 100+ / OG: 19.9° Plato
- Glen’s Hop Vice Imperial IPA – ABV: 9.1% / IBUs: 100+ / OG: 20.3° Plato
- Oakshire Hindsight ESB Spring Seasonal – ABV: 5.8% / IBUs: 50
- Oakshire Sasquatch Stonge Ale – ABV: 9.3% / IBUs: 78 / OG: 19.8° Plato
- O'Dark:30 – ABV: 6.3% / IBUs: 70 / OG: 15° Plato
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