Monday, November 28, 2011

Southern Oregon Brewing Co.

1922 United Way
Medford, OR

Amy and I drove from Ashland to Yreka, CA in a vain attempt to get closer to Redding CA, our destination.  Waking up the morning of Amy's birthday, after checking the distance to our second day destination, we realized it would take 2 hours less to back track through Medford rather than continuing down to Redding.  What a lucky circumstance!  After checking my BreweryMap app on my iPod, I found our next mark on the Oregon Brew Crawl: Southern Oregon Brewing!

Amy with the SOB lineup.

Go visit this brewery!  Amy and I had so much fun.  Not only did we get to chat the entire time with the lovely bar manager, Jenn Brown, also the #1 of the Mug Club and the owner.  We started with samplers, quite an excellent lineup.  
Gold Digger is a crisp, classic "Northwest lager."  The owner, Dr. Tom called it his gateway beer, introducing people who aren't convinced of the power of craft brews to the SOB lineup.
SOB Pale is in the works to be renamed then bottled into 22s.  The Pale is subtle, definitely a second step in the introduction to the brews.
Nice Rack IPA is a "British style IPA," also Jenn's Mug Club moniker, a mellow IPA with a kick of bitterness at the end.
Na Zdravi, a "Czech-style Pilsner" was my favorite.  I fully intended to bring a bottle back for Jonah, but lost it along the way :)  It's a strong pilsner with full-flavor and a lot of kick.  The name means cheers in Czech, which I love.
Pin Up Porter, a "dry finishing Porter," is very complex; nutty with a clean aftertaste.  The Pin Up is the #1 seller in the Rogue Valley; Amy agreed claiming it her favorite.
Old Humbug, a "Traditional British Winter Ale" is yum yum yum good.  Be careful though, this beer is very sneaky.
Jenn Brown, the wonderful bar manager.
Not only does SOB have great beer, the taproom is a great place to be.  I got to chat with Tad, the #1 of the Mug Club, his dedication to the brews was clear.  When asked which is his favorite beer, his response: "that's like asking a parent who their favorite child is."  SOB puts a genuine effort toward green practices that you can read about on their website.  My favorite part of the taproom is even though they don't have a food service, you can order to-go dishes from local restaurants to munch on while you drink.  Have dinner at home and need beer to-go?  SOB will fill other breweries growlers, a definite plus for me and for the Eco-conscience practices SOB strives for.

Touring the brewery.
We left with full arms.  Jenn filled our quart growlers with Old Humbug and Na Zdravi.  Amy even got a free 22oz for her birthday!  We were well taken care of and had a hard time moving on, but we needed to make it to at least one camp destination on the trip!  The check was paid and we were on our way to Crescent City.

Crescent City, CA

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Birthday Katie!

Congrats on making it through the teenage years!  To 20 more!

Best Lady!

Monsters and the Lemon Tree (a favorite children's story)

Action Movie Stars!

"Ya, I'm talking to you"

Friday, November 18, 2011

Speechless in Seattle

Hey guys! Sorry I have been absent this week. I'm in Emerald City, visiting many excellent breweries. It has been an excellent time, however I haven't figured out how to use blogspot to my liking on my iPad. Suggestions anyone?

I will be back in Cordova next week with the rest of my Oregon Brew Crawl and some great breweries of Seattle.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Standing Stone: To Go

101 Oak St. 
Ashland, Oregon 97520. 
Around the block from Caldera Tap House is Standing Stone Brewing.  Since there was no way we were going to make it down to Whiskeylake, CA, Amy suggested we stop by for a beer before heading out of Ashland.  The place was packed!  We decided to grab some growlers and head to the hotel instead.  I must say that Standing Stone's growlers are kick-ass!  We got a few to celebrate Amy's birthday the next day.

The Oatmeal Stout was a great breakfast beer.

The Octoberfest was a great celebration for an October birthday.

The Farmer Brown was a great fall seasonal.

Caldera Brewing Company

Caldera Brewing Company
31 Water Street
Ashland, OR

Camping gear... check.  Chocolate for the smores... check.  Hangover... check.  For the trip down south, Amy and I had the truck packed, the dog settled and all by 3pm, only 4 hours after our intended leave time.  Cursing ourselves for going out the night before, we cruised down I-5 at a leisurely pace. 

We pulled into Ashland, ready for a quick in and out: the sun was going down soon and we were hours from our intended destination of Whiskeylake, CA.  Caldera's Tap House is right off the main drag, easy walk from the downtown area, and opens at 4pm daily (good thing we didn't leave Eugene until 3pm, right?).  The tap-house has a big porch to enjoy the sunny Southern Oregon weather, and a cozy tavern inside.  

Before visiting, I had only sampled Caldera's tri-fecta of canned brews: Caldera Pale Ale, Caldera IPA, and Ashland Amber.  Caldera IPA was a staple in my life when I lived in Eugene and I miss having the access to these brews up in Alaska.  Once we entered the tap-house, it was clear that a sampler tray was the only option with so many brews on tap.  Amy and I each got our own, 5 beers each, and didn't repeat any style, nor did we sample everything on tap! 

Well, our quick in and out turned into a 2.5 hour session.  We slowly sampled the beers and enjoyed the ambiance of the little local tavern. 

Here are some highlights:
Lawnmower Lager - Excellent, solid lager.
Pilsner Bier - A pilsner with girth.
Hibiscus Ginger Beer - Surprisingly subtle, sweet & spicy.  Great specialty beer.
*Old Growth Imperial Stout - Full flavor that you don't want to leave.  
Rauch ur Bock - Super smokey, would be a great pairing beer.
*Mogli - Tastes like ice cream!
*Brought a bottle home for Jonah.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Let's Shout "Hey" for Stout Day

 Actually, shout "YAY!" for Stout Day.  Last Friday, November 4th, I helped the Reluctant Fisherman host a Stout Day.  The Reluctant Fisherman is my favorite local watering hole in my town, Cordova, AK.  I have written about the bar manager Adam's love for finding new beers for his patrons in these posts, check them out:
The Reluctant Fisherman + Fish On! IPA = Happy Jessyka
Alaskan's Rough Draft Series 
Rotating Tap At The Reluctant
When I heard about Stout Day coming, it wasn't hard to get Adam on board for an event.  Starting with the stouts he already had in the cooler, Alaskan Brewing's Perseverance Ale and Denali Brewing's Chuli Stout, we decided there needed to be a third to obey the golden rule.  Adam did some investigating and came up with Kassik Brewery's Roughneck Stout. We ended up with three great Alaskan stouts that offered quite a bit of variety even though they belong to the same style group.

Photo by Jonah Dart-Mclean
The stouts came in pitchers and pints, of course, but Adam also put together a taster tray of all three options that I saw at many tables.

Photo by Jonah Dart-Mclean
There was a prize drawing, every stout purchase earned you a ticket!  We raffled off a LTAB shirt, a Reluctant tee, some Alaskan sifter glasses, and a lovely tee from Denali Brewing Company that they sent to us as soon as they heard we were featuring the Chuli Stout at the event.

Photo by Jonah Dart-Mclean
Overall it was quite a success!  Everyone at the event got excited about trying and comparing the different stouts offered.  Many enjoyed the event for the sake of celebrating beer, which put a smile on my face!

Photo by Jonah Dart-Mclean
Jonah and I had a wonderful, snowy walk home talking about all the fun we had.  I hope we can do it again!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Stout Day: Almost Here!

Stout Day!
Technically (according to, Stout Day is November 3rd, so crack one open and toast to that delicious, dark brew that keeps us warm on cold winter days.  

If you happen to be in Cordova this Friday, November 4th, come to the Reluctant Fisherman!  I am helping Adam with a Stout Day celebration for the town.  Here's the line-up + 3 facts:

Denali Brewing Company's Chuli Stout.
1. Is a dry Irish stout with coffee-like flavors.
2. Was named after the Chulitna River, one of the 3 rivers in the Talkeetna area.
3. Won Best Ale in Alaska at the 2011 Alaska State Fair Microbrew Invitational.

Alaskan Brewing Company's Perseverance Ale
1. Is a Russian Imperial stout.
2. Was brewed to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the brewery.
3. Uses fireweed honey from Delta Junction for delicate sweetening.

Kassik's Roughneck Stout
1. Is an Oatmeal Stout.
2. Was brewed as a tribute to the oil industry workers.
3. The brewery is located in the woods of Nikiski, next to the home of the brewer.

Hint: these facts might come in handy.
See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Eugene City Brewery

844 Olive Street 
Eugene, Oregon

I'm back in Eugene, my old stomping grounds, home of the mighty Oregon Ducks and delicious Willamette Valley beer.  When I lived in Eugene, I really enjoyed going to Eugene City Brewery.  It has great food, a relaxed atmosphere, and a wide variety of Rogue beers.  ECB is not technically owned by Rogue; it is a Rogue brewery.  That's where I was confused before, I thought that ECB was a brewery that had its own beers and was acquired by Rogue, this is not the case.  The name Eugene City Brewery is a historic name of a brewery that was established in 1866 and was open for 7 years.  The pub, now named Rogue Ales Public House, was the location of Eugene City Brewery in 1866 and housed a Henry Weinhard's distributor from 1890-1914.  This space, furthering its beer history, was revived as a brewery by West Brother's BBQ restaurant in 1996.  In 2004, Rogue Ales purchased the building, renovated the facilities, and restored the brewery's historic name: Eugene City Brewery was reborn.

So now we're here in 2011 and at Rogue's Public House: Eugene City Brewery.  While researching for this trip I asked the question "Does anybody care about Eugene City Brewery anymore?"  Even though I got little response through my social networks, the answer was overwhelming when I stepped into the pub: it was packed!  Trivia night + the eve of a Duck game brought hoards of people in.  This includes my own hoard of lovely Eugenians (and Portlanders) I miss so much: Shannon, William, Erik, Amy, Spencer, Brandy, and Joy.  Then Amy's roommate Adam popped by, followed by my parents, and Shannon's friends Jenny and Scott.  It seems more and more like people love it here!

What's not to love?  This place has a ton of beer to choose from.  Track Town Ales are the beers that are brewed in-house by Nate Sampson.  Nate loves to experiment, so if you're looking for something out of the ordinary definitely choose a Track Town seasonal.  The other beers are obviously Rogue ales; these ales are brewed on at Rogue's flagship brewery in Newport.  Lots of beers to choose from, all of them sounding delicious after a day of plane travel.  I went with the Wet Hop Ale; it had the earthy, fresh taste that makes the wet hop season something to look forward to.  Our waiter informed me that Rogue and Track Town both brewed wet hop ales with the same recipe but differing in type of hops used.  Rogue used cascade hops while Track Town used crystal hops.  In the end, I preferred the Rogue version; I'm a sucker for darker beers.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...