At the outskirts of the most liberal municipality in America, NINKASI BREWING COMPANY thrives at a remodeled Eugene plumbing store since 2006. Formerly located in neighboring Springfield, which currently houses Hop Valley Brewery, this bottling and keg plant in the industrial Willamette Valley also features a very sanitary 18-stool tasting room for the general public, perused December ‘09.
Lively grapefruit peel-embittered, currant-spiced, grassy-hopped, maize-muted Matt’s Autumn Wheat draped orange-tangerine tang over slight metallic astringency. Dry hop-spiced orange-yellow-fruited currant-juniper-embittered Quantum Pale Ale gained floral black tea backdrop. Lighter-than-most, Total Domination IPA worked polite piney grapefruit-orange peel bittering into corn-dried floral spicing and latent mango-apricot-pineapple tropicalia. Roasted oats-flaked Oatis Oatmeal Ale secured black chocolate-cappuccino-espresso triumvirate with tannic grape, walnut, and molasses illusions. Sullen fig-date-soured bock-light Sleighor Double Dark Alt lacked wintry seasoning.
During December ‘09s historic Civil War for the Roses between the Oregon State Beavers and the Oregon University Ducks, the two school’s battled it out on the gridiron in Eugene for the chance to go to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Afterwards, happy Ducks fans settled in at EUGENE CITY BREWERY to celebrate victory and the Pacific Ten championship.
Co-owned by Rogue Brewery and Eugene City Brewery, this downtown Eugene venue offered 20 great tap beers by Rogue as well as a trio of brewer Nate Sampson’s libations. A cafeteria-styled mid-size space with pictures, graffiti, and basement-level brew tanks, its small back bar had 3 TV’s showing highlights of the big game (the first ever state game in Oregon to decide Rose Bowl consideration in 100 years). I ordered a salmon sandwich and clam chowder to go with the three light-bodied Eugene offerings – two named after Oregon University’s famed track team. All three are bottled for local consumption as well.
Smooth yellow-orange-red-fruited Triple Jump Pale Ale integrated spiced-hops with light caramel malting. Tender wheat-soured tangerine-juiced grapefruit-tart coriander-spiced vanilla-glazed Honey Orange Wheat may’ve lacked assertion, but perfume-hopped floral-spiced pine-needled pale-malted 200 Meter IPA efficiently wrapped juniper-currant-grapefruit peel bittering around apple-peach-orange fruiting and doughy white wheat graining.