Arts & CultureFood

Eugene Beer Week features drunk Family Feud, pancakes with maple bourbon glaze

The crowd in the Bier [email protected]@ is packed shoulder to shoulder in teams for a “Family Feud”-style trivia game. A man stands between both teams to act as the “Human Buzzer;” the first member of either team to touch him makes him cry out a bizarre buzzing sound.

“And here we have the Yeastie Boys and the Brew-Tang Clan,” said Ty Connor, host of Family Feud at the Bier Stein on Monday. “Last year, it was the Bungholes and the Display Cocks. The material wrote itself last year.”

“I just got done watching a few episodes of the old Family Feud,” Connor said. “It was gross. Richard Dawson (the original host of Family Feud) kissed every woman that came on the show. It never failed. I’m not kissing anybody.”

This small event is but one of many in the week-long Eugene Beer Fest ending on Sunday with 16 Tons’ Mother’s Day Hangover Beer Brunch, from 9 a.m. to 2 [email protected]@[email protected]@

The two teams faced off in front of the restaurant and answered questions such as, “What are the most common tools used by a brewer?” or “Name an object that gets pounded.” Risque responses aside, all manner of arcane and obscure replies were given during the competition, while both teams got more and more drunk as free pitchers were brought to the fore.

Mike Coplin, one of the co-owners of 16 Tons, came up with the idea a year and a half ago. With the likes of other successful local brewers like Ninkasi, Oakshire, Hop Valley and Falling [email protected]@, the festival teems with small events.

“The cool thing about this festival is that it is totally independent,” Coplin said. “You don’t have to be a brewer to start a beer event. It is wide open for anybody to participate.”

On Tuesday, Hop Valley held a beer and food pairing all day. It was a Bourbon barrel-aged Maple Brown [email protected]@ on nitro paired with hickory smoked pulled pork and pancakes (the pulled pork was between each pancake), which was drizzled with a maple bourbon glaze. Despite the unique combination, the dish has been quite popular.

The general manager of Hop Valley, Ed [email protected]@, saw the dish on the Food Network and suggested it to the chefs of the restaurant.

“I saw it on a show called ‘Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives,'” Lackington said.  “It sounds really weird, but it looks amazing. The maple bourbon glaze is kinda like maple syrup.”

“There’s a great community of craft beer in the Eugene-Springfield area,” Coplin said. “There’s still a stereotype about beer in America. People think it’s somehow a lower form of beverage. Someone once told me ‘I can afford wine, so why drink beer?’ That’s messed up. The reality is that a lot of beer goes really well with food. Spicy food and red wine is a disaster. Spicy food and cold beer is … perfect.”

According to, the main aim of the event is to have “breweries, retailers, bars, restaurants and beer writers participate in beer weeks by helping bring greater awareness to a region’s craft beers.”@@[email protected]@

“You don’t have to overdo it,” Coplin said. “You can go to two or three events in a day and maybe have a half pint instead of a whole one. Drink water in between. Enjoy the flavors of the beer you’re drinking. Some people go crazy on a Tuesday, and then Saturday doesn’t seem like much fun.”

If you want to try out some new craft beers and some interesting food, maybe while catching a live band or two while you’re at it, you could do well going to one of the events during Eugene Beer Week, which runs until Sunday.

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