This weekend we stopped at the Rogue Distillery and Public House in Portland. It wasn’t our first choice, but the other two we tried to swing into were insanely busy after the Portland Timbers match. Fortunately, we know what to expect at Rogue, and typically enjoy our stops when we do go. I’ve been a fan of Rogue beers since I tasted my first Dead Guy Ale several years ago.
This weekend wasn’t too bad, though I don’t know if we’ll be going back anytime soon. We’ve gotten used to the long waits (our waiters have comped us drinks because food took way too long to get to us), the surly service we get from one waitress in particular, and of course the crowds that typically end up there. Most times I stop there, it’s to simply grab a few bottles to take home as I know the restaurant will typically be too busy for us to handle.
So, on Saturday, we stopped by after our efforts to try something new at 10 Barrel or Deschutes would mean a longer than we liked wait. Seriously, I know it’s Saturday night, but over an hour for a table is too long to wait with a 10 year old in tow. Fortunately, Rogue wasn’t as busy as the other places and we were able to get in immediately. It was there that I found the Fresh Roast Ale that I’m drinking now.
When we visited Rogue during a trip to Newport earlier this year, we were told of the Fresh Roast, but there was none to be had at the time. Our tour guide told us that they bring the barley in, toss it in the roaster, then as soon as it comes out, use it in their beer. I can tell you now, the taste of that roasted barley stands out in this brew.
From the first sip to the last swallow, you will notice the difference in an ale whose barley is roasted and then added, as opposed to one that sits for days before being used. Most roasted barley will develop a slightly excessive bitterness when they sit too long, and while that works for some recipes, it’s not always the best. By using the barley right away, it imparts an almost creamy taste that melds with the Liberty and Rebel hops used by Rogue in this tasty treat. You can almost still taste the fresh smoky flavor that we experienced while witnessing the roasting process during our tour.
All in all, I have to say that this is a great beer and one that should be enjoyed while cooking your favorite burger on the grill outside. Better yet, grab a second bottle and marinate your burger in it before you cook. You might have just found the secret to the best burger out there!
Rogue Fresh Roast:
- 37 IBU
- 5.7% ABV
- Rogue Farms malts and barleys, including fresh roasted R-10 Malt
- Liberty and Rebel Hops
- Ingredients grown at Rogue Farms
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!