Our next review brings us closer to home in Eugene, Oregon. While wandering around downtown, we decided to take a break for lunch (and from the rain) and try a few beers at another stop on the Eugene Ale Trail. As luck would have it, or maybe it is my own keen sixth sense of local craft brews, Falling Sky Brewing was close by. This review focuses on the main brewery and restaurant located just south of downtown, but they do have another location not too far away that is more brewpub and less brewery. So, sit back, grab a sandwich and a beer, and read on for our latest review!
- Beer – So many wonderful options! From stouts to reds, Belgian ales to lagers, there is something for everyone here. What’s more, they take chances and have created some unique beers, including a collaboration effort that produced a traditional Finnish beer (full disclosure, I had no idea there was such a thing as a traditional Finnish beer) called a Sahti. They even had a sour much to my wife’s delight. My highest scoring beer on Untappd that I tried was their stout, however everything scored respectably in my ratings. They get high marks for creativity, flavor, and variety of brews on tap. Score: 4/5
- Brewery – This place really channels the tap room feel when you walk in. Built out of what looks like it might have been a warehouse in a former life, the inside is divided into brew floor and drinking area. While not a cavernous place compared to others I’ve been to, there is still a decent amount of seating all over with great views looking upon the unique copper clad brewing equipment in the other half of the building. Outdoor seating for the nicer (ha ha ha, this is Oregon) days completes the public area of Falling Sky. One thing I really appreciate is the amount of natural light that comes in. Large windows and roll-up doors cover most of the outside walls here, making it bright and airy on the inside, even on a gloomy day like when we visited. They have a respectable menu of food, serving mostly pub fare, including a few vegetarian options. My meal was tasty, and the portion size was large. They do not have any televisions at this location so if you are looking for a place to watch a game, this is not it. Score: 3/5
- Ambiance – Falling Sky has a more intimate feel to it. Partly because of its size and partly because they eschew the idea of having other forms of entertainment, wanting you to socialize while there. On the flip side, there is not much to create ambiance with no evidence of live music or pub games and special events are few and far between. While they do offer daily specials, I’m not sure it would be enough to make the brewery a frequent stop if I lived in Eugene. Score: 2.5/5
- Location – They have picked a pretty good spot for their brewery here. Located on one of the main streets of downtown Eugene, they are a short walk from the city center. With so many things to do close by, from restaurants, to bars, to the Hult Center for Performing Arts, no matter what you are looking for you can find it a short walk away. The building itself is nondescript and you may miss it as the main entrance faces an alley way. With plenty of parking for cars and bikes you will never have to worry about finding a spot. Score: 4/5
- Customer Service – The staff were open and friendly but remained mostly in the background for our visit. Our orders were taken promptly and the beer and food served in a timely manner but I did not get the sense of a value added approach to customer service here. No table service, no checking in to see how we are doing, things like that. While I get that not everywhere promotes that style, it is always a pleasant surprise when you do find it. Score: 3/5
Total Score: 16.5/25
Final Thoughts: Falling Sky is a great place to stop in if you are looking for a bite to eat and some craft beer while you are on your way to do something else. I think that summarizes it best in that while I enjoyed the food and beer, I never felt the urge to stay any length of time. Perhaps that is their goal, wanting to be more of a pub than taproom and hang out spot. Its worth checking out at least once so be sure to stop in if you are in town.