In Oregon, it’s the time of year when people show their true colors: Do you bleed green and yellow, or orange and black?
Whether you attended the University of Oregon or Oregon State University, if you live in Oregon, you probably have a favorite to win the Nov. 29 Civil War football game between the two teams. But more importantly: What will you be drinking?
Some breweries, whose staff and patrons may favor either team, shy away from favoritism and instead invite fans of both teams to special events in front of their big screen televisions Nov. 29. Other brewers, including Ninkasi, will be hosting tailgate parties outside of the event at Autzen Stadium.
But some Oregon breweries, Calapooia and McMenamins, for example, whole-heartedly take sides.
McMenamins has breweries in both Eugene and Corvallis – but brewers Gary Nance, Corvallis brewer, and Hanns Anderson, Eugene’s brewer – said they both become partisan Beaver and Duck fans during the Civil War, although both of them live in Eugene. The competition among McMenamins’ brewers is not confined to November, however; beer drinkers reap the benefits. Every year, McMenamins stages several competitive events among its brewers to showcase the variety of brews.
“It goes on all year long with a friendly vibe from Roseburg Station's ‘Arrogant Beaver’ and ‘High ST,’ to my ‘War Eagle IPA,’ brewed when the Ducks played Auburn a couple of years ago, and Benny's Bitter and Riley's Red, said Nance. “Brewers are a friendly folk. I think we all hope no one gets hurt and we both go to a sweet bowl game. Let the festivities begin! One last thing: GO BEAVERS!”
Anderson was forgiving: Most of their competition is just friendly smack-talk, he said.
A few miles northeast of Corvallis, two OSU alums, Mark Martin and his wife, Laura Bryngelson, take a more dedicated approach. Their Calapooia Brewery in Albany puts out kegs striped in orange and black, and on game days, you might find them both decked out in their school’s colors.
“We’re huge Oregon State fans,” said Laura. Despite their allegiances, Calapooia Brewery is staging an in-house “Civil War” between the orange-labeled Paddle Me IPA and Calapooia’s green and gold labeled Chili Beer. Whichever beer sells most by Nov. 29 will win Calapooia’s Civil War. Is it a coincidence that the award-winning Calapooia Chili Beer is the brewery’s most heavily awarded brew?
Other breweries, like the new Mazama Brewery just east of Corvallis, show their allegiance by noting OSU’s part in the brewing process. CBGB (Corvallis Belgian Golden Beer) is created entirely with yeast and hops bred and cultivated at OSU, said Gillian Tobin, marketing coordinator for Mazama.
Stories from the print edition of the Oregon Beer Growler.