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Craft beer guide — Four of the best local brews

Coming to a new town to go to school can be a daunting commitment. Many people find succor@@haha…great use of this [email protected]@ in comfort foods. One of my comfort foods is beer.

“Beer isn’t a food,” you may say. Perhaps this isn’t the kind of food that nourishes the body, but these beers may just nourish the soul during long nights of hitting the books or moments of explosive decompression on one of your rare nights off.

Why drink PBR when you live in the land of magic beer? The Eugene/Springfield area has any number of tasting-room and local-craft bars that carry any number of local concoctions (For a treat, go to 16 Tons on 265 E 13th Ave. in Eugene).@@[email protected]@

The Pacific Northwest is a region fast becoming known for its craft brewing. Indeed, they may have taken off like a rocket. Today, Northwest beer lovers have the great luck to have the opportunity to sample a huge number@@too [email protected]@ of remarkable brews from some of the industry’s most talented craftspeople. Some people say the best beer in the world comes from this area of the country. The truth behind this claim cannot be verified easily.

But,  do yourself a favor and try to discover the veracity of this assertion on your own — in the interests of science, of course.

4. Hop Valley’s “The Heff”@@[email protected]@

At only 4.5 percent alcohol by volume, “The Heff” is tame as far as pure octane is concerned. But the taste is easily one of the best Hefeweizens@@[email protected]@ out there. A cool, crisp taste with a lingering citrus aftertaste, “The Heff” is sure to please the palette during your sit in the shade on a hot summer’s day or a relaxing time by the fire on a cold winter’s night. Add orange or lemon to enhance the already excellent flavor.

3. Oakshire Brewing’s “Line Dry Rye”@@[email protected]@

Line Dry Rye is a summer seasonal ale and only available until sometime in late September. If you can get a hold of it, it comes highly recommended. At 6.5 percent ABV, it packs a bit more wallop than any heff but still retains a refreshing flavor with a touch of hops. Oakshire also has seasonal brews and are sure to delight at anytime of the year.

2. Oakshire Brewing’s “Overcast Espresso Stout”

Thick and heady, this is a stout that lives up to its name. When poured it almost has the texture of syrup. This sounds unappealing to people who don’t like a good stout, but I assure you this is a highly sought-after quality. At 5.8 percent ABV, the stout isn’t stout enough to knock you over at the first go, but stouts are meant to be savored, not pounded recklessly. A strong espresso taste remains long after the initial drink, combining two most exquisite vices.

1. Ninkasi Brewing’s “Tricerahops IPA”

This beer is serious. Most India pale ales have a strong hop taste, but this one leaves them all behind. Face-melting bitter hops come in waves when a dash of this malted potion touches your tongue.

For the uninitiated, it may prove too strong — and at 8.8 percent ABV, they may be right. But for those who wish for a beer with moxie and have a strong chin, Tricerahops does not disappoint — a local favorite.

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