Know Before You Go: Construction on the Van Buren Bridge may result in heavy traffic at rush hour, & occasional night closures. Click here to learn more.
Guest Author | 01/31/2023 | Archived

Block 15 Celebrates Bourbon Month This February in Corvallis

The start of the calendar year is an enchanting time to visit local brewpubs. With the holidays slowly fading from memory and the days gradually becoming longer, visitors enjoy a more laid-back experience—one where brewers experiment with new and special releases, beertenders have more time to chat up the ale or lager you just ordered, and you can sip your new favorite beers in quieter environments.

For Corvallis-based Block 15 Brewing Co., the start of the year is also a good time to attract pub goers with Bourbon Month - a celebration of all things bourbon, with tastings and events throughout February.

All month long, the popular brewery will offer tastings of rare and prized bourbons, release specialty beers aged in bourbon barrels, and host beer- and spirit-focused events at its three outposts around Corvallis.

Alex Goodwin, mixologist and general manager at the brewery’s downtown pub, says the slow pace of the season lends itself to bourbon tasting. “I feel like it’s a spirit you can sit with, sip slowly, and enjoy so you can relax and immerse yourself in it a little bit,” she says. “People get excited to sit down, taste it, see what they get out of it, and connect with it that way.”

As Bourbon Month approaches, here’s a rundown of what to expect—with details on events, month-long tasting opportunities, and more.

Bourbon Month is as old as Block 15 - a mainstay since the brewery’s beginning in 2008.

Goodwin says January and February comprise the slowest time of the year in the hospitality industry and that a month-long event gets people into the pub, brings them together with friends and loved ones, and offers a new twist on typical brewpub offerings. Not just that, but Bourbon Month festivities provide an opportunity to familiarize guests with the popular spirit.

Goodwin says the event showcases rare, specialty, and hard-to-find bourbons - as well as new releases from up-and-coming distilleries - all chosen to make the spirit more approachable for those new to bourbon and enticing for enthusiasts alike. “It’s just a great way to explore how different each distillery is and to enjoy the uniqueness and the artistry that goes into making bourbon,” she says. “Everyone has their closely guarded recipes, their secrets, their tips and tricks for making something fantastic - so you can kind of see how each different distillery is doing it.”

It doesn’t hurt that Bourbon Month acts as a salve against the dog days of winter, either. “It’s been our way to bring a little bit of fun, happiness, and cheer to dreary Oregon winter months,” she says.

Whether you don’t know the first thing about bourbon or have a curated collection at home, Block 15 is putting on a variety of beer- and bourbon-oriented events all February long. Here are just a few of the many events designed to showcase the popular spirit.

Charity event with 4 Spirits Distillery: On February 7, 2023, Block 15 will team up with Corvallis-based 4 Spirits Distillery to raise money for the distillery’s nonprofit that supports veterans; the event will include a special bourbon tasting.

Winter Warmup: On February 17-18, 2023, visitors can enjoy hot cocktails made with bourbon at Block 15’s brewery in South Corvallis; those imbibing are invited to drop off gently used or new winter clothing for Vina Moses Center, which helps underserved communities in Corvallis and throughout Benton County.

Bourbon Dinner: The final Bourbon Month event is a dinner at Block 15’s Caves Public House, a European-inspired beer and cocktail bar; the dinner will feature several courses chosen to pair with the brewery’s bourbon barrel-aged beers. Information about tickets will be made available on Block 15’s social media channels and to email subscribers.

Note that some events are ticketed and open exclusively to subscribers of the Block 15 email newsletter (free registration required). Learn more with the Bourbon Month event calendar at Block 15’s website.

What if you can’t make it to one of Block 15’s bourbon-focused events? Fear not: The brewery is ensuring that visitors can enjoy the spirit (or bourbon barrel-aged beers) all month long. Here’s a rundown of what to expect:

Bourbon passport: In all, Block 15 will make 18 bourbons available for tasting throughout the month, with a few specialty releases and tappings of the brewery’s Super Nebula (an imperial stout aged in Evan Williams bourbon barrels) and its kriek (a wild ale aged in second-run bourbon barrels). Visitors can pick up a passport-like stamp book where they can keep track of each bourbon (or bourbon-adjacent beer) they try; anyone who tries 15 or more spirits will earn a 2023 Bourbon Month T-shirt.

Exclusive bourbons at Caves Public House: Block 15’s Caves Public House reopened in November 2022 after having been closed for roughly two years. The restaurant and bar, drawing inspiration from the European bistro experience, is known for pairing its Pacific Northwest-focused food menu with creative cocktails and stellar craft beer. And in February, visitors can enjoy a variety of bourbon cocktails and tastings of an exclusive bourbon unavailable at either of Block 15’s other locations.

Beer tastings: Every Bourbon Month, Block 15 releases bottles and offers tastings of a few popular beers that use the popular spirit. Super Nebula is an imperial stout that’s aged in Evan Williams bourbon barrels and conditioned on fair-trade Brazilian cocoa nibs; Super Nebula Xocolatl is conditioned on ancho and negro pasilla chilis, Mexican vanilla, Ceylon cinnamon, cloves, and Brazilian cocoa nibs; Super Nebula Breakfast with Williams is conditioned on coffee beans and maple syrup, among other ingredients; and the brewery’s kriek is aged on locally farmed cherries in second-run bourbon barrels.

For the skinny on events and other offerings, learn more about Block 15’s Bourbon Month.

Article by Matthew Wastradowski. Photos by Reed Lane Photography or courtesy of Block 15. Keep up with Corvallis news, events and happenings by signing up for our email newsletter.

More than 7,300 students to graduate June 17 at Oregon State University in Corvallis
Oregon State University will graduate 7,338 students during its university-wide commencement ceremony…
Read More
Celebrate Mother's Day in Corvallis
Celebrate Mother's Day in Corvallis with the special culinary events and restaurant…
Read More
Memorial Day Weekend Oregon Wine Tastings
Join us Memorial Day weekend for special events and tastings are wineries…
Read More
Order or View Visitor Guide
Keep Up With Visit Corvallis
Discover Our Wine Passport
113 SW 3rd Street, Alley Suite 101
Corvallis, OR 97333
(Entrance facing 2nd St public parking lot)
800-334-8118 | 541-757-1544
Monday - Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm
Closed Saturdays and Sundays