The Brew Site

Upcoming reviews and underserved Oregon beer regions

My wife and I spent the past weekend in Bandon, on the southern Oregon coast, and though it wasn’t a beer trip—southwest Oregon is noticeably lacking in many breweries—we did stop somewhat briefly at Hop Valley Brewing in Springfield (adjacent to Eugene) and at Brewers Union Local 180 in Oakridge, both on the way home. Brewers Union in particular I’ve really been wanting to visit, and I have to say my expectations were exceeded—I loved the place and can’t wait to visit again.

I’ll have reviews posted for each accordingly, based on our brief visits.

But pertaining to my comment above about southwestern Oregon’s general dearth of breweries: the coast south of Florence has none at all, and I couldn’t help but think that Bandon would be a good place to open a brewpub. Even though it’s small—some 3300 people—it’s a tourist destination and there seems like enough of a population in the area to support one (Coos Bay and North Bend, about 20-25 miles north of Bandon, collectively have a population of about 25,000).

Beyond that, I got to thinking about other areas of Oregon that are underserved in terms of breweries (especially compared to Portland and Bend): a quick look at Beermapping and researching populations of various towns reveals regions that might—and I should stress might—be fruitful if you were looking for somewhere to plant a brewery:

Those are the areas that stand out. And there are a few other areas that could be pointed out but you’d have a really hard time making a case for: Burns (pop. 3020), Lakeview (pop. 2655), John Day (pop. 1672).