This is a review long overdue about a brewery near and dear to my heart, as well as close to home. After moving to Oregon from the front range of Colorado, I hoped to find a brewery that would become part of my end of week relaxation with friends and co-workers the way New Belgium had been. Enter Block 15, a local Corvallis joint that has been brewing funky and fresh beers since 2008. Having outgrown their original downtown brewpub, they opened a beautiful, large production facility and tap room south of town that has become a frequent haunt of myself and at times what seems like the entirety of the Corvallis. So, sit back, grab one of their beers if you can, and enjoy this not so new but still fresh kid on the block.
- Beer – I could just say I love their beers, that each and every one is well crafted, with nuance and depth that comes from a deep love of beer and skill with the craft. Or that I am constantly amazed at the variety and creativity that is on the tap list. But it is more than that. Experimentation is woven in to almost all of their beers, be it their Dab Lab IPA series to their current candy themed line-up on tap now, and more often than not whatever they come up with is innovative and tasty to boot. No matter your preference for beer, you will likely find something you enjoy on their menu. I could go on at length, but suffice it to say, their beers are excellent and well worth the trip. Score: 5/5
- Brewery – The production facility and tap room is a bright, airy affair with wood and stone accents and windows that look out over the coastal mountain range. About a dozen tables and high tops are scattered around a large bar, with the gleaming brew kettles and fermentation vats off to the side reminding you this is a production brewery that always has beer somewhere in the process of being made. Add in a large outdoor seating area around a warm fire pit and an in-house kitchen cooking up some great food and you have all the essential components for a tap room. Speaking of the food, you really won’t be disappointed no matter what you order. Most of it is locally sourced and reasonably priced, so I strongly recommend you arrive hungry for the full experience. Score: 4/5
- Ambiance and Entertainment – Pick a week and there is bound to be something going on at the brewery (not to mention their two downtown locations). From brewery yoga to beer release parties, to everything in between, you will have a good time here. A large projector comes down from the ceiling for sporting events (I’ve watched the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl here the last two years) and during the summer months there are some lawn games to be played, sometimes accompanied by the sounds of live music on the patio. All in all, there are plenty of fun events and experiences to be had here. Just one of many reasons I keep coming back. Score: 3.5/5
- Location – Located south of town in a small business complex, the brewery and tap room is situated in a fantastic spot. Right across the street from a conservation area, there is an unobstructed view towards the coastal mountain range that offers amazing sunset views during the summer. Next door is a large distillery that also offers food, and downtown Corvallis is a short drive away. With a bus stop close by and plenty of bike parking, as well as onsite and street parking, it’s never hard to get here. Just keep your eyes open when you are getting close for the blue signs that show you where to turn off the highway. Score: 3/5
- Customer Service – Always fantastic, even when they are busy (which seems to be all the time now). While all ordering is done at the bar, food is still delivered to your table, and fairly quickly despite how many orders are always flowing in to the kitchen. The staff always has a smile on their faces and are always willing to let you try a sample of whatever exciting new beer is on tap. All around top notch service in every aspect and another one of the many reasons I love this place. Score: 4.5/5
Total Score: 20/25
Favorite Beer: Cosmic Cold Brew – 7% Coffee Stout
Final Thoughts: No surprise here but I am fairly certain Block 15 will make one of the top breweries of the year for me this year, and for good reason. When you combine excellent quality and creativity in beer with a lovely tap room and good food, its hard not to score well. I highly recommend making a trip to Block 15 anytime you are in the area and pick up some of their beer if you happen to see it in stores near you.