From Farm to Pint Glass
Pledge your allegiance to Rogue Nation
If you like IPA, you’ll be happy to know that National IPA Day takes place on August 2, 2018! Some of the very best IPA available anywhere comes from Rogue Ales, which is headquartered in Newport. Gather your family and friends, and celebrate National IPA Day on the coast this year. Visit Rogue World Headquarters, where you’ll have the opportunity to sample great beers, tour the campus and even join Rogue Nation!
Unlike citizenship requirements for most countries, it’s not hard to become a citizen of Rogue Nation. In fact, it’s easy to join! All you have to do is recite the Rogue Nation Pledge of Roguellegiance with “Big Al” Jorgensen, the president of this nation of craft beer. And best of all, you can still retain citizenship in your home country and become a member of Rogue Nation at the same time! Rogue Nation also occupies plenty of solid territory beyond its meeting halls and breweries; Rogue Farms produces many of the ingredients that are added to their brews and end up in your pint glass, bottle or growler.
The Rogue Revolution was quietly started by a handful of friends in a basement in Ashland, Oregon in 1988 with the brewing of American Amber Ale and Oregon Golden, both quickly became popular beverages in the Southern Oregon town. Shortly thereafter, Rogue founder Jack Joyce met “Mo” (aka Mohava Niema, the founder of Mo’s Restaurants) while staying in Newport. Over a bowl of clam chowder, they agreed that Mo would rent Jack the vacant storefront and garage that she owned on Newport’s Historic Bayfront, under two conditions: that Rogue would promise to feed the local fishermen and that a photo of Mo in a bathtub would forever hang above the bar (and a copy of the photo hangs there and in every Rogue Meeting Hall to this day).
The establishment of Rogue Nation is said to have happened in Newport with the opening of the Rogue Bayfront Public House in 1989, when famed Rogue brewmaster John Maier brewed his first batch of Rogue Beer in the back room. This location became Rogue’s only public house after a flood destroyed the Ashland brewpub and closed it forever, but a brand new larger facility was soon built across the Yaquina Bay in 1992 to house Rogue’s World Headquarters. Rogue’s South Beach public house is also home to Brewer’s on the Bay, Rogue House of Spirits, Rogue Spirits Distillery, and Rogue’s Rolling Thunder Barrel Works. The original Bayfront Public House is still in operation, and also offers lodging in three apartments upstairs called Bed ‘n’ Beer.
As Rogue Nation turns 30 this year, there will be much to celebrate. Rogue boasts more than half a dozen meeting halls beyond the three in Newport, with an additional three in Portland, one in Astoria and another in Independence, and two others beyond the state of Oregon, one in Issaquah, Washington and another in San Francisco, California. In addition to the meeting halls, Rogue’s first distillery opened in 2003 in Portland, and was moved to Newport in 2007 where gin and whiskey are being distilled today. Rogue’s World Headquarters in South Beach is more than a brewery and distillery, it’s a campus, complete with bottling facility, warehouse, brewpub restaurant, gift shop, House of Spirits, museum, and cooperage. It also offers one of the best views of the Yaquina Bay and has shared space with the public Port of Newport.
The cooperage, Rolling Thunder Barrelworks, is the newest part of Rogue’s World Headquarters and it’s an amazing addition. Since 2015, Rogue Cooper Nate Linquist (actually the second longest serving Rogue), has been making about a barrel a day on average with specialized equipment that mostly predates World War II. After working a variety of positions at Rogue’s World Headquarters, Linquist apprenticed with Oregon Barrel Works for six months before returning to Rogue to open the cooperage. The barrels that are made in the Rogue’s cooperage are used for aging ales, lagers and spirits.
The Rogue museum is another highlight at Rogue’s World Headquarters. Items in the museum date back to the inception of the brewery, and it’s full of all sorts of odds and ends, like handmade posters for the brewery, the brewery’s history in photos, and many of the nearly 2000 awards and medals that Rogue has been awarded. The museum also holds the remaining bottles of beers and spirits that are no longer brewed, or were part of limited collaborations (at Rogue they’re called “collisions”) with other companies. Some of the more interesting collisions include the Sriracha Stout (with the famous hot sauce company), Bacon Maple Ale (with Portland’s Voodoo Doughnut), and Wasted Sea Star Purple Pale Ale (with scientists from OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center).
Perhaps the most unique aspect of Rogue’s operation is farming. Many of the ingredients that go into Rogue’s products were grown on their two farms. Oregon’s Willamette Valley is world renown for the Pinot grapes that are grown there, but before there were grapes, hops were one of the biggest crops in the area. The Willamette Valley is positioned perfectly in the rain shadow of the Coast Range, where volcanic soils eroded by ice age floods grow the best hops. Willamette Valley hop farms historically date back to the middle of the 19th century, but at some point in the last half of the 20th century, hops were no longer planted. In 2008, Rogue built a 42-acre hopyard near Independence, Oregon in what at one time been the Hop Capital of the World. This year, Rogue will harvest nearly 64,000 pounds of seven varieties of hops to be shipped to the brewery in Newport.
In addition to the hops growing on Rogue Farms in Independence, crops of pumpkins, marionberries, and Jalapenos are also in production. Free range chickens and Royal Palm turkeys help out around the farm, and potbellied pigs Voo and Doo (named after the collisions with Voodoo Doughnut, of course) reside there too. Rogue Farms also grows groves of hazelnuts (more hazelnuts are grown in the Willamette Valley than anywhere else in the United States) and keeps over 7 million honeybees. Chatoe Rogue Tasting Room is also located on the farm, and welcomes guests with twelve taps and farm tours. In addition to the crops being grown at Rogue Farms in Independence, Rogue has a lesser known farm in the Tygh Valley near Mount Hood, where they are growing 200 acres or barley and 20 acres of rye.
Are you ready to become a citizen of Rogue Nation, and join over 270,000 Rogue citizens from around the world? Rogue distributes to all 50 states, and 54 countries, but when you visit one of their meeting halls, world headquarters or the farm, you’ll feel like you’re visiting a local, family run organization. Stop into Brewer’s on the Bay and Rogue House of Spirits in South Beach, and take a tour of Rogue’s World Headquarters (they are offered at select times throughout the day), and visit the original Rogue Ales Public House on the Historic Bayfront and have a pint or shot that originated right here in Oregon.
Watch the Nation closely for information on their 30th Anniversary celebrations that are are sure to ensue, and visit Rogue’s website at www.rogue.com for locations, hours or operation, and special events and offerings.
Newport looks forward to welcoming you! Click here for more info on visiting.