Rogue Brewery by: Chris Wise
In the fight against mass-produced, bland tasting beer, one company is attempting to start a full-scale beer revolution. Rogue, which produces spirits in addition to their many varieties of beers, believes in the power of innovation and striving for an excellent product. Rogue has been operating for over 25 years, and has built a reputation putting the quality of their product of the quantity of money they make, and helping bring attention to the revolution currently happening within the beer-universe.
The revolution owes its roots to four men, Jack Joyce, Bob Woodell, Rob Strasser and Jeff Schultz, a 10 gallon bbl brewing system and a 60-seat brewpub in Ashland, OR. In 1988 the first Rogue Public House was opened by the four friends, pushing out their first two recipes: Amber and Gold. While the response from the public was encouraging, it quickly became apparent Rogue needed to expand in order to survive past their first winter. So in February of 1989 Jack Joyce took a drive to Newport to look for their next location.
A winter storm closed in quickly on the small town, leaving Jack’s stuck with no way out of town that night. So Jack walked into town until he was rescued by Mohave “Mo” Niemi, founder of the famous Mo’s Clam Chowder. As Jack was warming up with a hot bowl of clam chowder Niemi told him about her dream to live above a bar, claiming she had the answer to Rogue’s expansion problem. Niemi offered to help Jack secure the new location, on two conditions: Rogue “feed the fishermen,” or give back to the local community, and hang a picture of Mo, naked in a bathtub, above the bar(which is still there to this day.) Jack quickly agreed, and that same month Rogue began construction to relocate from a basement in Ashland to a garage in Newport.
In May of 1989, Rogue’s Revolution gained an important member of their team when John “More Hops” Maier joined the team as Brewmaster. John left The Alaskan Brewery to join Rogue, having won the American Homebrewer Association’s Homebrewer of the Year Award only three years before in 1986. John Maier was present for the first batch of brew in Newport, OR in 1989, and has brewed over 100,000 pints of beer for Rogue since.
The first location in Newport served as the base of their brewing operation for only three years, when the brewery system was moved across the bay to its current location, but remains open today as the Rogue Ales Public House(still with the picture of Mo above the bar.) Rogue has kept expanding since that time, and now the Rogue empire includes multiple locations around Portland, a pub in the Portland Airport, their own farm complex in Independence, OR, pubs in Issaquah, WA, and San Francisco, CA. Rogue locations are all family friendly, with kid friendly menus and even free water and food options for your dog. The Hop’N’Bed at the Independence farmhouse gives Rogue visitors the option to stay overnight for a longer tour of the facilities (what sounds more relaxing than bed and breakfast and beer?) and two apartments are available for stays above their Newport location.
Rogue’s empire doesn’t consist of simply a few pubs and a bed and breakfast. Today, Rogue has their own museum, library, university, newspaper, film company, record company, publishing company, 24-hour news operations, coins and currency, passports, national ID cards, stamps, license plates, a flag, a constitution, uniforms, shoes, a Creamery, a national past time, a literary journal, a bakery, a chef laureate, a bull, a pledge and boxer shorts.
Hard work and dedication has brought Rogue a great deal of recognition for their continued efforts within the brewing industry: Rogue has won over 1000 awards during their history, a complete list of which can be found on their website under the awards section. One of the truly impressive feats when looking at this list is how Rogue has maintained a consistent level of outstanding quality since their first award, a gold medal at the 1990 Great American Beer Festival awarded to their Smoke Ale. Rogue now sells their 37 ales in all 50 states and in 32 different countries around the world (including 50% of the craft beer market in Guam).
Rogue Brewing operates under six simple guidelines: To brew the finest varietal ales & spirits in the world with an uncompromising devotion to Quality and the Art of Brewing; To present the finished work with a touch of educational, entertaining mischief; To be dedicated to the Rogue in each of us; To remember it is not simply a matter of profit but a highly personal work of art; To build relationships, not just ales; To be like great friends and remember it’s what’s inside that counts. Rogue is proud of the success they have achieved using their straightforward approach, and invites all their customers to visit the production sites for themselves. Customers can visit the Newport brewpub or Independence Farm to get a behind the scenes look at all the work that goes into making a Rogue brew and meet with the people that make this company so special. Make sure to try the 7 Hop IPA which combines all the hops Rogue Farms at Independence grows in a delicious Pale Ale.
Next time you’re at the beer outlet deciding between the cheaper, mass produced beers and the higher quality craft brews, grab a case of Rogue and join the revolution.
American Amber Ale
Delightfully yummy as can be, this coffee aroma beer showcases an excellent amber. Containing Cascade hops and three different malts, American Amber Ale is full of caramel, bread and hops smells. The taste hides notes of floral and citrus, as well as a bitter finish. This recipe is truly full of balance and grace, and shows what Rogue is all about: unpretentious, great tasting beer.
ABV – 5.6%
Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout
This American-style stout contains earthy flavors with a creamy, chocolate finish. Drink it with a dessert – it practically is one itself! It tastes of slightly roasted malts, but the smoothness of the oats softens the entire drinking experience. There is just a hint of both coffee and dark chocolate finish.
Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout is now also available in 12oz, 6 packs.
ABV – 6.1%
Dead Guy Ale
Brewed as a mock German Maibock, this beer is deep honey in color and has a highly malty aroma. Made with Perle and Saaz hops and four punchy malts, the body is extremely creamy. The smells circle around coffee, butter, malts, sugars and all other delightful scents. The taste follows by being sweet, but with enough bitter kick to back it up.
ABV – 6.5%
Bitters on bitters on bitters, this is a greatly adventurous IPA. It has all the classic citrus and grassy hop flavors and aromas, but amplified! The bitter taste does not overpower the malts and sweet tastes. Surprisingly well balanced for the amount of hops, the bready aspect also dips into a pineapple blast, making this a memorable IPA.
ABV – 5.8%
An interesting ale to say the least – they say spice is the variety of life! Well this beer does it well. The aroma is literally smoky, as well malty. The taste hits notes of spice, malts, pepper and leaves the tongue happy, if not a little singed. It’s a flavor burst, mixed into a great brew, that you’ll just have to try for yourself!
ABV – 5.5%
Visit Rogue.com to look at their list of brews, awards, locations, take an online tour, or learn a little more about the Rogue Revolution. Distributed locally by Frank B. Fuhrer Wholesale Inc.