30 Jun Summer Vacation: 5 Breweries to Visit in Oregon
Home to about 185 breweries, and the second largest producer of hops nationwide, Oregon is a powerhouse when it comes to craft beer. If I taking a summer vacation to the West Coast, I would make a stop in Oregon to try one of their many delicious breweries. Unfortunately, the odds of me traveling 2,000 miles anytime soon are slim to none. However, if I did make the trip, these are the five breweries I’d make sure I hit.
With over 30 beers to choose from, it’s hard to decide which is the best beer that Rogue makes—I myself enjoy their Mocha Porter. Not only do they have an impressive lineup when it comes to quantity, some of the selections Rogue offers are quite honestly, out of this world. Take for instance their Voodoo Doughnut Lemon Chiffon Crueller Ale, or their famous Sriracha Hot Stout. These beers have no comparisons when it comes to variety. The selection, though, isn’t all that Rogue brings to the table. Rogue not only makes great beer, but they also serve up their own spirits, ciders, and handcrafted sodas as well! Rogue also grows their own hops, malting barley, pumpkins, and honey. It’s difficult to think of any Indiana Brewery that can match their farm’s output.
This is my favorite brewery in Oregon, and it is somewhat easy to find in Indiana, just like Rogue is. If I can find Deschutes six-pack in a Marathon gas station in Edwardsburg, Michigan, you can find it in Indy, trust me. Deschutes offers around 20 different bottled beers, mainly focusing on hop-centric creations. Their Mirror Pond pale ale and their Fresh Squeezed IPA are some of my favorites, to name a few. Beginning in 1988, Deschutes started like most other breweries do, in a small space surround by family and friends’ support. Since then they have grown to be one of the Top 5 largest breweries in Oregon, with future plans to build a brewery in Roanoke, Virginia to maintain their East Coast distribution.
I like to think of this beer as one of the first craft beers I bought for myself. I didn’t have any idea what the hell I was buying, but I knew I wanted something other than domestic, so I tried Widmer’s Hefe. It turned out to be a quality beer, and little did I know that I was drinking a beer from Oregon’s largest producing brewery. Although Widmer Brothers is big, it prides itself on having a large selection (30 different beers) with balance. Everything from Saison Ales to Barrel Aged Stouts, Widmer Brothers has been delivering quality brews since 1984.
Cascade is leading the way in one of my recently discovered, yet favorite types of beer; sours. Cascade is all about sour ales, having 17 different sour ales on tap! If you love sour ales, Cascade is right up your alley. I personally believe their Apricot sour is the best, but I have only tasted a few, considering they are extremely difficult to find near Indiana. I have yet to see any six-packs in the state and only a few tap houses have them on tap. So I would make sure to stop by Cascade if I ventured to Oregon for vacation.
Full Sail Brewing
Last, but not least, is Full Sail Brewing Company, who is also a Top 5 producing brewery in Oregon. Full Sail has a great menu, with dozens of beers available in bottles, including their Capsize IPA and their rotating six-packs known as their Pub Series. Pub Series is an interesting idea; Full Sail explains the rotating series as a beer that you would want to experience as a first-timer in their pub house. The taste in those beers is something you don’t ever want to forget. However, you have to get them when you can because the rotations come and go pretty quickly.
Those are the breweries I’m making a pit stop at during any Oregon vacation I take. What other Oregon breweries would be worth stopping at?