By Anthony St. Clair
Construction continues on Elk Horn Brewery, with plans to open by Duck football season in September. Located in a former Carl’s Jr. building near the University of Oregon campus at 686 E. Broadway St. in Eugene, Elk Horn is the newest passion of Colleen and Stephen Sheehan and who are locally renowned for their Southern food cart, Delacata.
“We have already started demolition work in the basement and restaurant, and we’re finishing the 1,800 square foot deck,” says Colleen Sheehan, Elk Horn owner and founder. “The patio will look rustic with a concrete stone-stamped finish, a fountain, and a fire pit, with seating all around the deck.” Patio plans also include a trellis where kiwis will grow, for the making of kiwi cider.
The brewhouse will be located in the basement. A new concrete slab is being poured, with accompanying plumbing and electrical work underway. Equipment includes four 14-barrel fermenters, a 7-barrel kettle, mash tun, and a custom 23’x12’ cooler which will feed into a 20-tap system for the upstairs restaurant.
“The equipment is being built in Portland and we should have it by mid-August,” Sheehan says. “We will be open before Oregon Duck football season. We can shoot for an August 1 soft opening with guest taps. We’ll have the grand opening once our beer and cider are on tap.”
In partnership with Sweet Cheeks Winery, a 15-barrel bright tank is also on order. This tank will be housed at Sweet Cheeks and used for production of Elk Horn ciders and meads.
“To start we will just want to create flagship beverages, but we have barrel storage in the brewery for creating unique wild ales and wild ciders,” Sheehan says. “We already have rum barrels, tequila barrels, and pinot noir barrels.”
Plans for a variety of beverages reflects Elk Horn’s dedication to food pairing. “We want to
think about flavors that might not have been done before and flavors that can pair well with our food,” Sheehan adds.
Elk Horn plans to roll out a range of house beers and develop their offerings depending on customer input. House beers will include a blonde ale, a
pale ale, “an Oregon botanical wheat series—with honeysuckle wheat, sweet pea, nasturtium, etc.”—an IPA, a DIPA, a lambic, and a porter. In addition to a wildflower mead, Elk Horn will also produce a line of ciders, including dry apple, sweet apple, pear, apricot, and blackberry. Sweet Cheeks wines will be on tap, and non-alcoholic house sodas and bubble teas will also be available.
“We want to be a place where everyone can come, from students to families,” Sheehan says. “Everyone will have something they can enjoy, both in food and drink.”
Stories from the print edition of the Oregon Beer Growler.