Block 15 Brewery & Restaurant
Active Beers: 59
Beer Ratings: 1,044
Beer Avg: 3.96
Taps: 12 / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 23 | Reviews: 20 | Show All Ratings:
3.94/5 rDev -5.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75 | $$$
Based on the beers I've had previously from Block 15 (Fat Monk and the hefeweizen), I was pretty excited about stopping by tonight. Maybe I was just here on an off night, but I really wasn't thrilled with my experience. Not that there was anything terrible about the place, but there was nothing really great about it either.
Block 15, located in downtown Corvalis, has something of a corporate vibe about it. I almost felt as if I was stopping by at a Ruby Tuesday's, except one that just happened to make and serve their own beer. The place is fairly good size, with a decent size upstairs dining area to compliment the lower area dining space and decent size bar. The place still has a "shiny and new" look about it, and the night I was here, there was a youngish crowd feel to the place (fair number of college students I would say). I guess what got things off to something of a bad start for me, is that they had just run out of trubbled monk, a beer I'd wanted to try after getting to try the Fat Monk at the Bailey's Taproom anniversary event. Add to that my bad luck in sitting right next to two of the more arrogant and condescending college professors I've ever been around ("I'm not saying all the students here are bad" was one of the nicer, more gracious comments I was treated to). It just kind of got things off to a bad start.
As for the beer selection, it was OK. However, what kind of annoyed me was the beer board over the bar area, listing all the "extended cellar" and "brewer's reserve" selections not currently available. Most sounded terrific, but unfortunately none of the cellar selections were currently available, and the wait staff could tell me nothing about the reserve line-up (one server mentioned that she thought the barrel aged bock had been on tap a few months back).
With regard to the service here, the staff was very friendly and everything came to my table very quickly. However, it was apparent that they all knew next to nothing about the beer line-up. When I inquired about some of the cellar selections, I could see my server trying to recite from memory what I assume the owner or brewer had told her: "the brewer is trying to make beers that aren't made from typical recipes, and so those are special beers that aren't your everyday beers." Uhuh. I see. Then please explain the current line-up, which today consisted of a very unexciting IPA and pale ale, one of the least impressive scottish ales I've ever tried (I didn't have the heart to review it), and an extremely underwhelming "orginal ale." (whatever that means - it was called the aboringinale). Stuff I didn't try included an irish stout, a golden ale and a wheat ale. The one beer I did really like was the 300, which was a delicious, low alcohol, sessionable hoppy amber. In any event, suffice it to say that I was not overwhelmed by the originality of any of the beers I sampled today (other then the 300).
As for food, I tried a bowl of the swiss cheese, sage and mushroom soup. While not outstanding, along with the 300, it was one of the few hilights of my visit.
I don't know. Maybe I was just here on an off night, so I'll definitely try to stop by again. However, based on what I encountered this evening, it's hard to call Block 15 much a beer destination.
Edit from 9/13. Now that I live in Eugene, I've stopped by here a number of times, and will now chalk up my experience back in 4/10 to something of an aberration. For one thing, they now typically have close to 20 different beers on tap, and the diversity and options available have improved considerably. This past weekend saw the new sticky hands DIPA (the Charlie), as well as the tasty voyager (a coconut porter aged in rum barrels). I also got to try this years breakfast brunch beer, which was likewise outstanding. Service seems to have improved as well, though it can be hit or miss regarding the knowledge of your server. Food is still something of a weak link here I think, though it's improved from my 4/10 experience. On the other hand, prices seem a bit on the high side, at least for Oregon. $8.50 for a basket of sweet potatoe fries? Really? Likewise, beer prices can be a bit high as well, especially for the higher gravity selections. Regardless, this place is increasingly turning out some very interesting and impressive selections, and is definitely worth a visit for anyone visiting Corvallis. I'll definitely be back.
04-05-2010 06:30:36 | More by johnmichaelsen
3.64/5 rDev -12.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$
Block 15 is located in the campus are of Oregon State University on Jefferson, not too far off 20/34. Street parking is available on the surrounding blocks.
The brewpub is on the corner and is a brick building with lots of windows looking in. The interior is a mustard yellow color and the bar is along the left side, with a narrow walkway between it and booth seating on the right. The second level allows more seating. The crowd definitely skews younger than we are but we didn't feel out of place.
There are 10 or so beers available at Block 15, including a Blonde, IPA, Porter, Belgian Cherry Quad, and Imperial Stout. They also have a cask beer. All of the beers were average to above average, with nothing really standing out as exceptional or terrible. They offer a sampler as well.
Service on a weekend late afternoon was decent. We sat at the bar right in front of the bartender and she did a good job with the sampler and with checking on us. She also pointed us to another brewpub in town (which we weren't able to visit).
We did not try any food on this visit.
Overall there is no reason not to visit this place when in Corvallis. Not really a destination in itself but worthwhile.
03-12-2010 22:11:02 | More by Dogbrick
4.3/5 rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $
Went to Block 15 last Saturday night and have to say that I was quite impressed.
I went there with a group of friends to hang out and have some drinks and snacks. We had a party of 7, and the place was packed, so we were told it would be a 45 minute wait. Luckily, there were picnic tables outside, and we could drink at them. We ordered a pitcher of their pale ale, porter and red ale. I also ordered a snifter of their Pappy Dark. It was a dark ale aged in Pappy Van Winkle barrels. While I must say that all their beers were tasty, the Pappy was out of this world.
We got our table and ordered some more beers and some appetizers to snack on. The food was average. Pre-fab frozen items, cooked their. Standard pub food. Nothing offensive, nothing to write home about. Nobody ordered any entrees though, so they may fall into a different category.
The atmosphere was fine, and the service was prompt. The beers were great. The prices were extremely reasonable, probably due to the fact that it is a college town. I will absolutely go back next time I am up that way.
02-20-2010 00:52:55 | More by Genghis22
4.1/5 rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
Stopped here on the way over to the coast, just kind of happened upon it but will definitely revisit the next time i'm in the area. The atmosphere is a great pub feel, very unassuming from the outside, but the inside is lots of wood beams, very warm cozy feeling and the bar is great. Glasses hanging over it with wood stool seating and casks lining the back wall. About 12 taps visible, two of which were cask. The restaurant is a lot bigger than it looks, two stories all open with some rooms in the back where we ended up that kind of wind and twist. Pretty cool. Quality of the beer was pretty good, nothing dynamite standout but very good. The service was good as well, attentive and knowledgeable about the brews. As I said 12 taps, two cask, so the selection was good, and lots of food to choose from, mostly the usual pub fare but a few standouts as we were closer to the coastal side of the state. Food was pretty great, I had the brewers burger which meant if you eat it all you get a free pint...of course they charge an extra three bucks for the meal but who cares right! I got a massive burger, fries, a side salad, and a free beer! Overall I was very pleased with the whole experience and will be back as soon as I am in town.
01-11-2010 18:55:22 | More by RedBrewer83
4.5/5 rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
a- Great historic downtown location. Several differnt seating options including an upstairs level, nice brick,art throughout, and shuffle board/darts by the brewrery in back.
q- Great brews! Some are good, others are great, a couple are exceptional. Considering this place is only a year old, I am extremely impressed.
selection: wow, they had 13 brews on tap, including two differnt Beligan Inspired beers, and an Imperial Red that is crazy good.
Summing up, Block 15 already feels like a classic brewpub. They are not afraid to push the envelope in the brewery, which takes guts, but rewards with some outstanding brews.
04-06-2009 16:36:32 | More by Sharpie30
2.63/5 rDev -37.1%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3 | $$
My wife finally broke down, 30 minutes after i finnished my pint, 6 passes by the waitress(including her giving me my food) she asked the server if we might be able to procure another beer.
the english/american style beers are to style. they arent good, they just fill out the style guidlines. the nebula is ok, the ipa is good on cask. the specialty beers tend to have less then stellar charicter. the weizen is ok to good, the belgians all taste thin and boozy. i can taste what they are going for but no. its very much like a really big home brewery, the beer ranges from uninspiring to good, but no great beers. there is nothing i can hang my hat on as a beer i want.
having been there 5 times ive been ignored by servers twice (the other three times i was at or near the bar). This place tends to be a magnet for corvallis hipsters and the subaru crowd, not much in the way of atmosphere at all. i routinely drive up to calapooia to avoid the B15.
04-05-2009 16:34:20 | More by heapofaoatmeal
4.51/5 rDev +7.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $
I recently read a random Corvallis resident/blogger's pejorative pooh-pooh of Block 15, and instead of posting some "you're retarded" comment to her blog I decided I'd give the place some positive karma to outweigh the negative vibe.
I think in some ways we've entered a post-homer phase of craft brewery appreciation. In other words, just because your town has a brewpub doesn't mean the residents appreciate it. I think I took a little anti-homer response to this place when it first showed up. Granted, some of the atmospheric touches at B15 could use some work, like the graphic design and interior mural decorations, but there are also nice little knooks-and-crannies to read a book on a rainy day. Also, you can't review the place as if it were in Portland. The aforementioned pissed-off-blogger also gave McMen's a raving review. Which pretty much throws her beer-credentials to the dogs. But I left today feeling that this is not already just a very good place, it has the potential to be a great place.
The service that I experienced was exceptional. I had met the owners before, but it was sort of bustling and they didn't recognize me. That I got fantastic service as an outsider, and left the place feeling like a regular, attests to the genuine and spot-on way they provide imbibing services.
The beer ranged from passable to very, very good. I thought their RIS was very impressive, and reminded me of pre-crock-bottle Rogue. The Aboriginale, which I had had previously and thought needed a little tweaking, was exceptionally tasty. Even the Dopplebock and Belgian-style, generally not ones I swoon for, were spot-on and no off-flavors were detected (other than the later killing me with sweetness which is pretty much to style).
The 2:30 barfly crowd sitting near me didn't help the ambiance, particularly when the scarlet-blister face guy wearing the Beavs sweater asked me if I was drinking the beers or writing a painting (?) about them. Also, I got called out for being "that guy" who brings a container of coffee-grounds with me to brew-pubs to shake and sniff between beer tasting. Didn't make me uncomfortable as I'm a loudmouth extrovert, but I could certainly see how this would make many people uncomfortable. Again, blame this on OSU doucheness, not B15.
I specifically wanted to hit up the local brewpub since I didn't make it to Salem today to protest the proposed beer-tax, but I got to shoot the shit with a very eager-to-please Nick, the owner. He's just all about good beer, talking about it, brewing it, drinking it, advocating it. And the thing that really grinds my gears about the negative publicity B15 has been getting lately is that *he just wants you to have a good experience at his place*. Instead of going angsty-13-year-old and writing about a bad experience on the internet, bring it to the owner. If he's cool about it, you'll be both better for the experience. If you blab about a place negatively on the internet, well, you've done nothing but potentially hurt the establishment.
Like I said, going to a place at 3pm, you're pretty much going to see the A-game. Servers are relaxed, shoot the shit with you. One of the servers knew my name before I left. Another made sure I was happy with my sampler tray, if I wanted more samples, etc. I paid less than $6 for six samples. I had an altogether good experience.
With the ownership's amazingly humble and inspirational view of beer in general, this place could make waves. It already has.
02-24-2009 03:24:45 | More by GreenWBush
4.1/5 rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$
Tuesday night in Corvallis at 7:00pm there was at least 10 people waiting for a table and the bar was full. By about 7:30 it had thinned out and was about 80% full the rest of the night. I had a sampler of beers and was most impressed by the Red. I didn't try the high end brews due to the higher abv's and I had to drive home a few hours later. Nice place overall although quite noisy when filled to capacity. I had a delicious pulled pork sandwich which was just right amount of smokiness and not too greasy. After 10:00pm the same sandwich and many other offerings drop to $5 per serving which is an excellent bargain.
Parking was not a problem although on Friday night or weekends you might have to walk a ways to find parking. (it is free!)
If you know the town at all it is just across the street from the Dairy Queen on Third street and Jefferson. Overall a fine drinking and dining experience.
01-08-2009 00:23:50 | More by Spikester
3.8/5 rDev -9.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Technically, Block 15 is the only independent brewpub in Corvallis. This is due to the twin facts of the local McMenamin's outpost not being independent and Oregon Trail not operating a pub (though the New World Deli very nearly serves this purpose). The name derives from when Corvallis was originally platted. At that time the spot now hosting Corvallis's only independent brewpub was simply designated as Block 15. The town was called Marysville back then, but later took the name Corvallis to signify its post at the "heart of the valley."
Block 15 has an ideal location in the heart of the heart of the valley. It draws brisk business from students and professors at OSU - a sign of both good crossover appeal and the collegial vibe of the town. They offer darts and shuffleboard, frequent, free live music, and decent bistro food (pastas, burgers, salads) at reasonable prices and in good portions. They also uphold a number of sustainable practices such as water conservation, carbon offsets, and the frequent use of "natural" meats and local organic ingredients.
Block 15 emerged following a major renovation of their 82-year-old building, which originally housed a newspaper press and more recently was a pizza parlor. Huge timbers, skylights, and leaded glass contribute to a relaxed atmosphere amid greenery and artwork. Though you don't notice it at first, the floorplan is actually circular and you can walk either way around to the rear gaming room. Just bear in mind that the alcove near the far staircase is a service shadow - I got no service there at all for a full twenty minutes while I used the WiFi. (Perhaps I should have emailed for service.)
Beer quality is mid-range, but a few standouts are worth mentioning: Aboriginale, Alpha IPA, Trubbled Monk. Since they've only opened recently, it's too soon to call any trends. On the plus side, it's easy to feel at home here. Upstairs diners enjoy good table service and the overall vibe is comfortable and inviting. I didn't care for the highway diner-like serving ware or the plastic ketchup squeeze bottles. And the varnished 2x6 booths looked and felt like something I built in my garage. But the service at the bar was excellent and the popularity of the place is well deserved.
07-28-2008 02:22:18 | More by RedDiamond
4.2/5 rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $
This tasty new brew-pub is an excellent addition to the Corvallis beer scene. It is worth stopping in for their evening happy hour and staying for a hearty dinner.
The location at 300 SW Jefferson has a large open plan, a long bar, comfortable booths, and an open-sided upper seating area which is not for folks who are afraid of heights (or who are wearing skirts).
The beer is excellent. The eight or so house taps are complemented by several guest taps, providing a solid range of ale styles, ranging from a delightfully light wheat (Gateway Wheat), through excellently nuanced pale ales and IPAs (Earth Pale Ale and Alpha IPA), to a novel brown-ale/porter hybrid (Brown Porter). The house favorite, Aboriginale, is not to my liking, due to it's muddled blending of seven malts and three hops--your palette may vary.
Food offerings include salads, sandwiches, burgers, pasta, and a range of desserts. The "BMT" (bacon, mozzarella, and tomato sandwich with hazelnut pesto) and a "hand-spanked" turkey burger were both tasty--and came with a generous portion of the pub's famous, beer-battered, twice-fried french fries. Next time I'm looking forward to the Brewer's Challenge Burger (a double-patty sandwich with 2 sides--clean your plate and a pint's on the house). If nothing else, have an order of their french fry platter appetizer--they're that good.
Finishing the meal, a good experience for the belly was also a good experience for the wallet. Supper for two, including a pair of tasting flights, came to $25--a rare value in the sustainable-local-gourmet gastro-pub sector.
In summary, Block 15 is a spot to be watched. If they can continue to provide great fare with excellent value, they could become a Corvallis institution.
05-06-2008 05:02:39 | More by JavaJoe
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Block 15 Brewery & Restaurant in Corvallis, OR
92 out of 100 based on 23 user ratings.