The Oregon experience: Coffee, Beer, Cheese, Hops , Nature, Beer, Pacific Ocean crashing on Rocks, Hops, Coffee, Beer… What else can you ask for? (OK, great local salmon and wines, if you like that), but beer is everywhere as are great local breweries. The Stumptown coffee is tremendous, but I particularly enjoyed hearing one barista describe a roast of coffee as bright “like an IPA” (talking my language).
I managed to squeeze in a few visits to local breweries during my week in Portland then the Oregon Coast. Can’t say enough about the coast – beautiful rugged ocean views, mountains overlooking the sea, and great fresh craft beer everywhere.
In Portland I started out at the Deschutes brewpub – enjoying the wet hopped “Inversion IPA” with my German pretzel and warm mustard cheese dipping sauce. Had to visit a Rogue brewpub, where I tried the “Tracktown Black Saison” and XS Imperial India Pale ale (9.5 ABV). Before heading west to the coast, stopped at the Bridgeport Brewery for a Hop Czar (87 IBU, 7.5 ABV).
Started the Oregon Coast journey in Astoria – where the mighty Columbia River and the churning Pacific intersect, and quaffed a “Red Tide Imperial Red” at the Fort George brewery. Headed a bit south to Pacific City and the famous (within beer circles) Pelican Brew Pub to sit out back and watch the sun set on the Pacific and sip their Belgian Specialty ale. Simply can’t find many more awesome sights when tasting some fresh craft beer (no “green flash” that evening though).
As I made my back towards Portland, drove through the center of the state up towards their wine country “McMinnville” – and happened across Rogue Brewery’s “Chateau” hop farm and tasting room. Imagine my surprise to find (in the middle of nowhere) a working farm with hops, pumpkins and other crops, with a small (but well stocked) tasting room in the center. The signs said “Rogue Nation Department of Agriculture” and the beer in the tasting room included an exclusive wet hopped pale ale that was so fresh it crackled with piney goodness.
My last beer experience was in McMinnville – though the “capital of Oregon wine country” it still had a very fine local brewpub “Golden Valley Brewery” – which featured (again) some fine wet hopped ales.
If you are looking for a wonderful vacation for Beer and Nature (and Coffee) appreciators, give Oregon a try, and be sure to take your time and enjoy hop season in mid September if you can!