During my one day in Eugene, OR, last December, I made a point of tracking down Ninkasi Brewing. As it turned out, they had just opened their new tasting room two or three weeks before I stumbled in, and were pretty busy. So I guess Ninkasi is doing all right as a local brewery, which is nice to know because they have some great beer. Unfortunately they were out of Sleigh’R, their winter brew, but they said their very limited Sasquatch was winter-esque so I got a taste of that instead. Also, the IPA and Pale Ale tasters managed to get mixed up. I eventually figured out what happened a couple hours later, and the below comments are made up of what I could salvage from my very confused tasting notes.

Ninkasi Brewing

Ninkasi Brewing taster strip — Eugene, OR

    Rob’s Picks

  • Total Domination IPA – very citrusy, very crisp, very hoppy. Yum!
  • Quantum Pale Ale – light and refreshing. Like it.
  • Believer Double Red – tasty. Not as citrusy as TD, more balanced. Still has a good hoppy/citrus edge. Quite nice.
  • Oatis Oatmeal Stout – really nice. Not as heavy as other stouts, but still has that stout flavor. Great balance.
    The Rest

  • Sasquatch small batch amber – found out from another patron that this was made for a brewfest about ten months before. Last bit of it. Tasted more like a barley wine. Too bad I don’t really like barley wines.

While making my way through the Ninkasi tasters I heard about a third place, Oakshire Brewing, but didn’t have time to check it out. Next time, I guess.


I ended up in Eugene, OR, for a day back in December and had lunch at the Steelhead Brewpub. Standard six shot taster tray here, but when the waitress set it down and rattled off the beers represented I was a bit disappointed that it didn’t include their seasonal winter brew. She took pity on me and brought me a complimentary taste, bless her heart. Mmm, pity beer.

Steelhead Brewing

Steelhead Brewing taster tray + 1 — Eugene, OR

    Rob’s Picks

  • Hairy Weasel Hefeweizen – pleasant aroma. Crisp and refreshing, nice. Doesn’t need the lemon wedge.
  • Raging Rhino Red – a subtle red. More of an amber with red tendencies. Liked it.
  • Heat Miser – the winter brew. Basically a milder (except for alcohol content, maybe) Hopasaurus Rex. Tasty, though. Hint of peppermint.
    The Rest

  • Barracuda Blonde – kinda light, kinda bland. Hint of out-of-place hoppiness.
  • Bombay Bomber IPA – pretty good, but a bit heavier than I like.
  • Hopasaurus Rex – yikes. Way too caramel-y. Sort of a light-colored hoppy winter beer.
  • 12 Gauge Porter – okay. A little watery, but otherwise a standard porter.
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