A friend and I were exploring Newport (OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center) and noticed a giant red beer can that was the entrance to Rogue brewery. We got there in time to go on the tour and were able to see some of the inner-ale-makings!
So that red sign was actually an issue with the city, since Newport has a sort of “grey theme,” which this tall red structure clashes with. However, they managed to find a loophole in some sort of pink van that was allowed, so I think the city chose the lesser of two evils.
Rogue focuses on consistency when they create their ales. Our tour guide describes the process of brewing their beer as being a master puppeteer and knowing how to make the yeast do what you want it to by adding protein, etc. Rogue brews a large variety of beer while still maintaining a fairly small production. They make about 50 different beers that are consistently seasonally made, like pumpkin patch beer. In addition to that they make various different beers that are one-time deals. They were the first ones to introduce beer in a 22 oz bottle. They have cool painted bottles instead of paper labels, which cost more but are part of their brand. They have a lot of eccentric touches to their brewery, such as an old coffee roaster to roast their grain.
The company that made it went out of business, so whenever it breaks, it’s the bane of their mechanics existence. However, they keep these touches even though it takes more time and manpower to maintain, so that they can keep their workers busy year-round, even in the slower months. It’s a function of keeping quality employees employed. It creates employees who care about what they do.
They keep their beer stored at 42 degrees, even though most places keep it colder. Any colder and our tour guide said it would numb your taste sensations, and you don’t want your beer kept too cold then warmed up because then the temperature fluctuates and it’s not good for the beer. You also want to drink most of their beers within the year. Some beers will age for about five years, and the larger formats would age as well, but their beer is “real food” so it expires, just like our food does.
My friend and I bought a few recommended beers for the campfire and they were super good! Their Brutal IPA is the staff and local favorite alike. It’s a go-to ale, not overpowered by hops even though it’s an IPA, with nice citrus notes to it. I got their Honey Orange Wheat ale, which went wonderfully with the smores of that evening. It’s such a great summer wine, light and fresh, little bit of sweetness and easy to drink. They also made a honey kolsh that year but it was sold out by the time we went to get our bottles.
Visit the Rogue brewery I did, “Brewers on the Bay” at 2320 OSU Drive, Newport, OR 97365. View all of their locations here.