A Beervana Story
I don't generally post emails, but this one from Harth Huffman really caught my eye. I asked if I could post it and he agreed.
Recently, my buddy and I were planning our cycling adventure for the summer and I suggested Oakridge. He had never heard of it and asked if it met the requirement of having a good brewery or pub and I sent him some info on Brewers Union, based mostly on your reports. Well, we returned from our trip yesterday, and I want to tell you that Brewer's Union Local 180 is a real gem in the heart of Beervana!As for my own visit--soon! I have been planning to get down for months. First my dad had his injury, sending me to Idaho four times (he's made a complete recovery), and then I decided to paint the house. So, September for sure. Anyway, maybe others can act on Harth's advice in the meantime.
I, too, love cask ales, so this was on my radar since your initial reports, and the beer did not disappoint. In fact, it exceeded my expectations. They had six house cask ales on tap and several excellent guest taps (though we didn't bother trying any of them because house house brews were too good to pass on). Not only was the beer notable for the flavors and nuances all across the board, but it was refreshing (literally and figuratively) to find such quality beer in the 4.5 - 6% abv range. The IPA was excellent and unlike any I've ever had. On our last night, they changed the stout tap (which was also very nice) to a brown ale. I don't usually care for that style because it can be a bit too sweet for me, but I did not want to stop drinking this version, which had a nice hop balance to the rich malt, something normally restricted to beers much higher in alcohol content.
Again, we are talking about damned good beer here. Add to all this a limited but high quality pub menu with affordable prices (cheap, even), great staff hospitality, a homey, classic atmosphere in a nicely executed design, and some colorful locals while surrounded by mountains and a clear summer sky, and it adds up to an unforgettable beer experience, even in a region that regularly offers great beer experiences. The owner mentioned you hadn't been there yet, and I wanted to write to encourage you to make the trip (there is a nice hostel right up the street and great streamside camping two miles down the road). You will not be sorry.