By Kristin Griffin
33930 SE Eastgate Circle, Corvallis, 541-230-1810, mazamabrewing.com. 3-8 pm Wednesday-Thursday, 3-9 pm Friday, noon-6 pm Sunday, noon-9 pm Saturday.
In a run-of-the-mill strip mall just over the river from downtown Corvallis, Mazama Brewing is pouring some of the better Belgian-inspired beers in the state. A trip to Belgium inspired longtime homebrewers Kathy and Jeff Tobin to open up a brewery, and while they have IPAs and pale ales on rotation, this is where to come for big Belgians. Their take on a golden strong ale, the port barrel-aged El Duque, is complex yet still smooth at 10 percent ABV, with plenty of oak going on before the lightly sweet, cinnamon-tinged finish. If their quad is on draft, order it, but it's 12 percent ABV, so you might want someone else to drive you home.
Nearby: Corvallis has a lot of strong breweries in part because of the Fermentation Sciences program at Oregon State University. You can sample their experiments at OSU's pilot plant, which has frequent open houses (159A Withycombe Hall, 541-737-3038).