Draft Beer

Draft beers are a popular option across Eugene. (Unsplash)

There’s no doubt that Oregon has a plethora of craft beer. If there’s a style you can think of, Oregonians either make it or have it imported from different parts of the country and world. From porters and stouts, lagers to pilsners, ciders and seltzers; low carb, keto-friendly, sugar-free, gluten-free; they have a beer for almost everyone’s taste.

However, there’s one style that stands out here in the Pacific Northwest as a signature drink: IPAs, or India pale ales.

IPAs are beers that have different characteristics and profiles according to the brewers. It can be sweet and aromatic, bitter and complex with ingredients, colorful and refreshing, or warm you up with the right balance of herbs and hops. Here in Eugene, there are a few breweries that have been inventing and reinventing this style of beer. Each brewery is distinct in how they make their IPAs and offer something unique in their work.

Claim 52: Double Rainbow Hazy IPA, 8.4% ABV

“We really pride ourselves in what’s new on the horizon,” Jeannine Parisi, one of the co-owners of Claim 52, said. She mentions that one of Claim 52’s best-selling beers, its  bread and butter for IPAs, are the hazy style IPAs. Hazy IPAs are a good starting point for someone learning about craft beer. It’s not too strong in flavor, but complex enough to introduce you to something different. Most hazy IPAs are fruity and refreshing in taste, a perfect drink to have in the spring or summer. Claim 52 has mashed up a delicious hazy drink that’s perfect for those looking for that West Coast vibe in beers. It hits the palate smooth with flavors of citrus and mild hops, and when poured into a cup the beer looks compacted in color— a sort of a muddy yellow that settles in the pint glass.

Oakshire Public House: Sum Fun IPA, Microclimate 6.5% ABV

Specializing in different kinds of IPAs, Oakshire doesn’t land shy on how they make their ales. With a variety of IPAs to choose from, the place surrounds its craft with a good ambiance and good food. It's encompassed by a line of food trucks and open doors that welcome those who love IPAs. One of its newest brews is Sum Fun. Commemorated to Earth Day, this beer brings an interesting take on IPAs. The drink has some subtle notes of roasted coffee with hints of fruit, adding this citrus hop to the beer. What made this beer stand out is the atmosphere Oakshire provides at its public house. It's a place you can gather with friends but also find dutiful solitude; something that's important to enjoy with good IPAs.

ColdFire: Cumulus Tropicalus IPA, 6.5% ABV

This IPA captures something truly unique as a beer and as an experience. With its fruity aromas and cloudy pour, this beer is one of the tastiest ales you could have. It does not need to grow on you because you’ll love it the moment you try it. You can taste some hints of peach and orange with a smooth hoppy-ness that doesn’t overpower the tongue. What’s more is that ColdFire has a dynamic list of beers that it makes year round, specializing each beer into a different experience. Beers that have their overture in flavors as they continue to make different drafts. These include a tangerine and apricot sour, Czech style pilsner and an Alpha craft series known as the Amarillo Edition, which blends various hops including one that comes from Roy Farms. If you do enjoy its line-up of beers, you can see its upcoming releases on the brewery’s website and know when they come out.

These breweries are only the start of what IPAs can do with yeast and hops. Each of these places have their own aesthetic vibe, and offer something different to your drinking experience. Most of them serve their own food that pairs well with their beer and some have food trucks that open on different days with a variety to choose from.

IPAs are a labyrinth of ingredients that are endless to make and savor in the world of beer. There’s no question about the quality of these ales, so go out there and try some for yourself. Explore the work and complexion of what IPAs are and what they offer us in return.