Thursday, September 30, 2010

My first trip to Block 15

On Tuesday, I went down to Corvallis with a friend to check out the Block 15 Brewery for the first time. The drive down was smooth and we were there before we knew it. I had tried or read about a lot of their brewers reserve beers, and cellaring projects, and while none of the ones I was particularly interested in were available just yet (lots of great stuff will be coming on in October), there was still a pretty extensive tap list of house made beers to enjoy. I started with a glass of their 6 hop wonder, a 9.5%, 100 IBU, imperial IPA made with 6 varieties of locally grown hops. For someone who has really fallen out of love with the IPA/IIPA style, this beer still managed to impress. It was well balanced, full of flavor, smooth, and (despite the hefty ABV), easy to drink. While sipping on this one, I checked out the menu. Everything looked pretty good, but when I saw that they had a "Brewer's Challenge Burger" meal, I knew I had to go with that. My wife and I love "man v food", and she's always saying I should be on that show, so I couldn't disappoint her by passing up on a food challenge.

"Brewers Challenge Burger
Two hand-spanked beef patties, two slices of Tillamook cheddar cheese, thickly sliced bacon, fried jalapeƱos and your choice of two sides. If you can clean your plate, your first pint of beer is on the brewer!"

Turns out it wasn't much of a challenge. Even the waitress conceded that most people beat it, and that they're working to revamp the menu; including a more difficult challenge for future diners. Still, it was delicious and filling, and they bought that 6 hop wonder when I was done, so it was a challenge I was happy to take.

After dinner, I enjoyed a couple more beers. Nebula oatmeal stout, which was sweeter and more caramelly than I'm accustomed to from the style, though still enjoyable. Forbidden Orchard, a sort of imperial wit, which I think went a little overboard on the orange peel and spice, and finally a guest beer on cask from Brewer's Union Local 180, which was a deliciously smooth, and perfectly balanced ESB.

Overall, it was a good trip. The pub is attractive and comfortable, the food was good, and the beers were mostly enjoyable. I definitely plan to be back when some of the more special beers I've been waiting for become available to try (and buy; they'll be offering certain beers in 750 bottles soon).

If only Corvallis were a little closer.

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