This past Saturday we drove down to Oakridge to visit Brewers Union Local 180 with our friends Paul and Sandi for an afternoon of cask beers and good food. This trip was inspired, of course, by meeting brewer and owner Ted Sobel at Deschutes Brewery’s Firkin-A cask event last week, and my wife and I had just made the trip a few weeks earlier as well as a mini-getaway (just before Central Oregon Beer Week) so I was happy for a return visit.
I’ve already reviewed Brewers Union back in 2011, and there’s nothing really to add here—other than the beer was great (I enjoyed the Cwrw Bach Dark Welsh Mild, Wotcha a la Challenger (the same beer that was at Deschutes), and the IPA on tap whose name escapes me, plus I brought home a growler of the Plan B ESB)—and I’ve decided that Brewers Union is currently my favorite brewpub. It’s the English-style public house atmosphere that they are cultivating, and the cask beers, something no one else in Oregon (or anywhere I’ve yet visited) is doing. It’s fantastic.
Ted was there on Saturday, and was kind enough to offer up a short tour of his brewhouse when I asked. Of course I snapped some pictures! They are below, but first some salient facts:
- It’s a 2 Imperial Barrel capacity system, which translates to about 2.79 US barrels.
- Open fermenters! I’m always surprised and please to come across this, so much of American brewing is closed fermenters.
- The conditioning room for the firkins is new.
- Overall it’s smaller than I imagined! But then again Ted is a one-man show so this is probably just right.
If you haven’t been down to Oakridge to visit Brewers Union yet, why not?