Reader’s Choice #1: Chatoe Rogue OREgasmic

10 Sep

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Chatoe Rogue OREgasmic is the winner of our very first reader’s choice review. I have to admit, I was secretly hoping this one would win. Partly for the name. I mean, come on. Not only does it prove to be exciting, but the ORE means it is heavily rooted in Oregon. That said, like any other potentially mind-blowing experience, I know it can end one of two ways, so I am trying not to set my expectations too high.

Regardless of how it tastes, I do have to admit I’m excited about the fact that this beer is brewed using 100% OREGON Ingredients: Micro Barley Farm Dare™ and Risk™ Malts; First Growth Micro Hopyard Revolution and Independent Hops, Pacman Yeast and Free Range Coastal Water. The First Growth Oregon hops and malt are both grown on Rogue’s own micro hopyard and barley farm.

If you have ever been to Portland, or Oregon, or read an article in the NY Times about us, or seen IFC’s show Portlandia, you know that we take our food serious here and a huge contingency of us have embraced the local food movement. It’s pouring over into our beer culture now, and that’s pretty cool.

from wikipedia: The local food movement is a “collaborative effort to build more locally based, self-reliant economies – one in which food production, processing, distribution, and consumption is integrated to enhance the economic, environmental and social health of a particular place.” It is part of the concept of local purchasing and local economies; a preference to buy locally produced goods and services.

As I said, the local food movement is strong here. In 2011, OPB reported that

“northwest farmers are some of the most successful in the nation in joining the local food movement. Oregon and Washington have some of the highest rates of local food sales in the country. This report from the USDA cites the region’s variety of fresh produce as well as a long-standing tradition of farmers’ markets. But the study notes that the vast majority of local food sales happen through grocery stores and restaurants.”

Oregonians are serious about supporting local farmers, and so not surprising, they are also serious about local beer. Oregon’s breweries crafted 1,085,000 barrels (or roughly 270 million pints) of beer during 2010. Of the 2.7 million barrels of all beer – both bottled and draft – consumed in the state, roughly 14.4 percent was made in Oregon. This is the highest for any state in the United States. Not only that, craft beer doesn’t even hit 5% of the market share nationwide, while over 15% of beer consumed in Oregon is craft-brewed.

The best part, all that craft beer isn’t just good for our waistlines.

Oregon’s 81 brewing companies donated product and money equal to more than $1.23 million to local non-profits in 2010. Retail sales of Oregon-made beer sold in the state totaled approximately $235 million in 2010. In total, the brewing industry contributes $2.44 billion to the state’s economy. Despite overall weak employment figures for the year in Oregon, the state’s brewing companies added 200 jobs in 2010 and directly employed more than 4,900 people. source: Oregon Leads in Craft Beer Consumption

Oregon’s beer industry is a huge part of the local food and farming culture here. So, it’s not too surprising to see them leading the way to 100% local beer. It’s also very Rogue.

Rogue’s Creed (from their website): The spirit of the Rogue brand, even the name, suggests doing things differently, a desire and a willingness to change the status quo. A Rogue Ale, Porter, Stout, Lager or Spirit is crafted to give it unique character, innovative in its makeup and brewing, a process that has not compromised quality. We do what we do to become a meaningful industry leader through the products we create and by building an organization that is successful without being big, bureaucratic, or common. To be a leader doesn’t mean you have to be the biggest. The best leaders lead by example and by doing things the right way, even if it means going against the grain.We make products for the connoisseur, the entrepreneur, and the revolutionist.

While the Rogue Nation, which I am a member of, and so too can you, is a global alliance without borders, its citizenry possessing an unswerving responsible allegiance to the Rogue within, unfettered by limitations imposed by others, commonly-accepted bullshit, or rules totally lacking in reason. Rogue’s tagline? Dare. Risk. Dream.

So, for many reasons I was really excited to try this beer, or any really, from their GYO (Grow Your Own) line of ales. And what I had planned to be a quick beer review turned into a little bit of why the beer scene in Oregon is so exciting. Enough that we follow it, that we write about it, that we relish in it’s intricacies and delicacies. It continues to grow, change, challenge. To dare, risk, dream. Even the good ol’ Oregon standbys. But enough about the pre-pour.

The OREgasmic is a Pale Ale that clocks in at 40 IBUs. It pours an orange-amber color and the nose is all malt. Mostly I noticed the barley and the malty sweetness, reminding me a little bit of malt syrup. But I also detected a hint of the yeast, reminding me of rising sourdough.

The malt is definitely the main attraction on the palette as well. Although there is quite a bit of spicy, fruity hops that are a nice accompaniment and offer a lingering bitterness on the tongue. It wasn’t quite balanced enough, in my opinion. The malt was a little overpowering. However, the label recommends this beer be served with seafood and hot and spicy foods. I enjoyed it by campfire with a bowl of spicy chorizo chili and fully agree with that pairing. The spicy counterpart made the hop taste a little crisper and toned down the malt quite a bit. This beer is definitely worth a try. For the local foodies, this is a staple for the fridge.

Next up: Pumpkin Ales

This is how it works:

  1. I post a poll for a week or two depending on the response rate.
  2. The poll includes a selection of craft beers within a common theme.
  3. There is a write-in option if you have an idea for a beer not listed.
  4. I post a review shortly after for the beer with the most votes.
  5. If a write-in is not the winner I still consider it for future polls / posts (if accessible in my market).
  6. Only craft beers are considered.

Place your vote now!

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One Response to “Reader’s Choice #1: Chatoe Rogue OREgasmic”

  1. Sister Schoultz September 18, 2012 at 2:56 PM #

    Whoo hoo! I finally get to play along. A beer I can find down here in the South. It was just enough hops for this beer gringo. It paired well with a very rare house-to-myself and a jacuzzi bath.

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