Category: spruce tips

Pale Green ThingsWho said you need hops to make a beer taste…

Pale Green Things

Who said you need hops to make a beer taste like oranges? Spruce Budd is brewed with spruce tips. In the spring, the forests of Oregon’s coast range are full of new growth. The pale green tips of Douglas fir and spruce trees have been eaten by native tribes for millennia. Their high in vitamin C, full of minerals, and taste great.

Spruce Budd is brewed in Fort George’s small Sweet Virginia brewery with only light pilsner malt and pounds of fresh foraged fir. The beer is amazing. It’s fresh and zippy and tastes nothing like a christmas tree. It’s floral and citrusy. Like orange blossoms. It’s bright. It’s sweet. It’s delicious.

Pseudo-Socialist Propaganda BeerRogue has never had a stellar…

Pseudo-Socialist Propaganda Beer

Rogue has never had a stellar reputation.

The beer is overpriced to make it look nicer, their pubs are terrible, and it seems to be a pretty shitty place to work.

The brewery was started in Ashland Oregon by a group of former Adidas and Nike executives. For them, the Rogue brand was always more important than the beer they made. It’s been years since I’ve given Rogue, one of Oregon’s oldest breweries, a second thought. But in the last year, the brewery seems to be quietly relaunching themselves. 

It started over the holidays when they sent us that bottle of Santa’s Private Reserve. I was expecting to hate it. I was expecting lackluster Red Ale wrapped in shiny paper. But it was actually, dare I say it, good. And then I noticed cans of Yellow Snow at the grocery store. I’d seen the sophomoric name before, but i remembered it being an IPA, but this is a Pilsner. A Pilsner with spruce tips. 

Again, I wasn’t expecting much, but the beer is good. It has that sweet, tangy, lemony flavor of spruce surrounded by a crispy yellow beer. Huh. Is Rogue getting better? The new beers are interesting, the branding is moving away from white dudes pumping their fists, and they even have a very respectable ranking on Glassdoor. I’m not ready to forgive all their old missteps – though those old Voodoo donut stouts are looking prescient now – but I may start following Rogue’s progress in the future.