McKenzie Brewing

McKenzie Brewing/Steelhead

199 E. 5th Ave, Eugene, OR 97401
Founded: 1991

One of the older Eugene breweries, Steelhead Brewery, which produces McKenzie Brewing beer, is a classic American pub in pretty much every sense. Classic pub food and standard brews that haven’t changed much over time; there are now plenty of seasonal and one-off brews to accompany the regular lineup.

Steelhead is actually part of a very small, independent chain (only two locations remain, the other one in Burlingame, CA). When Steelhead decided to distribute its beer, the name had to change because of Mad River’s Steelhead line of beers.

For its age, the brewery hasn’t turned over as many brewers as, say Rogue. There are two notable entries: Jamie Floyd and Teri Fahrendorf. Floyd, who co-founded Ninkasi Brewing, started in the kitchen and worked his way into the brewery. Fahrendorf was head brewer for many years; she founded the Pink Boots Society, and is now the malt innovation center manager for Great Western Malting Co. Ted Fagan, who was assistant brewer under Fahrendorf, took over at Steelhead and is now head brewer for McKenzie Brewing’s new production facility in West Eugene (as of 2018).

A staple lunch and dinner spot in the 5th Ave. shopping quadrant, the sidewalk patio is often full in the summer sun. The staff has always been friendly, the service good, and the food hearty.