The Corvallis Cribbage Craze

There is a game craze taking over the bars and breweries of Corvallis. It isn’t one of the new offensive games for horrible people such as Cards Against Humanity that have enjoyed recent popularity. This craze hails back to a simpler game that was created in the 17th century called cribbage.

Cribbage is a card game that is played with a deck of standard playing cards and a signature piece of equipment that keeps score, a cribbage board. Seeing the occasional couple playing cribbage in the back room at Block 15 is a somewhat common occurrence. I myself have been known to play cribbage at Downward Dog, Beer- 30, and the 2 Towns Ciderhouse Tap Room.

Lately, cribbage has been rising in popularity in the local bar scene. There is one group in particular that meets up weekly for a rowdy and boisterous cribbage tournament.

Some of you may be surprised to learn that 5th Street Growlers is one of the best kept beer secrets in Corvallis. Every Thursday night, 5th Street hosts a Tap-Takeover event in which an out-of-town brewery brings a selection of their own specialty brews, and offers them on tap while doing promotional swag giveaways. These Thursday promotional nights usually involve a raffle or a game of bingo where customers can win T-shirts, hats, and pint glasses from the visiting brewery.  It is on these nights that a group of friends meet up for their weekly cribbage playoffs.

Group founders Liz and Steve Harbert have been meeting up with their good friends the Snyders at 5th Street to play cribbage for over two years. Connected through their affiliation with the Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine, this fun and loud group of card players consists of four people up to about 14 on any given Thursday. When asked what fuels the desire to play at 5th Street, Liz replied, “I get to hang out with my friends and drink good beer. It is an opportunity to have fun and it supports a local business.”

Steve pointed out that all are welcome to join their group. “We try to incorporate anyone,” he said. “We will teach any willing person how to play.”

5th Street Growlers bartender Chelsey Mich said that the group brings a lot of energy into the place on Thursday nights. “I don’t know how they act at other bars, but they are effing wild in here.” She also noted that one of the best parts about the group is that they are a “very open community and will teach anyone willing to learn.”

By Jennifer Moreland