Part two of our trip to Lebanon, OR was a visit to Conversion Brewing. A cozy little bar right on Main Street, I was encouraged by the variety of offerings they had on tap. They even had a gose, much to my wife’s delight! Since moving to the Pacific Northwest, I’ve struggled to find places that pay more than lip service to non-IPA beers. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good IPA however that concept gets done to death here. But I digress…
- Beer – Variety! From Belgian Triples to sour beer, stouts to ciders, Conversion has options. Their stout was full-bodied and dark, perfect for a cold night and my personal favorite. There were a few offerings that I felt were underwhelming however. The Belgian Triple did not have the rich fruit and spice flavors one would expect from a Trappist-style ale. The red was brewed with local honey and while an interesting concept, the two flavors did not mix well. All in all, I loved the variety but they lose points on the execution. Score: 3.5/5
- Brewery – The bar section was well put together and very Oregonian, with lots of wood and design elements incorporated from the original building. The rest of the place was very bland style-wise although the brick pizza oven that took front and center kept it nice and warm inside. A more cohesive interior design would go a long way to spicing the place up as would changing the entryway to look less like a generic pizza restaurant. While we did not try the pizza, many other bar denizens did and appeared to be well satisfied. The smells were certainly appetizing and the homemade pretzel we ate was phenomenal. Score: 3/5
- Ambiance – I think the best way to describe it would be quiet. It had a cozy feel to it and it looked like there are many regulars who frequent the place. There was no live music when we visited but they do have a small stage area and I assume they do on occasion. Score: 3.5/5
- Location – Also right on Main Street with lots of street parking but no dedicated parking lot. Appears to be the most exciting part of town so you may end up having to park down the road some. Score: 4/5
- Customer Service – Very attentive bar staff who went out of their way to ask how we were enjoying the beer and food. Quick service when we sat down, we had beers in front of us in under 2 minutes. Score: 5/5
Total Score: 19/25
Final Thoughts: I appreciated how they offered many beer options and tried to experiment with new flavors. They hit more than they missed which makes this a worthwhile place to visit while in town.