As part of my quest to complete the Eugene Ale Trail, I hopped across the Willamette River to the neighboring town of Springfield, Oregon to visit Plank Town Brewing Company. With a gorgeously restored building downtown and a name that pays homage to Springfield’s roots as a timber town, they do a good job as the city’s main craft brewery. Read along for my impressions and thoughts of the brewery that should not be forgotten by its proximity to Eugene.
- Beer – Aside from the usual IPAs, they offer a wide variety of other styles to choose from, including some unique cask-aged beers. I grabbed a flight so I could sample their brews, mixing in some hop-heavy choices with stouts and porters. My favorite of the day by far was the Foggy Scotsman porter, so much so that I ordered a full pint after my flight so I could enjoy it more thoroughly. All their beers were complex with flavors and many had unique flavor profiles such as honey, figs, and of course chocolate. What I appreciated most however was the way the brewers were able to manipulate the flavors using different malts. Plank Town is one of the best examples I’ve seen of an inherent grasp of flavor profiles brought to life in their beer. Score: 4/5
- Brewery – As I mentioned previously, the brewery is located downtown in a restored building on Main Street that looks unassuming from the outside but lovely on the inside. They do an excellent job with using wood throughout (as they should with a name like Plank Town) and the bar is a work of art. With plenty of seating inside and an outdoor area on the sidewalk, they can accommodate any size group you bring to visit. They have plenty of food with a full menu and the prices are about what you would expect in a more upscale downtown brewpub. If you are looking for a snack while there, I recommend the garlic herb fries to share for the table. Score: 3.5/5
- Ambiance – The feel of Plank Town is more restaurant than true brewery, but it doesn’t detract from their appeal. While I saw no indications of live music offerings, they do seem to have plenty of other events on their calendar such as new beer releases and weekly drink and food specials. In general, I got a cozy, family friendly vibe to Plank Town, making this a good spot for weekday visits for dinner or a good place to take a visiting friend. Score: 3.5/5
- Location – They get high marks here because I’m a sucker for restored old buildings in downtown areas. Located right in the heart of downtown, there is plenty of parking all around, both street and lots. With numerous other bars and restaurants close by, you have plenty of options if you want to continue your adventures after sampling Plank Town. As a bonus, if you live in the Springfield/Eugene area, there is a bus stop located one block away, so you don’t have to worry about driving home if you have one too many. Score: 4/5
- Customer Service – We were promptly greeted and seated, and our server checked in often to make sure we were doing well. We received both our beer and food in a timely manner and were checked out quickly. Observing other tables and staff, I saw the same pattern all around. I think they do a good job with customer service here and it shows in how they treat their patrons. Score: 4/5
Total Score: 19/25
Final Thoughts: As Springfield’s only downtown brewery, Plank Town does a great job carrying the torch for the city’s beer scene. Quality craft brews combined with good food and a lovely setting make this place a must visit if you are in the area.