Most Eugenians have found themselves downtown around 8th and Oak on a sunny Saturday. Whether it’s to get out of the house, grab a bite from the Saturday Market food court or hit the Farmers Market for some fresh fruits and veggies. Many people think the Farmer’s Market is an extension of the Saturday Market, but that is not the case. The Farmer’s Market started years prior and is run independantly. The market which features nearly 160 growers and producers is also open on Tuesdays and Thursdays downtown, but it was last Saturday when the family and I decided to venture down that way.
I didn’t get downtown to the Park Blocks much last season, and when I did it was a quick trip. So when the sun started shining last Saturday, it seemed like the perfect day to get the family out of the house and head downtown. We were looking forward to hitting the Saturday Market food court, the Farmer’s Market and fully enjoying the sun. As we followed the smells and heard the din of the markets, the din sounded a bit busier than usual. Chocking it up to the nice day, it didn’t seem too uncharacteristic. Rounding the corner to the Farmers Market, the din turned into sound, into color…..into a crowd. It wasn’t just the warm weather that had people huddled and happy; it was the Ninkasi beer and Authentica Wines. Ninkasi has been taking over the Eugene beer scene since 2006 when Jamie Floyd and Nikos Ridge made their first batch of Total Domination IPA. Now their beer is sold in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Alaska, and California. In addition to in stores and their own location, Eugene’s flagship brewery is now in their second season of selling their local beer at the Farmers Market. By the long line at their booth, and the crowd of people around it, I think it’s safe to say they’ll be back next season.
Authentica Wines is the passion project of former manager and buyer at Sundance Wine Cellars, Steven J. Baker. Authentica brings to Eugene the best of small production, artisan wines from around the world. Located at the back of the Farmers Market next to Park Street Cafe, it lends itself perfectly to the Saturday crowd. Especially those looking to quench their thirsts with something a bit more – adult. Authentica serves wine by the glass during Saturday’s Farmers Market and is open for walk-in business Thursday through Saturday from 10 to 5.
You are strongly encouraged to enjoy your adult beverage in the area in which you purchased it. There are no hefty men with radios or ropes tied to trees…..just the honor system. So, to those that like to ignore the rules…..please don’t ruin it for the rest of us. Drinking a cold beer then munching on a fresh baked croissant, is a little slice of heaven on a warm Saturday in Eugene. But you don’t have to take my word for it. It looks like Ninkasi, Authentica Wines and the sun….are here to stay.
Ninkasi Brewing Company
272 Van Buren Street, Eugene, Oregon 97402
766 West Park Street, Eugene, Oregon 97401