Eugene, Oregon beer is synonymous with Ninkasi Brewing, maybe Oakshire and even Steelhead Brewing but until last year not much as far as new breweries as Portland and Bend boomed. In 2014 Eugene got Elk Horn Brewing who finally began releasing their own beers, Sam Bond’s Brewing also opened and now coming in 2015 MänCave Brewing and Beergarden opening in the Whiteaker neighborhood and McKenzie Inn outside of Eugene adding their own brewery.
5th generation Eugene, Oregonian Brandon Woodruff was discharged from the Navy in 2006 and quickly began his homebrewing career at Valley Vintner and Homebrew Supply, now called Falling Sky which spun off into Falling Sky Brewing. He decided he would open his own brewery before he even began homebrewing and after returning home and spending many years bartending and homebrewing with friends his dream is finally becoming a reality. Brandon along with his partner and best friend Wes. ManCave Brewing got their funding for the 3 barrel brewhouse and 3 and 6 barrel fermenters operation entirely out of their own pockets. Brandon has spent his time since returning to his hometown of Eugene by bartending and providing his homebrews for touring bands and performers brought in by a local production company he was working for.
Mancave Brewing does have a couple interesting ideas and approaches outside of the box of your typical homebrewer cum professional. For one they plan to open a Taproom called Höhle Verein which means “Cave Society” in German, the taproom will be open only to members, each of them obligated to purchase a piece of merchandise to become members but all of those profits will be donated to local charities and small business. “I was raised pretty dang poor 6 kids single mom. We def had someone help from some of these very organizations. Giving back to the community is more important to me than anything” said co-founder Brandon Woodruff.
Mancave Brewing plans to bottle their beers in 22oz bottles and all of the designs were done by Woodruff himself. Following in the tradition of his homebrewing days, Brandon wants to make lots of specialty beers for bands and festivals. Mancave beers in the planning are a Barrel Aged Porter, French Ale/Whitbeir and a non-standard IPA. Further down the line they plan to do a series of Hefeweizens, fruit beers, barrel-aged beers and one of Brandon’s favorite homebrews a Honey Ginger Wheat.
ManCave Brewing is almost a year behind schedule but will begin brewing in February and self-distributing in March. The Tasting Room is scheduled to open in May. Follow ManCave at https://www.facebook.com/mancavebrewingco
From the owners of 1 year old The Tap & Growler in Eugene comes a food cart pod built around a beer garden concept with 40-50 taps of beer, wine, cider and sodas and a bottle selection. Co-Founder Colby Phillips says “There are a few pods that have started to congregate, but nothing organized like this with a common building.” Colby describes the concept as combining a food cart pod, associated pub and a seasonally rotating outdoor and indoor garden in Eugene’s popular Whiteaker neighborhood. Simply called “BeerGarden” will take over and renovate an old service station on the 75 year old Gray’s Garden Center property on the edge of the Whiteaker. They are building a seasonally rotating food cart pod in 3,000 square feet in a cenced in space behind where the indoor pub will be. This will allow for indoor seating and an outdoor beer garden with fire pits and more seating with all food coming from the 5-6 seasonal food carts. Colby tells me they have been able to get nearly all the furniture and fixtures from an old Marie Calendar’s restaurant before it was torn down and that includes an old bar, booths, bar stools, chairs and old oak fireplace facades. “We couldn’t pass up this opportunity to unite some good local food carts with the garden center and create an inviting area for these carts and patrons to gather” said Colby. Beer Garden will be located at 777 W. Sixth Ave. Eugene, Oregon and plans to open in late Spring 2015.
McKenzie River Inn: Cabins, Bed & Breakfast and soon…Brewery
Located in Vida, Oregon outside of Eugene is three beautiful acres of lush grounds surrounding a river and old growth forest where the Mckenzie River Inn operates a bed and breakfast and cabins. Soon owner Bert de Klerk has applied for a Brewpub license and wants to take his homebrewing hobby into a professional brewery and open and renovate a new cafe on the grounds making this a great Oregon weekend getaway. The McKenzie Inn already offers Jacuzzis, decks, whirlpool tubs, spacious cabins and full breakfast caters to vegetarians and uses fresh fruit picked from their orchards. In your free time you can go on guided fly-fishing or rafting trips, float the river or take a beautiful hike. Right now ownership is working on opening a Health Cafe on the grounds and then build up a brewery for on-site consumption while working on funding to open a larger building and brewery. Owner Bert de Klerk has been homebrewing for some time and so does the Inn manager and they have a lot of fun exchanging brews so it makes sense to scale it up and add another reason for folks to make the trip to Vida for a getaway.
Finally across town on Eugene’s westside Agrarian Ales has been quietly brewing beer on their mostly self sufficient farmhouse brewery. Recently though they announced a funding campaign offering ownership shares in the company in order to grow without selling out. Full story here: http://newschoolbeer.com/2015/01/agrarian-ales-offering-shares-company-expand.html
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