Industry News

Viking Braggot Company to Open Taproom in South Eugene

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In March, Viking Braggot Company will open a taproom and restaurant in Southtowne Plaza in a newly constructed building at 2490 Willamette St. It will be the southernmost brewery taproom in Eugene, and will serve one of the busiest parts of the city. Since opening in 2013, the brewery has built a strong following for its niche–beer brewed with honey–and is expanding into a much more visible location than the brewery’s tasting room.

“Dan [McTavish] and I have been looking for a space for two years, and the stars lined up,” says co-founder Addison Stern. The opportunity literally arose from the ashes of a tragedy; in 2015, the previous building, occupied by Southtowne Lanes bowling alley, burned down. The owners of Viking took the opportunity to open a second location in the newly constructed building. “The whole impetus is that nobody has ever happened upon the brewery,” says Stern of Viking’s brewery and taproom location, which is tucked away in an industrial park in West Eugene. Despite the clandestine spot it has a loyal customer base, and a yearly Westside Warehouse District Scavenger Hunt that includes wineries and nearby Claim 52 Brewing has helped expose the outlet.

Viking Braggot Company – Southtowne is slated to open on Pi Day, March 14th. As well as being the brewery’s most public location, it will be a brick and mortar location for Pillage Pizza, the pizza cart that has been brewery patrons’ source of solid sustenance.

Viking’s suite in the new building is around 3,000 square-feet, and will have a full kitchen. The space sits on a dogleg in the building, which essentially divides the space into two distinct sections that Stern says will have two different vibes. The main section, with the bar, will have more seating and an open feel, with custom built barrel chandeliers hanging from the high ceilings. The second section will have some booth seating and smaller tables for a more intimate experience. It will be open every day from 11am until 11pm or so, and minors will be welcome until 10pm. With residential areas just a block off Willamette, the pub should attract both on- and off-the-clock patrons. The pizzas come in one size, a hearty 12 inches, though Stern says they are considering offering half or quarter options for the lunch crowd.

Stern has been busy assisting with the build-out of the new spot. Besides being Viking’s primary salesperson, he is a builder, tinkerer, and all around DIY guy. The brewery’s tasting room started quite simply, with pallets repurposed for tables and dividing walls. Since then, the space has evolved organically as project time allowed, and become much more comfortable. The experience has helped the business save tons money on the new project, as Stern has been busy framing walls and the restroom and working closely with the contractors. The project is funded by both company capital and private investors.

 

 

Viking’s braggots are a unique product in the beer market. The addition of honey to each brew provides unique fermentation character, texture, and flavor. Though a handful of core braggots in traditional beer styles comprise the bulk of production on the 3-barrel system, brewer Perry Ames has plenty of tricks up his sleeve. Viking will release a new barrel-aged braggot every Sunday in March, including Ragnarok Imperial Stout, Biere de Garde, a mixed-culture red ale, and a braggot with all South Dakota-grown ingredients guest brewed by Weston Zaludek, a madman who brewed briefly at Viking and left Eugene for a few years to help start a barley and hops farm near Sioux Falls.

Viking’s new location will complete the bottom of the Eugene Beer T, an official unofficial pub crawl that hits all the major beer spots in town.

 

Aaron is a freelance writer and beer guy based in Eugene, OR. He worked as a beer steward at The Bier Stein for six years, and edits the Northwest Brewing News. Other liquid interests lie in homebrewing, food and beer pairing, gruit, cider, and cocktails. Solid interests include cooking, food fermentation, and gardening. Ethereal interests include music, hiking, discussions about beer quality, and whether his qualifications as a Certified Cicerone and BJCP National judge matter.

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