The craft beer industry has grown in leaps and bounds. The current number of American breweries is about double the amount that existed in per-prohibition America. While the number of breweries opening has been on a steady and sharp incline as of late, in 1988 it was a vastly different story.
In the mid ’80s there were around 150 breweries operating in the United States. This number grew in 1988 when 56 new breweries opened. One of these breweries, Rogue Ales, has gone on to become quite a legendary brand in the craft beer industry.
The brewery moved to its Newport, Oregon location in 1989 and has gone on to produce some of the most influential beers in America’s craft beer industry. Its beers helped shape the current craft beer landscape and many still continue to be favorites among even the most ardent craft beer lovers.
The brewery has continued to grow over the years and now has its own farm areas where many of its ingredients are grown and harvested. Rogue began dipping into the world of distilling and has had fantastic results. They’ve also created sodas and ciders, so the future shows no signs of slowing for this great brewery.
While stories about craft breweries are interesting, what is truly important is the product that we consume. If you are unfamiliar with Rogue or have grown accustomed to seeing its beers on shelves without trying them, here is a shortlist of some of the best beers Rogue Ales currently brews.
Hazelnut Brown Nectar is easily one of the best nut brown ales available since the mid 1990s. The incredibly smooth body and nutty taste is welcome any time of year. The semi sweet taste provides a wonderful bed for the hazelnuts. At 6.2 percent ABV, the amount of flavor packed into a relatively low ABV is quite an incredible feat, one that must be tried to truly appreciate it. This is certainly a beer that has something for nearly all beer lovers and is the perfect place to start any sampling of delicious Rogue ales.
Dead Guy Ale is a beer that paved the way for many craft beer lovers as the one that got them into craft beer many years ago. What makes this maibock great is the balance and smooth finish that has great qualities of a lager but packs a full flavor punch. The bready and caramel malts melt together for a sweet finish that is far from cloying. Any macro beer lover must try this beer and it may win you over. There is a reason this has long been a favorite among all beer lovers despite the many beers that have come and gone since its inception.
Double Chocolate Stout’s American imperial stout has won three World Beer Championship gold medals because it is absolutely delicious. The 8.7 percent ABV is barely noticeable, so be careful. The notes of bittersweet chocolate dominate in the best way possible leading the way in both aroma and taste. This beer is a chocolate lover’s dream. Make it even better by adding a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream.
Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout is another long-time favorite beer for all craft beer lovers. The full body and notes of coffee, chocolate and roasted malts are a perfect blend of bitter and sweet. The 5.8 percent ABV makes for a beer that can be enjoyed in larger quantities without palate fatigue or body fatigue. Lovers of dark beers will flock to this beer and it is the perfect beer to stock up on for anytime of the year.
While the craft beer market continues to grow with new breweries opening at a rate of what seems like weekly, there are some breweries that have stood the test of time and are still brewing some truly world class beers. Rogue Ales is one of those breweries.
Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour at noon on Sundays on WILK 103.1 FM with past episodes available on iTunes.