"In my opinion, Oregon is Beervana," says Nate Sampson, adding a small amount of pelletized hops to a steaming brew vessel at the open door to his garage on a sunny spring Saturday afternoon. "Portland has more breweries per capita than any place in the world." A native of College Station, Texas, Sampson stopped in at a brew pub in Austin while trail-biking with friends in 1992. "The proprietor said he got started with homebrewing," he reports. "All three of us bought brew kits that day." In 1995, Sampson moved to Eugene, where he now works for Molecular Probes. He began brewing in earnest around the turn of the century. "I started with basic styles, but now I make up all the recipes myself," he says. "I have five different beers on tap right now." Sampson joined the Cascade Brewing Society in '03 and became club president a couple of years later. "We have around 75 members, phenomenal brewers," he says. "It's like a big family." Besides monthly meetings, CBS offers pub crawls, home-brew tours, competitions, and a free yeast bank for members. Learn more at cascade-brewers.com.