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What's On Tap at the Hult Center?

Ever wondered how we choose what’s on Tap? We checked in with our Food and Beverage Director, Lee Alberts on how he makes his choices.

Living in the Pacific Northwest and Oregon, we are spoiled with what I consider to be the best beer region in the United States. We have an abundance of talented breweries in the region and have a head start on other areas of the US because our water is so good here. Many hops from come from the Pacific Northwest as well and there are many resources here to pull other hops from around the world. While one would think it’s quite easy to choose draft beers for a public venue, it can be quite challenging to have four tap choices that has something for everyone to choose from. How do you choose just three beers and one cider when you live in a state that has great breweries like Breakside, Deschutes, Fort George, Block 15, Boneyard, Pfriem? The fun part is clearly trying them out. My personal beer and wine fridge at home is always rotating through my favorite breweries in the state.

Being that our venue is in Eugene, we try and feature a lineup that has mainly beers that are brewed here. We do branch out every now and then to other Oregon beers but generally try to keep it local. The thought is to have a Pilsner for those that prefer a lighter beer. The second tap is a rotating tap that is usually a beer that is in the middle of the hoppiness/bitterness scale. The third beer slot is for the ever-popular IPA (India Pale Ale). Our fourth tap option is a cider.

Currently we are offering the Oakshire Visit Italia Pilsner and every now and then we’ll switch that to the even lighter Oakshire Beer Hall Lager. Pilsners are approachable, easy drinking and refreshing and both options are crushable as we like to say in the beer world.  Oakshire started brewing the Visit Italia as a part of their year-round lineup in the last year which makes it easier for us to get and always have as an option so we are not having to switch beer choices in the middle of a show. They also work with Bigfoot Beverages to carry the Beer Hall Lager specifically for our venue which is awesome when we know a crowd is coming in that prefers a more “domestic” type of beer.

What's on Tap beer taps

Quote from Food & Beverage guide Hult Center

Our second tap is lot of fun. ColdFire Brewing located here in Eugene is a self-distributed brewery. These types of breweries wouldn’t normally be given the time of day by venues. Being that we do not answer to corporate owners, it gives us the freedom to work with smaller players in the game that put out incredible products. This is what separates us from other venues. We rotate this tap with something new and unique that ColdFire has brewed and are always getting it fresh. We work with them to find out what they have coming up in their brew cycle and make a choice that makes sense for our patrons. In the winter we were offering a nice brown ale called The Little Brown Owl and as we moved into spring, we are serving a pale ale called The Little Hop Slice. I look forward to this beer selection every time as ColdFire is easily one of the best breweries around run by great people.

What's on Tap beer taps

The last beer choice that we carry is Ninkasi’s Prismatic IPA. It is your typical Pacific Northwest IPA made by the largest brewery in Eugene. It is a traditional West Coast IPA but has a bit of cloudiness. It is a well-rounded beer that all fans of hoppy beers can gravitate to. Ninkasi is a Eugene staple that aside from putting out great beer, they also do a lot for our community. Ninkasi is the only brewery we have served consistently in the seven years I have been here, and we look forward to serving this beer for many years to come.

The fourth tap that we offer is a cider. We have jumped around on this choice a bit this year but have settled on Avid’s Blackberry Currant Cider. While I don’t really drink much cider myself, this one seems to be a real crowd pleaser and it is readily available to us through Bigfoot Beverages which has a great craft beer team and program. We have also served WildCraft and Cyderish from Eugene in the past which were also quite popular.

All this talk about beer has gotten me quite thirsty. When I get home, I have waiting for me in my fridge the following: Boneyard RPM IPA, Pfriem Pilsner, Pfriem Japanese Lager, Block 15 The Mango Song IPA, Fort George  City of Dreams Pale Ale and six different bottles of barrel aged beer from Alesong. Those breweries are all from Oregon. Two other beers I just picked up yesterday are from Vermont and a real treat. The Alchemist Brewery from Stowe, VT makes two of the best beers in the world and I’m perplexed about how we get them here after just being canned last week but I’m lucky enough to have a four pack of both their Heady Topper and Focal Banger. We look forward to pouring you a pint on your next visit to the Hult. Cheers!

Food & Beverage Director guide to what's on tap at the Hult Center