Plank Town Brewing Opens New Hilltop Bar & Grill Location

Springfield’s only brewpub quietly opened a satellite location on July 5th. Plank Town’s Hilltop Bar & Grill features Plank Town’s full lineup of beer (minus the cask), plus a full bar with signature cocktails and modest but delicious food. Located in Pleasant Hill, just a few miles off I-5 on OR-58 on the way to Oakridge, Hilltop is basically Plank Town, Jr., and capitalizes on the woodsy-forester decor of the brewpub.

Hilltop is in a mellow strip mall, former home to Mountain Rose Herbs. The mall was more or less empty for several years, but now has several small business serving the nearby population, over 10,000 people. The expansion into a rural area makes sense for Plank Town, as there is no good food and beer joint for miles. During a Monday lunch (pro tip: $1 pint when you get one of their hefty burgers on Monday), an older crowd enjoyed burgers, nachos, and lots of iced tea. However, weekends should prove especially successful. As the first stop out of town on the way to recreation-destination Oakridge, the disc golf course in Dexter, or even Crater Lake, it’s easy to grab a Crowler or bottles to go from a pre-stocked cooler, or refuel after a day of mountain biking, hiking, or cross country skiing in the Western Cascades. Hilltop also geographically bookends the outdoor adventure with good beer; Brewers Union Local 180 in Oakridge provides proper cask beer, some guest taps, and an amazing plate of fish and chips in a homey setting.

Hilltop also allows Plank Town to move more beer without a distributor. This is largely a smart economic move, as the brewery has expanded its fermentation capacity to brew more of its mainstay beers like Blue Pool Pils and Riptooth IPA. And though they are distributed through Bigfoot Beverages in Eugene, Salem, Bend, and the south coast, Hilltop enables a direct connection to customers in a smaller, underserved community. Plank Town’s unpretentious vibe fits right in.

Aaron Brussat
Aaron Brussat

Aaron Brussat is a complex living organism with an interest in all things fermented. He started writing about and working in the beer industry in 2010. His experience stems primarily from spending six years at The Bier Stein as a beer steward, homebrewing since 2005, and passing the BJCP and Certified Cicerone exams. Highlights along the way include numerous collaborations with local brewers, curating beer dinners at The Bier Stein, and traveling to Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Peru, and New Zealand (as well as many parts of the U.S.) for a chance to drink beer at the source.