Enjoy all things beer-related as the eighth-annual Eugene Beer Week kicks off with The Bier Stein’s Invitational Beer Fest Saturday, June 2, and continues through Sunday, June 10, at venues all around town.
Its objective, organizers say, is to shine a light on craft beer made in the Willamette Valley.
“There is a really rich history of brewing in Eugene, and a rich history of research and development in the valley,” says organizer Mike Coplin, one of the owners of 16 Tons Taphouse in Eugene, which sells a variety of local brews.
“Eugene Beer Week was loosely modeled on beer weeks in San Francisco and Seattle,” he says. “It’s a really fun, all-inclusive event.”
Beer Week events will take place at most breweries and some non-breweries as well. Most events are free, though some — such as a pairing dinner — will cost money.
Among some of the highlights:
Springfield’s Public House is the newest incarnation of Sprout!, the former food incubator at the old First Christian Church building at 418 A Street. It will be holding beer-related events daily from Tuesday, June 5, through Sunday, June 10, though not on Friday, June 8.
In Eugene, beergarden., 777 W. 6th Avenue, will hold a “pop-up pub” from Monday, June 4, through Thursday, June 7, with more than 25 Modern Times beers on tap.
The Bier Stein’s Beer Fest runs noon to 8 pm Saturday, June 2, and will include slices from Oregon Wood Fire Pizza and music by High Tolerance and Soul Vibrator. The Bier Stein will also hold a pairing dinner with Eugene’s Oakshire Brewing from 6 to 9 pm Tuesday, June 5; tickets are $65 in advance at the bar.
Local craft brewing started in Eugene in the 1980s, Coplin says, pushed forward by the botanical development of the Cascade hop at Oregon State University, which inspired now-gone Eugene breweries such as the Wild Duck and Fields.
Cascade was bred at OSU by botanist Jack Horner; it was released in the early 1970s and is now the most popular variety of hops used by craft breweries in the United States. It was first used commercially in 1976 by California’s New Albion Brewing, said to be the first modern craft brewery in the U.S., in its American pale ale.
Eugene now has about a dozen craft breweries, Coplin says, and all are participating in Beer Week.
For a complete list of events, see eugenebeerweek.org.