written by Jeremy Storton
My foot begins to tap anxiously and I keep looking at my watch. I don’t look at the time, but the date. This is how my beer wanderlust begins. Many of us need to take occasional breaks from the humdrum of our lives, or discover some perspective that will improve it. Perhaps we seek adventure or need to affirm what we have is still pretty good. Nonetheless, the road calls and distant lands beckon. This is the premise for wine-tasting weekends or unspoken trips to Vegas. For me, the thirst for good beer experiences is unquenchable.
My wife and children are often my companions as I drag them to another brewery for lunch. They wait patiently while I gab with another brewer about process, flavors and beer culture blah-de-blah. They are good sports and usually get a glass of wine or ice cream, respectively, out of the deal. Experiences like these, however, are easy. So easy, in fact, that beer-and food-savvy travelers seem to ask a new question: “What else you got?”
With beer tourism on the rise and “beercation” slowly becoming a word, beer-centric lodging and tours are popping up around the country. Ale Trails in Portland,Bend, Eugene and the North Coast are dandy, but to one-up the beer travel game, one must immerse himself fully in the culture. To that end, I recommend getting out of the usual beer hotspots (I’m talking about you, Portland and Bend!) and set cruise control on the road to brew discoveries.
HOW TO BEERCATION
Out-of-the-way breweries worth visiting:
Ashland: Standing Stone Brewing Co.
Bandon: Bandon Brewing Co.
Boardman: Ordnance Brewing
Coos Bay: 7 Devils Brewing Co.
Depoe Bay: Depoe Bay Brewing Co.
Enterprise: Terminal Gravity Brewing
Eugene: Alesong Brewing & Blending; Falling Sky Brewing
Hood River: Double Mountain Brewery; Logsdon Farmhouse Ales
Newberg: Wolves and People
Oakridge: Brewer’s Union Local 180
Redmond: Wild Ride Brewing; Kobold Brewing/The Vault
Roseburg: Old 99 Brewing Co.; Two Shy Brewing; Draper’s Draft House
Sisters: Three Creeks Brewing
Beer-centric lodges worth checking into:
Rogue B&B (Newport)
Bunk & Brew (Bend)
(eight locations in Oregon)
WHAT ELSE YOU GOT?
BEER TOURS IN PORTLAND
Brewery Bike Tours, Portland
Brewvana’s Beer & Barrels
BEER TOURS IN BEND
Bend Brew Bus
Bend Tour Company’s Cycle Pub
Wanderlust’s Shoes, Brews & Views
BEER TOURS IN EUGENE
Pacific Pub Cycle