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Guest Author | 01/18/2024 | Breweries, Wineries & Distilleries, Downtown Corvallis, Featured on Home Page, Restaurants

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.

Block 15 Brewing, Corvallis, Oregon - Bourbon Month 2023 - Bourbon barrel and glass of bourbon on counter

Bourbon Passport: In all, Block 15 will make 18 bourbons available for tasting throughout the month. Visitors can pick up a passport-like stamp book where they can keep track of each bourbon they try; anyone who tries them all gets to enjoy a party and a prize.

Curated Pairing and Open House with Bottle Pre-Order, February 3rd: Join Block 15 for an afternoon at this curated pairing and tasting event, highlighting the exclusive Super Nebula 2024 and variant releases. Executive Chef Sarah Farrey and her team have crafted small, thoughtful pairings to enhance the tasting notes of each beer release, offering a unique sensory experience. Get the opportunity to secure your bottles in advance through a pre-order shop link, and join everyone at the event to savor these limited-edition brews in good company. Buy tickets.

Cheers for Charity With 4 Spirits Distillery and Foundation, February 6, 5 p.m.-7 p.m.: A portion of beer, wine, and spirits sales will be donated to the 4 Spirits Foundation, which is dedicated to raising funds and supporting causes that provide education, mental and social health support to veterans and their families; with a priority to veterans who have operated in hostile areas or engaged in combat, for the benefit of rehabilitation and quality of life after service. 4 Spirits Distillery will be at the downtown location for a special bourbon tasting.

Uncle Nearest Education Event, February 8: Meet some of the folks from Uncle Nearest and learn the story of Nearest Green and this celebrated bourbon! More details TBA.

Caves' Bourbon Dinner, February 14: Join an exclusive curated Bourbon Dinner at Caves to celebrate Bourbon Month! Crafted by the Executive Chef and Downtown Director, this 5-course dinner will taste you through a night of Bourbon-inspired refreshments that complement NW meets European Fare. Get tickets.

Winter Warmup, February 23-24: Warm yourself up with specialty hot bourbon cocktails, food, and dessert specials! As part of the event, Block 15 is partnering with Vina Moses Center. Drop off gently used or new winter clothing to donate to those going through hardship in our community. More details TBA.

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

Super Nebula 2024 (12.30%): Imperial Stout Matured in Bourbon Barrels with Cocoa Nibs - This year's annual imperial stout release was matured in George Dickel and Willett bourbon barrels and then conditioned on wild harvest, fair trade Bolivian cocoa nibs, specially selected to complement its decadent character.

Super Nebula Breakfast With Willett (12.30%): Imperial Stout Matured in Bourbon Barrels with Cocoa Nibs, Coffee Beans, and Maple - Block 15's yearly Super Nebula breakfast edition features Willett bourbon barrel matured imperial stout conditioned with fresh roasted Flame On coffee beans from their friends at Bespoken Coffee Roasters, maple, wild harvest, and fair trade Bolivian cocoa nibs.

Super Nebula Cherry Dog (12.30%): Imperial Stout Matured in Bourbon Barrels with Cocoa Nibs and Cherry - This is part of a collaborative blend series from Block 15 and Hair of the Dog, encompassing the spirit and creativity of both breweries. Enjoy the 2018 Bourbon Barrel Cherry Chocolate Stout and Block 15's Super Nebula base, steeped with wild harvest, fair trade cocoa nibs and cherries. This year's annual imperial stout release was matured in George Dickel and Willett bourbon barrels and conditioned on wild harvest, fair trade Bolivian cocoa nibs specially selected to complement its decadent character.

Kriek (7.40%): Oud Bruin Matured in Second-Use Bourbon Barrels with Cherries - Spontaneously fermented in Block 15's wild cellar, Kriek is their Oud bruin matured over two winters on locally farmed tart Montmorency cherries in second-run bourbon barrels, first used to mature Super Nebula, their imperial stout.

Article by Matthew Wastradowski. Updates by Marci Sischo. 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.

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