Feeders: Ben Tilley, Tobias Schock & Nathan Tilley, Agrarian Ales
The Farm & Brewery: Agrarian Ales hops farm amongst the peppers & tomatoes of Crossroads Farm – 6 barrel brewing system on the property – 25 acres – North of Eugene near the Willamette River
What They Seed: 2 acres of 14 different varieties of hops, various other herbs that are used in the beer
What They Feed: spontaneous + intentionally inconsistent ales using their own hops, certified organic grain and other local ingredients
Where You Can Find Them:
On the Farm: Agrarian Ales Tasting Room
Farmers Markets (Eugene): Lane County Farmers Market (Saturday) – beer garden & fresh farm eats, with growlers or growlitas to go
Retail (Eugene): The Tap & Growler, The Growler Guys, The Filling Station (see full list here)
The Tilley family moved to a property near Eugene from central California in the mid-1980s when the three sons were young. They called it Crossroads Farm and Ma Tilley started growing flowers and organic vegetables on the property, selling vegetables, flowers & potpourri at the farmers markets. The oldest brother Ben was recruited to work the markets at the age of 16, as soon as he could drive. Unfortunately the dried flower business died in the early 2000s (“I swear it was the Glade Plug-In”, Ben says). So the Tilleys became focused on growing nightshades: the peppers, tomatoes, eggplants and potatoes loved their high calcium and magnesium soils. The boys went away to college and discovered a love of homebrewing while earning their degrees. Ben and Nathan made the decision to return to their roots and unite their love and appreciation of their family farm to their newfound passion of old-world brewing. Over the course of 10 years, with the help of family & friends and while maintaining their day-jobs, the boys turned their father’s old carpentry barn into a brewery. They planted 10 different varieties of hops on the property and eventually began brewing. Agrarian Ales’ first release was on November 30, 2012 with the “Premier Saison” at Marche Restaurant in Eugene. The brewery tasting room opened on December 21, 2012. In the first year they brewed almost 400 barrels and 44 different different beers. They strive to be inconsistent: using their own hops, certified organic grain and other local ingredients that are available, like honey, clary sage and lemon balm. “There’s unlimited options to what we can do.”
The tasting room also features pizzas and other bites, with nearly everything made with local ingredients, right down to the pizza dough flour sourced from Hunton Family Farm & The Camus Country Mill, a few miles down the road.
Ultimately they want to be the first brewery in the state to make beer using only ingredients grown on the farm.
Mentors: Ma & Pa Tilley, who have been working hard on the land, put the boys through college and continue to support them and the brewery project
“Conceptual, adaptive brewing” – Ben Tilley
“I can’t believe how many requests I get for coasters from people in Eastern Europe” – Ben Tilley
“Dreads and camo sitting next to each other, toasting beers with sticky fingers” – Ben Tilley, on their annual hops harvest weekend
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