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March 20th, 2013 WW Staff | Beer Guide
 

Beer Guide 2013: Out and About

Favorite breweries from across Oregon.

bg2013_(outabout)Pelican Pub & Brewery - IMAGE: Rana Nicole Young
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The Coast

Astoria: In 1985, Chunk and Mikey stole our heart. In 2006, Fort George Brewery (1483 Duane St., Astoria, fortgeorgebrewery.com) came for a piece of our liver. Fort George’s Vortex IPA is my favorite in the state, but February is the best time to visit. The brewery’s monthlong celebration of stouts, most upgraded versions of its excellent Cavatica, showcases black walnut, chilies and a variety of bourbon-aged iterations. The brewery also serves excellent food, including a killer plate of golden-fried albacore tuna and chips. BRIAN YAEGER.

Pacific City: Sure, you’ll see piles of awards hanging inside Pelican Pub & Brewery (33180 Cape Kiwanda Drive, Pacific City, yourlittlebeachtown.com/pelican). But who’s looking at the walls at Pelican, which was named the best large brewpub on earth at last year’s World Beer Cup? This beachfront brewery sits just off the dunes in the resort town of Pacific City. Pelican’s magnificent view of the angry blue Pacific is all the better on a foggy day through the bottom of a pint of malty Doryman’s Dark Ale or Tsunami Stout. MICHAEL LOPEZ.

Newport: After watching tourists cram pink bottles of Rogue’s repugnant doughnut thing into their carry-ons, it’s easy to suspect the old brewery has lost its way. A glass of fresh double chocolate stout at Rogue Brewers on the Bay (2320 SE OSU Drive, Newport, rogue.com) will wash that notion out of your head. You have to walk through the shadows of towering steel tanks and climb a narrow staircase to get to this gritty tasting room, which overlooks a marina where fishing boats bob next to yachts. Bring your hard hat; doughnut beer not available. MARTIN CIZMAR.


Valleys

Corvallis: The barrel-aged beers at Block 15 (300 SW Jefferson Ave., Corvallis, block15.com) are uniformly off the hook. Yes, Block 15 makes a regular golden lager and an oat stout, but what you really want is something like the Framboise White made with golden raspberries and soured in chardonnay casks. Taste them here when you can, because bottles cost around $17. The Corvallis brewery recently released three coveted sour fruit ales in 375-milliliter bottles for around $9. Use the savings to feast at Block 15’s newish Les Caves “Bier Taverne” next door. BRIAN YAEGER.

Ashland: Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your beers: Southward in the land of Shakespeare, we find Caldera Tap House (31 Water St., Ashland, calderabrewing.com). Caldera is housed in the same brewery where Rogue was born in 1988, before opening its current Newport headquarters a year later. This Rogue Valley pub has live music and chilaquiles, but the draw is its ever-expanding brewery. Caldera was the first Oregon craft brewer to can, and still makes the best canned pale ale. And, like the departed giant before it, Caldera will soon distill spirits. BRIAN YAEGER.

Eugene/Springfield: Hop Valley Brewing (980 Kruse Way, Springfield, hopvalleybrewing.com) isn’t the most prominent Eugene brewery, but since the two big names are in industrial areas north of downtown, you may end up here anyway. Situated out in the lawless hinterland of Gateway Mall, Hop Valley’s menu is standard brewpub fare and the ambience is indistinguishable from surrounding chain restaurants. But the beer makes the trip worthwhile. Intensely hoppy reds and even hoppier IPAs—I’ll take Hop Valley’s Alphadelic over Ninkasi’s Total Domination—dominate the aptly named brewery’s tap list. Have a Vanilla Porter float for dessert. JOHN LOCANTHI.


Parts East

Baker City: Founded by Tyler Brown in 1998, Barley Brown’s (2190 Main St., Baker City, barleybrowns.com) Shredder’s Wheat once won four straight silvers at the Great American Beer Festival. Some took notice. But while wheat beers don’t often get geeks excited, dark and hoppy beers do. Turmoil, a Cascadian Dark Ale, put this isolated brewery on the map by winning its GABF category in 2010. Visitors are treated to 11 beers on tap, often including one of our top 10 of the year, Citra Hot Blonde. BRIAN YAEGER.

Bend: Bend’s 10 Barrel Brewing (1135 NW Galveston Ave., Bend, 10barrel.com) is locked and loaded, with a busy brewpub at the foot of Mount Bachelor and an ongoing plot to open a sister spot in Boise. The Idaho expansion has been snagged in red tape for a year, but the brewpub in the sunny high desert still shines. Visit, and you’ll find that the bombers shipped over the Cascades are no match for the treats poured to those seated at the brewpub’s massive metal chairs and around its inviting stone fire pit. MARTIN CIZMAR.

Parkdale: The tiny town of Parkdale, south of Hood River, doesn’t have a stoplight, but it has a brewery. Journeyman brewer Jason Kahler opened Solera (4945 Baseline Drive, Parkdale, solerabrewery.com) in a former theater in April 2012. In addition to well-crafted IPAs and oatmeal stouts, Solera works with little-seen styles like dark English mild. Save your growler for the unique Valley Weisse, a dry, tart sour that’s only 3 percent alcohol. Food is iffy and there isn’t much else to do in town, but it’s a must-visit when circumnavigating Mount Hood. MARTIN CIZMAR.

 
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