Those goddamn seals never stop barking (see last photo). When I walk outside in the wind-blitzed Oregon fishing burg of Newport, home to one Rogue Ales and Spirits, it sounds like nature’s car alarm is blasting as male sea lions compete for lazy space on docks and rocks. It’s just the clarity of the air out here. I’m hearing things without all the world’s noise. Exploring equally rarefied air, I toured Rogue headquarters yesterday in Newport, and I was similarly impressed with the absence of the world’s noise.
I could have been sent to inform the good folks of Rogue that society had collapsed, and they would just smile, invite me in and keep doing what they love doing — brewing bold beer (and conjuring spirits and sodas). I feel a big key to their success (on top of an almost religious work ethic) has been ignoring what the rest of the world is fussing about, sticking to their mission statement of dare, risk and dream. Luckily that apathy for industry buzz and bandwagon trends is outmatched by their generosity and graciousness when you actually come visit them at their headquarters by Yaquina Bay.
When I arrived at their front door, they invited me in, handed me a beer and showed me their beautiful brewing facility, packaging halls, cooperage, distillery and their Rogue Bed ‘n Beer meeting hall on the Historic Bay Front in Newport. We interviewed John Maier and a lot of other charismatic folks. Those stories will come out next week. Until then, enjoy these photos from our tour.