By Gail Oberst
Here’s my favorite fantasy: I lift up the corner of the desk, watch these papers and cards and electronic gadgets crash to floor, slip out the back door before anyone notices, jump on the highway west until it ends, and throw myself on the first beach I find. After an hour of running through waves and chasing seagulls, I work up a thirst for an Oregon brew. What’s close?
Depending on where I land on the coast, I’ll probably be at one of these breweries between Astoria and Newport:
Rogue’s Public House
100 39th Street, Astoria
There’s no brewery at this Rogue, but it is a super cool place to hang out on a sunny, stormy or any afternoon, and by hang out, I mean you are literally hanging out over the lower Columbia River, close enough to hear the ships go by.
Fort George Brewery
1483 Duane Street, Astoria
You hunt for their eclectic brews wherever you go, so why not stop in at heaven’s headquarters, located between the historic downtown and the waterfront. There you’ll discover that Fort George makes more than just a delicious Vortex IPA: Stouts, lagers, wits, doppelbocks, pumpkin and coffee and spruce flavors, and Belgian beers all await your tongue. This summer Fort George opened a top floor restaurant with a killer view of the waterfront and a full line-up of wood-fired pizzas. Don’t like wide, open spaces? Try the tiny fireside pub next to the brewery.
Seaside Brewing Company
851 Broadway St., Seaside
This year-old brewery right on Highway 101’s thoroughfare through town is expanding to a 15-barrel system. But even before the expansion, this brewery was the wave to catch: fresh seafood snacks, lunches and dinners paired with their own and other local brews boosted its popularity. Now that the new brewing system is installed, who knows how far they’ll go? Stop by and check it out, if only to see how nicely they’ve fixed up this historic building.
Pelican Pub & Brewery
33180 Cape Kiwanda Dr., Pacific City
There’s a lot to say about this place, but we thought the picture on the cover was worth a million words. In this tiny coastal town, you can eat, sleep to the sounds of waves, shop up a storm, and drink great beer. How could it get better? Pelican is expanding to Tillamook, that’s how! Read more about that, this issue.
McMenamins Lighthouse Brewpub
4157 N.W. Highway 101, Otis
There are several coastal McMenamins on the map, including the new Gearhart Hotel, where you can stay the night, but Lincoln City’s Lighthouse is its only coastal brewery, established in 1986, one of the first in the company. If you read this in time to make the Aug. 17 Lighthouse Brewfest, you may be able to view the Mighty Beer Atom as it emerges from the creative mind of a McMenamins employee.
Rusty Truck Brewery
4649 SW Highway 101, Lincoln City
The brewery is actually behind the sprawling event bar, Roadhouse 101, where you enjoy a quiet lunch with your great beer by day, and by night, rock your pints off every weekend to likes of (this month) Sonny Hess, Renee Hill, Tommy Tutone, Janiva Magness, Phamous Phaces, and more. All that, about 10 Rusty Truck brews on tap, crazy beach and roadhouse decor and a surf, turf, barbecue and pizza menu that doesn’t quit. How do they do it?
Rogue Brewery & Pub, Newport
There are two great places to have a Rogue beer in Newport: At Brewer’s on the Bay, 2320 OSU Drive, you can tour the brewery and then have a pint while watching the fishing boats come in. The original Rogue Public House, 748 SW Bay Blvd., is across from the brewery on the northern bayfront. There, the famous bathtub picture of Mo Nieme, the late-great founder of Mo’s Restaurants, hangs in a place of honor near the bar. Although I’ve spent an hour or two at the original Public House, my favorite seat is at the brewery bar. Go through the giant tank at the front door, past the brewery, through the gift shop and up the stairs. Turn left and sit in the tall chairs in front of the windows, watch the boats bob in the basin, and dream of being a pirate. Because Rogue makes so many good beers, and they are all available at the brewery, get a taster tray before committing.
Stories from the print edition of the Oregon Beer Growler.