BY KELLY KENOYER
346 Main St., Springfield, 541-746-1890, planktownbrewing.com. 11 am-10 pm Monday-Thursday, 11 am-11 pm Friday, 9 am-11 pm Saturday, 9 am-10 pm Sunday.
Plank Town almost single-handedly breathed life into Springfield's downtown sector. What once was a quiet, closed-up street of historic buildings has been buzzing with life since its founding in 2013. Not only does Plank Town resurrect Springfield—it also pays homage to Eugene's oft-overshadowed suburb. Bart Caridio, a majority owner of Plank Town, says the name of the brewery is an old nickname for Springfield, a historic lumber mill town, because they had to lay planks down on the road in winter to make them passable. The walls inside the brewery and public house are decorated with beautiful wood cross-sections and old saw blades. There are even old photos of millworkers from the Springfield Historical Museum adorning the walls. All of this adds up to a lovingly crafted wood cabin aesthetic, with a magnificent horse-shoe shaped bar sitting dead center. Plank Town's head brewer, Steve van Rossem, is an old hand in brewing in the Willamette Valley, with over 20 years of experience. And that experience shines in the varied but well-balanced character of every brew on the tap list. The My Precioussss, a subtle sort-of golden ale, starts bitter but finishes smooth and light on the palette with a delicious aftertaste. The Blue Pool Pilsner is among Plank Town's most popular beers, with a champagne texture to lighten up the bitter flavors and acidity. On the darker side of the spectrum, the Wrought-Iron Cream Stout is so creamy it's practically like sipping half and half. This one's the perfect brew to share with a coffee drinker who might turn their nose up at lowly beer. The Streetcar Stout is a more subtle take on a stout, a smooth mix of cocoa and caramel, though it keeps those nice creamy notes. One of the prides of the Plank Town is its commitment to casks, allowing yeast to create the fizziness in the beer as it waits to be served. The outcome is beer that slides smoothly over the tongue and lets every flavor come out.
Nearby: Addi's Diner (207 S A St., Springfield, 541-747-9482) is the best bang-for-your-buck breakfast joint in Springfield or Eugene. It's a cute, classic diner with a Coke-bottle and license plate aesthetic and portions that'll satisfy a Titan. If you're hungry, get the Trainwreck.