Up in the hills of north Corvallis on a small cattle farm, Dirt Road Brewing was established in 2017 and distributes exclusively in the Corvallis/Lebanon/Albany area. The 5-barrel brewery debuted its taproom in neighboring Philomath this week on the corner of 13th and Main, in what was originally a bank built near the turn of the 20th century. The taproom offers a dozen beers on tap, plus wine and cider, and a simple but tasty menu featuring hand pies and rotating specials.
Brewer and Dirt Road partner Jon Campbell and his wife purchased the ~1,200 square-foot space earlier this year, and brewery founder Chuck Cox did the interior buildout. Inside seats around 50 people, including the bar, and outside seating is planned for the near future. During the soft opening on the weekend of August 17-18, a bevy of friends, family, and curious Philomath-ites (Philomaths?) inundated the taproom with ample support.
The taplist runs the gamut of styles and colors, and stays within the realm of beer-flavored-beer with a couple lagers (Stay a Little Lager, brewed with 50% wheat malt, was smooth and grainy, cleanly fermented, and refreshing despite a slightly hefty body); hop vehicles (Juicy IPA and Honeydew IPA had different expressions of the hazy style, both were done well and were bright and fresh); and big brews (the Imperial Stout and Barrel-aged Imperial Stout – boiled for 5 hours! – were easier than their ~9 and ~11% abvs would suggest, with lovely round brown sugar and brownie flavors). Campbell also has some wild brett beers going, which will go on rotation as they mature.