Saturday, November 12, 2011

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.

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