Oakshire Brewing's master libation-smiths brew small batches of high-quality malts and hops in a 15-barrel, 4,000-square-foot brewhouse. Guests can visit the main brewing facility's tasting room to admire the malt magic created by the diligent staff. Weekday visitors wet their whistles on 4-ounce samplers of three year-round and seasonal selections, and Friday swillers can enjoy plentiful pints of their favorite brews. Gargle the crisp, dry hops of a Northwest–style Watershed IPA and the dark, silky suds of the Overcast Espresso stout. Or dabble in seasonal selections, such as the malty Ill Tempered Gnome Winter ale, a distant cousin of the nonalcoholic beverage sipped by Snow White's Grumpy. The brewery peddles bottles ($4–$5) and cases ($48–$60) of its regular and seasonal beer for those wishing to partake in imbibing in the comfort of their own home, and it equips swig sessions with growlers ($5) and pint glasses ($3). Guests can also advertise ale adherence with a brewery T-shirt ($18) or hat ($12) or by shouting panegyrics about beer in a crowded mall.
The Lane County Fair, first run in 1859, fills the August air with live music, enticing aromas, and the twinkling lights of carnival rides. Gain inspiration for future shower concertos with performances by Tommy Tutone, Nashville's Eric Church, and Creedence Clearwater Revisited, formed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame rhythm section of Creedence Clearwater Revival, all of whom headline the lengthy list of mainstage performers. Biwheeled vehicles reach new heights in the Boost Mobile Freestyle Motocross Tour, and the eight All-Alaskan Racing Pigs trot merrily around their sawdust-covered track as bystanders watch. The fair's many carnival rides, including the new ground-dwarfing Vertigo, a brightly-colored adrenaline enhancer that cradles heights seekers in swings and whisks them up 100 feet high for a towering view of the lights below, attract revelers and seatbelt fanatics alike ($0.50/ticket, rides take multiple tickets). Local farmers and craftspeople await the bestowment of ribbons as they display their skill and handiwork in numerous exhibitions.
Chef Mario Tucci cooks up a menu of South American and Italian fare prepped with fresh, locally grown ingredients. Italian-style frittatas inspire fillings such as potatoes and garlic, mushrooms and onions, or zucchini into rich, eggy unification (all $6.95), while vegetarian-friendly burritos embrace beans, cheese, rice, eggs, and more in a tight tortilla hug (from $4.95). Delectable sauces cling to the fresh-made pastas like koalas cling to anyone who offers them a granola bar (from $6.25). Diners can also nestle into the rustic, marketplace-like eatery, festooned with earthy artwork and live local music, to partake in ciabatta-bound sandwiches (from $5.95), entree-ready salads (from $5.65), and elegant glasses of wine ($4.95).
After an odyssey of trial and error in a humble brewing shack, University of Oregon students Simon Blatz, Chase Drum, and Simon Spencer moved their honey-mead brewery into a facility of its own in October 2011, where batches of the fermented honey spirit swirl in vats and bottles. The Blue Dog team lauds its mead, one of the oldest drinks in history, as “the original liquid sin,” touting its sweet start, dry finish, distinct honey smell, and propensity to commit mail fraud.
The golden elixir pours into recyclable bottles with reusable tops and logo modeling courtesy of the company’s furry mascot, Jake, a german shepherd. Blue Dog Mead invites guests to tastings (by appointment) and encourages its fans to vote online each month for a charity to receive 1% of the company’s proceeds; recent beneficiaries have included Movember and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lane County.
Valley Vintner & Brewer supplies budding and experienced home brewers all the equipment and recipes needed to concoct tasty batches of beer and wine from the comfort of their kitchens. Each home brewery basic starter kit contains fermenting necessities along with The Complete Joy of Home Brewing, an instructional tome chronicling beer’s mighty rise to prominence as America’s go-to shower beverage of choice. Your experienced vintner instructor will guide guests through a three-hour home-brewing class, answering all grain-related queries from, "How are hops grown?" to "Can I still drink my beer if it develops human emotions?" With gear and guidance from Valley Vintner's expert ale aficionados, beginner beverage barons can raise their glass-fulls from bottle-dependent infancy to full-flavored adulthood.
Nestled in verdant rolling hills, Silvan Ridge Winery complements its grapey varietals with a menu of easily chewable eats. Gourmet cheese plates tickle tongues with a variety of aromatic curds from Spring Valley Dairy in nearby Keizer—including dill havarti, smoked gouda, and brie ($7)—and 8-inch wood-fired pizzas ($6.50–$7.50) and crispy caesar side salads ($4.50) carry hunger away as swiftly as hungry warriors plundering an empty pantry. An outdoor patio and surrounding grassy slopes afford picnickers eyefuls of grapevine-laced hills; inside, the fireside room gives couples an excuse to cozy up next to a wood-burning blaze and share a creamy wedge of cheesecake for two ($4). Complimentary wine tastings greet all visitors of legal age.