Day 68 – Over the Rainbow to Where the Sidewalk Ends – Eugene, OR

Miles biked – zero (Caroline 10)

Approx total – 3313

Days to Party- 7

11/6/2009 It was a stormy night in Eugene, which made us all especially happy that we had a roof over our heads and were not getting up early in the morning to ride.  Instead, we’d decided to take a day to explore Eugene and then hop on the Amtrak to Portland the following day.  The weather report said rain for the next 4 days and we had a schedule to  (at least sort of) stick to if we wanted to get to Seattle in time.

Our bonus day in Eugene was definitely the right decision.  We absolutely loved that city!  In the morning, we had coffee at Shane and Missy’s and then went out to explore.  Caroline went on a spectacular run on Pre’s Trail while Anders, Sara and Tracy went to a local coffee shop to geek out.   After sufficient emailing, blogging and postcard writing was done they walked all over town looking for the perfect lunch spot, eventually settling on an all natural burrito place recommended by a passerby.  Then the 4 of us met back up at Ninkasi for a tour of there bustling brew operation.

We were given the royal treatment by Ninkasi’s newest employee Zoe, who had just been hired to run their new tap room in the new building they were moving into THAT DAY.  It was a hubbub of activity and we got to be in the center for a brief moment.  We tried some of their latest beers and got a view from the roof of their neighborhood, locally referred to as “The Whit”.  Zoe was bursting with excitement about the place and her energy was contagious.  How could it not be with Ninkasi being only a 3 year old company that had doubled their production every year since they opened?  We could have walked away after the tour perfectly content having seen the place and tried the beer and learned about their name sake (the Sumatran goddess of fermentation) but then they really went above and beyond and hooked us up with t-shirts and a case of their Radiant Summer Ale.  Thanks so much to everyone at Ninkasi for a great visit!  Walking out we watched as a double rainbow formed over the brewery feeling like we had just left somewhere that was truly special.

However, rainbows are the result of one thing you don’t really want when you are on foot about to walk 2 miles to another brewery with a case of beer and two laptops in hand – rain.  Caroline had smartly biked to the brewery after her run, so she was lucky enough to not be on foot but the rest of us had a long walk ahead of us.  We all stood for a moment trying to figure out what to do, we even called a car service, to no avail, before deciding to just hoof it.  Caroline rode back to the house, feeling a little burned out after her long day and still a little worried about her bent bike wheel while the rest of us took turns carrying the beer and the computers as we made our way to our next stop on our Eugene brewery tour: OakShire Brewing.

OakShire is a smaller Eugene brewery, originally called Willamette Brewing, that had actually contacted us when they found out we were biking through the area.  Their head brewer Matt knew the guys at Beermapping.com, who we’d used to plan our trip, and through them found out about our trip.  It was a huge compliment to be contacted by the brewery and we were excited to check out the place.  They did not disappoint.  We tried all the beers available in there tap room and loved them all, especially the Espresso Stout and the Ill-Tempered Gnome.  We even got to sample of a small batch of Really Ill-Tempered Gnome they had still in the tank.  Good stuff.  While there, Matt gave us a tour while their assistant brewer, Dana was hard at work.  Dana is the only female brewer we met on the trip and it was exciting to chat about her experiences in the industry so far.  Sounds like if Sara or Tracy want to make the leap there are many places that would love to have a woman on board.

At the end of the tour, it was time to get home, now with TWO cases of beer as Matt also hooked us up with some tasty OakShire brews to take with us up to Portland.  We were about 3 miles from home but as it turns out, right on Matt’s route home!  He told us to just hang out for a few minutes while he wrapped up and he’d be happy to drop us off.  Brewers are the nicest people.  While we were just hanging out, we met Jeff, the owner of OakShire and their former head brewer.  After getting to talking, he asked if we had a place to stay in Portland.  We told him we had a possible floor to sleep on but nothing definite, to which he responded “you should just stay in the apartment my wife and I keep up there for when we have to work.”  The twig knew what it was doing when it sent us to OakShire.  Thank you so much Jeff, the place worked out perfectly.

Back at Shane and Missy’s we were invited to movie night.  We grabbed a bite to eat and then watched a movie on their home projector while munching on ice cream bars.  Then it was a quick dip in the hot tub and we were off to bed.

Ninkasi Brewing

Ninkasi Brewing

Happy to accept a case of Ninkasi Radiant

Happy to accept a case of Ninkasi Radiant

Matt at OakShire pouring some brews

Matt at OakShire pouring some brews

Save the planet sign at OakShire

Save the planet sign at OakShire


 
 
 

One Response to “Day 68 – Over the Rainbow to Where the Sidewalk Ends – Eugene, OR”

  1. Winter
    18. November 2009 at 23:44

    Awesome post! Thank you guys! I’m glad you had a good time. Sorry again about the mix up. :)

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