Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Eugene's Oakshire Brewing

Last night, the Pub Night gang descended on the Green Dragon's excellent new outdoor patio for meet-the-brewer with Oakshire Brewing. That's Oakshire brewer Todd Friedman in the picture, next to the clever business-card-holder tap handles. These guys didn't appear on my radar until earlier this year, when the Green Dragon poured their Amber, but according to their website they've been selling beer since late 2006. We've had an amazing run of good new breweries in Oregon these last few years.

Originally Oakshire was called Willamette Brewing, but as they got more attention they started getting cease and desist letters from Willamette Valley Vineyards. That's pretty stupid -- maybe Willamette University or Willamette Week should sue the whining winemaker. To get on with the business of making beer, the brewers changed their name to Oakshire Brewing, but then had to tweak their oak tree logo after getting a cease-and-desist from Laurelwood's lawyers, who think they invented the "tree" shape. Hey lawyers, why don't you go out and do something constructive for a change?

The Amber seems to be their signature beer. It's not bad, but of the ones I've tried so far, it seems the least interesting to me. Last night the big winners were the Watershed IPA -- which I had enjoyed at the OBF Brewers Dinner last month -- and the Overcast Espresso Stout. The stout was pitch-black, with a nice dark-brown head. Flavored with coffee from Eugene's Wandering Goat, the stout mixed with the java flavor really well. They also brought along a Hefeweizen, which was OK, but a little disappointing compared to the awesome Dunkelweizen they showed off at the Organic Brewfest this year. Or maybe it's as good as the dunkel, but I just need to drink it on a 100-degree day.

Look for their beers on tap around town -- the Green Dragon and Belmont Station seem to have them on fairly regularly. For more information, check out thisthat Portland writer


  1. Sounds like maybe they should have got some lawyers before they opened. And no, I'm not a lawyer.

  2. How would a lawyer have foreseen that someone would harass them for using the name of the river through their town? Or for using a tree logo?

    They should brew a "Lawyered-Up Lager".

  3. Lovely review. I wish I were there to sample a few of these with you.

    btw-- Is it possible for an amber to be exciting? I just count a good amber as what Bobnoxious would call a good "session beer".

  4. Po: Get your clown self up here again and I'll sample you silly.

    Maybe "exciting" wasn't the right word to use there. It was my exuberant way of saying I didn't like it as much as the other ones. But don't you sometimes get excited by a just right St. Arnold's Amber or Shiner 98?

    Some hard-liners have recently debated whether "amber" should be a style at all...

  5. just a small correction... that's head brewer todd friedman in the interview you linked to.

  6. anon: Oops, why did I call him Jeff? Fixed.

  7. There's no crystal ball here. It's called a trademark search. By the way, check out my new blog- It's Pub Nite.