Restaurant and pub at 300 SW Jefferson Ave., Corvallis, 541-758-2077. Production brewery and taproom at 3415 SW Deschutes St., Corvallis, 541-752-2337, block15.com.
Oregon's best college town is also home to one of the state's best breweries. The idyllic little city of Corvallis, which sits snug against the Willamette River about an hour and a half south of Portland, is home to the state's ag college, which also has a respected fermentation-sciences program.
Block 15 owner Nick Arzner has deep ties to both, having grown up going to Beavers football games and staying tight with the university, a pipeline of talent.
Those kids could hardly find a better mentor.
Since opening in 2008, Block 15 has expanded tenfold, while its beer only gets better and more interesting. We've long been fans of its fruit sours, but lately have become totally obsessed with the Dab Lab series, which uses brand-new lupulin concentrates to drive massive hits of hoppiness. Block 15 also always has something extra-odd on tap, like a Norwegian farmhouse ale made with juniper boughs and kveik yeast, which had a gentle earthiness, complex sweetness and light sprinkle of pine.
Plan to have a meal at the small, woody restaurant location, which sits in the center of downtown and has very good pub fare. But then make the drive down to the taproom and production facility in an industrial park south of town. This spot is more of a scene, with bikers and tourist families. The taplist is different than the one downtown, with more of a focus on Block 15's hoppy options, and has a nice patio with a view of the rolling hills on the valley's edge.
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