By Sam Wheeler
For Oregon Beer Growler
That Civil War atmosphere that engulfs Eugene in the odd years and Corvallis in the evens is hard to beat as a football fan. And beer fans who’ll be in Corvallis for this year’s 120th contest of the fifth-most played NCAA college football rivalry, you’re in luck. Corvallis boasts a healthy craft beer scene, and you’ll find good brew anywhere from the city’s outskirts to the heart of downtown.
The Beavers have lost the last eight Civil War meetings. Here is a guide to tailgating at Reser Stadium and where in Corvallis you can watch the battle, whether the Oregon Ducks make it nine in a row or the Oregon State Beavers win at home.
Tailgating Outside Reser
Check the forecast and come prepared to tailgate at Reser Stadium, where rain has been known to fall. If you’re looking to set up camp, parking passes for passenger cars, RVs and buses are available at osubeaver.com.
Rules for tailgating include: no kegs or bulk dispensing of alcohol without prior approval and registration with Oregon State University, barbecues are to be attended at all times and pick up your trash and ash.
If you find yourself in need of a cooler restock, there are a few options within walking distance (all hours are for Saturdays).
Western Market, 2875 SW Western Blvd., 541-752-3647, 10 a.m. to midnight
This is the closest option to Reser. It’s located across the parking lot behind the old grandstand on the southwest side of the stadium. You’ll find a modest craft beer and wine selection and typical mini-mart food.
Washington St. Liquor Store/Deb’s Mixers, 575 SW Washington Ave., 541-753-7998, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
While this is a few blocks from the eastern edge of campus, it offers spirits along with craft beer.
If you don’t have a parking space, there are other locations around the stadium to enjoy an Oregon beer.
Adjacent to the stadium, you’ll find the Merrit Truax Indoor Practice Facility, which opens free of admission to tailgaters three hours prior to kickoff. Food and beer are served inside.
Deschutes Brewery is featured at a beer garden at Hilton Garden Inn Corvallis, which is a three-minute walk from Reser. There is also a small beer garden with craft on tap in a courtyard between the CH2M Hill Alumni Center and LaSells Stewart Center just across the street from the stadium.
If you’re looking to avoid the stadium crowd and slip into a bar to watch the game, you'll find plenty of fine craft beer around town.
Sky High Brewing, 160 NW Jackson Ave., 541 207-3277, 11 a.m. to midnight
Heated rooftop seating makes Sky High stand out, but there is also a pleasant bar with TV screens so that you don’t miss any of the action on the field. The menu is a nod to traditional pub food, and the venue will no doubt be packed for 120th Civil War, so get there early if you’re looking for a seat.
Block 15 Brewing Co., 300 SW Jefferson Ave., 541-758-2077, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Great craft beer and a unique pub-style menu makes Block 15 one of the most enjoyable craft beer/food experiences in Corvallis. TV coverage is limited, so get there early if you want a good view.
Flat Tail Brewing, 202 SW First St., 541- 758-2229, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Plenty of seating, tons of TVs and lots of Oregon State memorabilia make Flat Tail a favorite for Beaver fans. The food is hearty and there’s a variety of beer styles to wash it down. It’s sure to be packed for the game, but any seat is a good seat.
McMenamins Corvallis Pub, 420 NW Third St., 541-758-6044, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
McMenamins on Monroe, 2001 NW Monroe Ave., 541-758-0080, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
McMenamins always delivers a solid experience, food and craft beer-wise. The Monroe location will have plenty of students inside, and the pub bordering downtown might offer the most relaxed atmosphere available to watch the game at a bar around town.
Squirrels Tavern, 100 SW Second St., 541-753-8057, 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.
It’s a local establishment that’s been around more than 40 years. You’ll find pool tables upstairs and head to the ATM before you visit because it’s cash only. Squirrels will have at least a half-dozen quality craft beers on tap, but the TV coverage is limited. If you want a seat with a good view, get there early. Typical bar food comes out of the kitchen, but for some reason it tastes better at Squirrels. Be sure to try the burgers.
Mazama Brewing Co., 33930 SE Eastgate Circle, 541-230-1810, noon to 9 p.m.
Located on the eastern outskirts of Corvallis, Mazama is an outstanding craft brewery that specializes in true-style Belgian and American beers, making the drive worth it. A simple pub menu includes fries, salads and sandwiches.
By Sam Wheeler
For the Oregon Beer Growler
The personal writings and records of the late Fred Eckhardt, Oregon’s iconic craft beer aficionado, will be open to researchers and the public by spring at the Oregon Hops and Brewing Archives.
Eckhardt is the godfather of American craft beer commentary. Through his writing and enthusiasm, the Pacific Northwest native popularized the culture of craft beer and helped nurture it into the flourishing multi-billion dollar industry it is today.
“There is something special about certain individuals within an industry, within a culture. I think he is unique in the documentation that he produced,” said Tiah Edmunson-Morton, archivist at Oregon State University’s Valley Library and curator for the Oregon Hops & Brewing Archives. “I don’t know if anybody can be like Fred Eckhardt.”
Eckhardt, who died August 10, 2015 of congestive heart failure inside his Portland home at the age of 89, was one of the most well-respected and beloved personalities of the craft beer industry — not only in Oregon, but around the country.
His 1969 publication “A Treatise on Lager Beers,” written a decade before homebrewing was legal in the United States, was an exceptionally well-researched analysis of the development of lagers in North America and homebrewing. It helped spark the homebrew movement in the U.S. and, arguably, the country’s craft beer industry. His second, and most popular book, “The Essentials of Beer Style,” was published in 1989. They are both quintessential pieces of literature surrounding the history and production of craft beer in the U.S. Eckhardt in 1992 also published “Sake (USA): The complete guide to American sake, sake breweries and homebrewed sake,” and wrote hundreds of columns and newsletters throughout his career spanning four decades.
Throughout his lifetime of work, Eckhardt accumulated unpublished drafts, notes, newspaper clippings, photographs, emails, periodical subscriptions and more; more than 30 boxes worth, said Edmunson-Morton. But he kept everything meticulously organized.
“He was an incredibly enthusiastic advocate, and you can tell he really, really believed in the importance of what was happening. You could tell he really took joy in it, and it was interesting to him, and he wanted to learn more, and more and more,” Edmunson-Morton said. “He wanted to write about what was happening, he wanted to support the brewers that were growing, he wanted to encourage the public to try new things. His way of doing that was just to write, to research and to experience it himself.”
Edmunson-Morton and a few others on staff at OSU’s Special Collections & Archives Research Center, which maintains OHBA, have been sifting through the Eckhardt collection since mid-December, she said.
“What I really appreciate, what comes out — there are those quirks that we all have — but what I think comes out to me is he was so incredibly dedicated to collecting the record of what was happening,” Edmunson-Morton said.
Sharing one quirk she uncovered in the process of archiving his collection — Eckhardt hated attachments inside emails. Edmunson-Morton knows this from reading over countless physical copies Eckhardt made of all his emails. Those containing attachments were promptly met with an “all caps” response demanding no further attachments be sent to him.
From those small personal quirks to well-written depictions of an industry over the course of more than 40 years, the Eckhardt collection is a one-of-a-kind account of the history of craft beer in the U.S. and a glimpse into the personal life of someone who helped shape it.
“I don’t know that we will ever get another collection that is like this. It’s possible that Ken Grossman’s papers or Charlie Papazian’s papers would be like this, but I don’t know,” Edmuson-Morton said.
She still has more than half of the material Eckhardt set aside for OHBA to sort through, and expects to acquire more of his personal photos and journal entries pre-dating his interest in craft beer.
Eckhardt grew up in Everett, Wash., coached swimming and diving and was a World War II and Korean War veteran, prior to settling in Portland with his life partner Jim Takita and becoming one of his country’s most prominent craft beer writers.
Aside from the incredible record Eckhardt’s personal papers provide about the development of the craft beer industry in the U.S., his longtime subscriptions to publications such as: Celebrator Beer News, All About Beer and Zymurgy helped fill in several of the missing issues within OHBA’s volumes, Edmunson-Morton said.
“I am excited to see how people use this collection. I am honored that we have it,” Edmunson-Morton said. “For me, the most daunting piece of it all is the level of responsibility. It feels very important. It’s really hard to not read every piece of paper.
By Gail Oberst
You probably haven’t heard of Tiah Edmunson-Morton. She doesn’t brew beer, she doesn’t run in brewing circles, and she hasn’t published anything of note about the beer world.
But someday, if you live and breathe beer, you will want to visit some of Tiah’s work. Tiah and her cohorts at Oregon State University Library’s new Oregon Hops & Brewing Archives (or OHBA) are quietly gathering the artifacts of the drama that has become Oregon’s modern and vibrant brewing Renaissance.
OSU – a land grant university with a long agricultural past – has been keeping records on brewing and hops-growing for at least a century. This summer, Tiah began to hone collections for OSU’s archives in a way that was “more deliberate,” she said. These archives can put an archivist’s stamp of authenticity on Oregon’s brewing Renaissance.
Although she’s been working at OSU for seven years, Tiah’s work on OHBA has just begun, so she’s looking for help. To kick it off this fall, she staged several community events – including a cooking with beer event that featured beer-based foods made from historic recipes gathered and archived in the OSU Libraries. The recipes are now listed online, ranging from a 1914 rye beer gelatin to Depression-era egg beer and dozens of other beer dishes.
Creating an archive dedicated to documenting and preserving Oregon’s brewing past and present is not just an archivist’s work, it’s the community’s work, said Tiah. The more people know about the archives, the better the potential for collecting materials that may now be gathering dust in someone’s attic. Already, supporters have produced photos, event records, coasters, letters, postcards, stories and recordings related to people, places and beers we now see as “historic” in their importance.
And Tiah is moving into a new branch of archiving, born of the digital age.
“How do you preserve a website or a blog?” she said. “People are writing and talking about really amazing stuff at an unheard of level. They’re growing hops, brewing and visiting breweries and writing about it!”
You might mistakenly assume from her enthusiasm for social networking that she is new to this internet thing, but she is not. In addition to web archiving and working in virtual boxes to collect what people are producing, staff at OSU are also digitizing their historical photo collections and putting them online. She’s also blogging about her adventures in archiving Oregon’s beer history at http://thebrewstorian.tumblr.com. Thanks to the recipe event, OHBA now has a collection of old and new beer cookbooks, and her blog adds a few notes about new recipes being added, such as those at Deschutes’ www.deschutesbrewery.com/brews/pub-recipes. And, as a true librarian should, she indexes things to make it easy to access.
But Tiah also said she hopes that beer history events will bring people to the collections, not only so they’ll donate materials, but also so they’ll learn from them. “I’m hoping for a hands-on way to engage people,” Tiah said.
Those who are interested in the archives can start at http://scarc.library.oregonstate.edu/ohba.html, which has links to photos in Flickr and Tiah’s blog.
How can those of us who love beer help?
“We’re asking people to see their place in this history and see that we didn’t come to this place in history without a connection to the past,” Tiah said. “But we can also ask people to archive right now, so that researchers in the future will get it right about us. Think in the future,” Tiah said.
Beer writers, farmers, brewers and company owners need to consider how their information is being saved. “Think about your place in history, and record it. Be intentional and deliberate.”
That means taking the pictures off your phone and organizing them into accessible files with dates and identifications. That means backing up your files! For writers, it means doing real research, with information gathered from the source, not just repeated from blogs or other publications. For videographers, it means talking to people who have played a part in Oregon’s beer history, no matter what their role was. “Did they have any idea at the time they started that any of this would happen? I don’t think so,” Tiah said.
Tiah can be reached at 541-737-7387, or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Oregon, it’s the time of year when people show their true colors: Do you bleed green and yellow, or orange and black?
Whether you attended the University of Oregon or Oregon State University, if you live in Oregon, you probably have a favorite to win the Nov. 29 Civil War football game between the two teams. But more importantly: What will you be drinking?
Some breweries, whose staff and patrons may favor either team, shy away from favoritism and instead invite fans of both teams to special events in front of their big screen televisions Nov. 29. Other brewers, including Ninkasi, will be hosting tailgate parties outside of the event at Autzen Stadium.
But some Oregon breweries, Calapooia and McMenamins, for example, whole-heartedly take sides.
McMenamins has breweries in both Eugene and Corvallis – but brewers Gary Nance, Corvallis brewer, and Hanns Anderson, Eugene’s brewer – said they both become partisan Beaver and Duck fans during the Civil War, although both of them live in Eugene. The competition among McMenamins’ brewers is not confined to November, however; beer drinkers reap the benefits. Every year, McMenamins stages several competitive events among its brewers to showcase the variety of brews.
“It goes on all year long with a friendly vibe from Roseburg Station's ‘Arrogant Beaver’ and ‘High ST,’ to my ‘War Eagle IPA,’ brewed when the Ducks played Auburn a couple of years ago, and Benny's Bitter and Riley's Red, said Nance. “Brewers are a friendly folk. I think we all hope no one gets hurt and we both go to a sweet bowl game. Let the festivities begin! One last thing: GO BEAVERS!”
Anderson was forgiving: Most of their competition is just friendly smack-talk, he said.
A few miles northeast of Corvallis, two OSU alums, Mark Martin and his wife, Laura Bryngelson, take a more dedicated approach. Their Calapooia Brewery in Albany puts out kegs striped in orange and black, and on game days, you might find them both decked out in their school’s colors.
“We’re huge Oregon State fans,” said Laura. Despite their allegiances, Calapooia Brewery is staging an in-house “Civil War” between the orange-labeled Paddle Me IPA and Calapooia’s green and gold labeled Chili Beer. Whichever beer sells most by Nov. 29 will win Calapooia’s Civil War. Is it a coincidence that the award-winning Calapooia Chili Beer is the brewery’s most heavily awarded brew?
Other breweries, like the new Mazama Brewery just east of Corvallis, show their allegiance by noting OSU’s part in the brewing process. CBGB (Corvallis Belgian Golden Beer) is created entirely with yeast and hops bred and cultivated at OSU, said Gillian Tobin, marketing coordinator for Mazama.
By Gail Oberst
Doubled haploids: Think you don’t care about them? Put your beer down and read. This is important info for all beer drinkers.
My journey started with Barley Day at Oregon State University, where, oddly enough (to me) the conversation was not entirely about beer. Get this … I learned that people actually EAT barley.
Wow, what a versatile grain.
The point of this day dedicated to barley was to enlighten those of us in the beer and food industries about the tiny grains that, according to beer geeks everywhere, helped settle the nomadic world.
But forget ancient history. Behind most glasses of today’s Oregon’s ales is a bundle of research dedicated to growing, processing, cooking, malting and brewing barley.
Now, back to the doubled haploids. If not for research into barley propagation techniques such as those at OSU, you might have to wait a long time for researchers to breed barleys that do magic things like shake off diseases or withstand wet conditions like those in Oregon. Instead, researchers are breeding and growing these barleys now. And that research promises better barleys for the future.
Okay, you can pick your beer back up, and take a long, grateful swallow. Oregon may never be the main resource for the barley in your Oregon beer, but some day – thanks to this research – there may be more Oregon barley available for brewers.
In typical roguish fashion, Rogue is already growing and malting some of its own proprietary barley on 200 acres in Tygh Valley, in Central Oregon’s Wasco County.
A LOT OF EXCITING STATISTICS
According to the Oregon’s field office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Oregon grew just 25.4 million bushels of barley last year, a small fraction of the 220 million bushels grown in the U.S. About 53,000 acres were harvested in 2012, up from 32,000 the year before, so the acreage is growing. Oregon is not the only state to experience barley expansion. U.S. production of barley grew by 41 percent last year, thanks in no small part to growing demand from craft brewers. By the way, Patrick Hayes of OSU’s Barley Project says that 120,000 acres of barley would satisfy all of Oregon’s current brewing and distilling needs. Step it up, farmers!
ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS YOU DIDN’T ASK
Where does Oregon’s barley grow? Is it close to the breweries?
First question: According to Oregon’s NASS, of the 12 Oregon counties that grew any barley to speak of in 2011, only one was in Western Oregon – Washington County. The rest were in 11 counties in Central and Eastern Oregon, where dry conditions promote healthy grains.
The second question hardly matters, so why did I ask it? Because you may think it does. You don’t just toss a bunch of barley into the fermenter and “poof,” beer happens. Beer is made of malted grains, and so almost all of the barley grown in those 11 counties detours to Country Malt/Great Western Malting in Vancouver, across the Columbia River from Portland. At Great Western, after malting, a tiny bit of the Oregon-grown barley malt is bagged separately as Oregon Select Malt. The rest is blended with finished malt made from barley grown in six other Western states. It is then shipped all over the world. Because the Vancouver company is Ground Zero for much of the West’s malting Oregon has great access to the West’s malted barley – not to mention malts from around the world available through Country Malt Group, the warehouse and distribution arm of Great Western Malting Company.
THE FUTURE OF OREGON BEER
OSU’s research could further improve brewers’ access to Oregon’s barley, especially to those who want to offer small batches of all-Oregon beers, as Rogue does now. Rogue has been a great company for spending time and energy on things that might work, with occasional success. The barley farm in Tygh Valley is also home to Rogue’s malting floors. Rogue is among a few breweries that offer beers made with all-Oregon products including “Good Chit,” and others. In a related note, Rogue’s Independence Hopyard Farm, in the Willamette Valley, valiantly attempted to grow barley there without much success. Last year’s barley fields in Independence are now filled with pumpkins and other farm produce that does well in the Valley including honey, livestock, roses, nuts, berries, rye and acres and acres of hops.
Western Oregon farmers in no small way look to OSU for new breeds of barley that can give new meaning to the words “local beer.” Beer barley breeds able to withstand west-side cool, wet conditions are in experimental fields and greenhouses right now. Some of that barley is already in your bottle.
In OSU’s greenhouses, researchers tell visitors how the doubled haploids are part of a propagation technique in which plants are germinated directly from pollen. This allows researchers to bring plants to seed in 2 to 3 months, rather than an entire year. As a result, experimental breeds can be grown and tested 3 or 4 times faster than in traditional breeding programs. Viola! Better barleys! Better beers!
“It’s a fast and efficient method,” said Alfanso Cuesta-Marcos, an OSU researcher who has developed DNA modeling that predicts – with 73 percent accuracy -- how barley will fare in the field.
OSU’s beer-related research is not limited to the field. The university’s Food Science and Mechanical Engineer programs are working together to develop a small malting plant – small enough to fit in a brewery.
The experimental malter under construction in OSU’s experimental brewery can turn 300 pounds of barley in 4 to 7 days into enough malt for a three-barrel system, replacing the time and labor-intensive floor malting system with a one-vessel automatic system. Earlier this year, Jeff Clawson, pilot plant and brewery manager for OSU’s Food Science program, said students and staff are still working out the malter’s kinks. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, farms like Zack Christensen’s Heritage Malts operation west of McMinnville are experimenting with updated floor malting techniques that could bring small batches of malted barley to the public.
“The Willamette Valley could be a phenomenal malt barley production area,” said Clawson.
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