Craft beer and hard ciders pair perfectly with changing leaves, back to school, football games and the crisp autumn air. So what is fresh and new along the Eugene Ale Trail this fall?
Here is a round up of our top seasonal trends to check out.
Abundant Fall Fruit
Leave nothing in the field this harvest season! Local brewers pack a punch with small batches of seasonal beverages bursting with fruity flavor.
"Your Fruit, Your Cider" at WildCraft
We start with a cider. Autumn is all about apple orchards, u-picks, cider presses and more fruit than you know what to do with... so we are grateful for WildCraft Cider Work's community apple drive. Don't let nature's abundance waste away on the ground! From July through November, local residents donate their extra apples, pears, and plums to WildCraft Cider Works, and the fruit is pressed into future hard ciders.
Sip a pint of “Your Fruit, Your Cider” from the previous Community Apple Drive, and make plans to taste this year's community cider after fall's fermenting is finished.
Try other fruity ferments like "Botanical Blackberry" or "Elderflower Quince". Join the Wildcraft Foragers Cider Club to try a range of fruits and botanicals over the season.
Elk Horn Brewery at Detering Orchards
This innovative brewery known for their extensive cider concoctions has partnered with Detering Orchards — known for their U-pick apple orchards and "Apple Daze" farm festival days — to pour Elk Horn hard ciders alongside Detering Orchards fresh pressed ciders right at the farm. Pull up a seat in the outdoor saloon by the farm stand, and sip delicious, local ciders while seated amongst abundant displays of pumpkins, apples, squashes and preserves. The cider selection offered in the saloon may vary, but visit Elk Horn Brewery for the full range from this season's "Carrot Cake" cider to a traditional dry apple cider "Apfelwein".
"Sun Made Fruit Fusions" From Oakshire Public House
Oakshire Public House crafts small batch pilot brews with an experimental "Sun Made Fruit Fusions" that range from prickly pear mango to this season's kiwi strawberry. These fun beers don't last, so get them while the sun is still shining.
"Stonefruit Symphony" from Alesong Brewing & Blending
Before you fully turn your attention to fall beers, pause and savor the last tastes of summer at Alesong Brewing & Blending. Their “Stonefruit Symphony”, a sour ale aged in French oak barrels and packed with peaches and nectarines, was the only Eugene area beer to win a medal at the 2021 Great American Beer Festival. Alesong brought home the Gold Medal in the Belgian Fruit Beer category for that release — so make sure you grab a bottle before they are gone! With this award, Alesong has medaled at the Great American Beer Fest for six years in a row, putting them in the top ten longest winning streaks in the country.
"Beergarden Bramble" from Alesong Brewing & Blending
An innovative beer collaboration between Eugene's beergarden. pub and Alesong, catapults Oregon's blackberries into a fermentation of sour ales and Old Tom gin barrels that culminates into a cocktail-style craft beer.
September and October are the time for celebrating craft beer. Lift a frothy mug to the season with these tributes. Many of the local pubs get into the spirit too.
With almost half of the world's hops grown right here in the Pacific Northwest, fresh local hops are a celebrated ingredient. Local brewers are proud of their small batch, locally-sourced hop-forward beer.
"Fresh Hop Watershed" and "Hop Harvest 2023" at Oakshire Public House
Oakshire's "Fresh Hop Watershed" is freshly picked Centennial and Simcoe hops from Coleman Agriculture that are blended with Oakshire's flagship Watershed IPA base; this resulted in notes of grapefruit, citrus and pine notes.
For 2023, they have released "Hop Harvest 2023" with hops fresh from Independence, Oregon. Using Strata and Indie hops, this brew is bright and tastes of strawberries, citrus and herbs.
"Fresh Perspective" and "Fresh Hop Cumulus" at ColdFire Brewing Company
Not yet on tap, Coldfire Brewing Company will be releasing two fresh hop beers this season. This small family brewery in downtown Eugene is dedicated to traditional methods using northwest ingredients.
Spooky Craft Beer
As October's mists rise, trees go bare, frost appears and darkness comes earlier... this is the time of year to match your beer to the mood. Perhaps you are a pumpkin spice fan (or not), or your palate prefers a sour ale or a dark stout that pours thick and frothy. Order an aptly themed beer at the bar, or fill your growler to go with a savagely named brew for your Halloween party!
"Big Black Jack Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter" at Oakshire Public House
A seasonal treat, Oakshire's dark craft beer combines chocolate with pumpkin for a creamy feel and gentle autumn flavor.
"Unforgivable Darkness" at McKenzie Brewing
McKenzie Brewing's seasonal dark ale offers aromas of chocolate and hops for a roasted malt experience.
"Haba De Niro" at Plank Town Brewing Company
Plank Town Brewing Company’s fall lineup includes their 666th batch ever brewed, named "Haba De Niro". It's got a fiery twist to its fruity nose with habanero flavor.
"Alt Hallows" at Coast Fork Brewing
In Cottage Grove, Coast Fork Brewing gets witchy with their seasonal Alt Hallows Alt Bier which is fresh hopped with CL1A, a new hybrid hop developed by Oregon State University. This hoppy caldron of great tastes is on tap through October.