Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sustainable Sunday: Rogue Hopyard

Well last week I talked about wine, so I decided to go with beer on this fine Mother's day. A lil while back I hit up the Rogue Hopyard with friends for beer, food, and a look at hops in action.

The trip was enjoyable - well off the beaten track in the Willamette Valley (Independence to be exact). We drove in past rows of hop fields with patriotic and maverick names (they boast 42 varieties on site), to the hophouse which sits right next to the Rogue Hop 'n Bed bed and breakfast house. We missed the tour (2pm on Sundays), but were able to stand in the tasting room and enjoy a wide variety of beers and good conversation with the staff.

What I like about Rogue is they do not go for what Michael Pollan dubs "supermarket pastoral" in their advertising or labeling. They grow hops locally, and are committed to things like sustainable farming, but they don't use this as a gimmick to get people to like them. In fact, their website copy is even a bit tongue in cheek about it, stating that they use 'free range' coastal water along with their other ingredients. Though I am the first to shout about sustainability from the rooftops, there is something to be said about not taking things to seriously.

The beers were excellent, including one that had hints of juniper, making me long for the Utah desert sunshine (it was sunny that day though!). With locations up and down the I5 corridor in Oregon and even into California - I say check out the Rogue Nation!

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