Stop three on the Eugene Ale Trail was the most well rounded so far. After taking a walk around downtown, I made my way over to Hop Valley to meet some friends for dinner and a few beers. Read on as I describe what I think was the best brewery of this trip and Eugene’s top offering that I’ve found so far.
- Beer – The Hop Valley beer menu is delightfully extensive with many beer categories available. I decided to order a flight of beer to get a wide sampling of their offerings. I’d have to say my favorite was the vanilla infused porter although the pale ale made a strong push for my first place. Makes sense in a place called Hop Valley I suppose. I also loved that they have creative offerings, such as an imperial IPA to a grapefruit beer, showing off their abilities to blend unique flavors together. Either way, the beer list was both extensive and every offering was tasty and well done. I would certainly recommend grabbing a six-pack if you ever see them in a store. Score: 4/5
- Brewery – The food! Maybe I was just really hungry, but I thought their menu was delicious. I started off with a pretzel while waiting for my friends. While that was certainly tasty, the beer cheese sauce it came with was out of this world. I almost ordered another cup of it just to eat by itself, but I didn’t want to be judged by the people around me. I followed this up with a wrap that was equally delightful and left with a full and happy stomach. In addition to the food, the brewery itself was cozy with a set of windows looking on to the brewing and canning floor. With a game area in the back, spacious outdoor seating, and plenty of televisions, this place scores well for being the full package of what it means to be a brewery and tap room. Score: 4/5
- Ambiance – A little more lively compared to some of my earlier stops, Hop Valley has more of a commercial feel to it. That being said, it’s obvious the place has plenty of regulars and is welcoming to everyone. With the televisions and game area, they obviously want you to stay a while to eat and drink and be merry. Score: 3.5/5
- Location – Located on one of the main streets in Eugene, it is very easy to find from the street. With plenty of onsite parking and even more over-flow nearby, that will never be an issue. Within walking distance are several more breweries and restaurants meaning they picked a happening location with lots of options for your next brewery adventures. Score: 4/5
- Customer Service – Probably the best selling point for this brewery. Our server/bar keep was bright, cheerful, and exceedingly attentive. She put up with lots of questions about beers and made excellent food recommendations. Score: 4.5/5
Total Score: 20/25
Final Thoughts: My favorite stop on this trip to Eugene, Oregon, I highly recommend stopping in at Hop Valley Brewing if you are in town. From the food to the beer, they manage to check most of the boxes of what you want to see in a brewery and tap room. Even if you can’t stop in, go look for their beer in the store. Your palate will thank you.