Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Block 15: First Taste

Block 15 is a new brewpub in Corvallis, just opened this year. The Green Dragon gave us a first taste of three of their beers Tuesday night as part of their Meet the Brewers series. Aboriginale, whose business card is pictured here, was my favorite of the three. Purists may balk, since it isn't brewed to a particular style, but those of us who just want a tasty beer will be satisfied with a strong Northwestern Ale like this. The dry-hopping adds a really nice touch, there's a lot of flowery aroma in it. I'd like to have this beer again sometime: I hope they took enough notes -- and have enough hops -- to be able to brew something close to it again.

Fat Monk Dubbel was Block 15's Belgian-styled offering. Here's where it comes in handy to try things at the Green Dragon -- they're likely to have other beers of the same style flowing to compare to. Brett got a glass of Double Mountain's Little John Dubbel; I only had sips of both, but I liked Block 15's better. That's no mean feat, Double Mountain brews some great stuff -- they're part of the charmed class of '07, after all. Fat Monk probably won't blow you away, especially if you already have a favorite Abbey Ale, but it was true to style, with a nice esthery taste.

The Printmaster Pale Ale -- the name comes from the brewery's location in an old newspaper building -- was decent enough, but certainly wasn't breaking any new ground. Of course, drinking a pint of big hoppy Aboriginale first is a little unfair, the lighter ale just can't compete.

Sadly, I got to the pub a little too late to actually meet the brewers; John Foyston must have gotten there on time, because he has a better-illustrated and more people-oriented write-up. Fellow Pub Nighters Lindsey and Brett also talked to the brewers a bit; they report that the hop shortage is going to hit Block 15 hard since they're just getting off the ground, and didn't have contracts in place for the future. Hopefully it will just be a small bump in the road, because the first taste is very promising.

Update [2008/03/19]: See the comment below by Nick Arzner, the owner and assistant brewer. They do have hop contracts in place for the next couple years. It's just that they won't distribute much beyond their own pub because of high demand at the pub. That's the kind of problem you like to have.


  1. Thanks for the blog! I wanted to quickly comment on the hop situation. We do have plenty of hops to supply our pub with tasty beer. The great problem is that we are selling so much beer in house that we will most likely not be able to realease beer to outside accounts. I have secured enough contracts for the next two years to bump up production, so that Block 15 Beer can be poured in select craft beer bars. Thanks to all who cam to the Green Dragon, and all who have passed through our doors.
    Nick Arzner
    Block 15 Brewing Company

  2. Thanks, Nick. I'll add your clarification to the entry. Keep up the good work!