Before I left on my trip, just as I stepped out the door from work, I said to my co-workers “I will never taste the Beard Beer”.
We all know we should never say never. This point can be validated by Sean Connery, yes that Sean Connery. If you are lucky enough to know the original Bond (and in my opinion the best James Bond out of all of the Bonds), he can let you know why to never say never. After spouting off about how he was never going to make another James Bond movie he ended up making one more, aptly titled Never Say Never Again. Oops.
The beard beer had always grossed me out. Although approved by the FDA, it still made me shudder thinking about drinking the beer. The beer is made from the yeast from the beard of the brew master, John Maier. Yeah, you read that right, and watch you gag reflex.
So wrap your head around that, yeast from a beard. Leave it to Rogue Brewing to do something so, well rogue. This beer has been around since 2013 so I gave it a good run, 3 years, before I tried the beer. Although I may have been grossed out by this beer, I was slightly curious about it.
I found myself at Rogue Ales Public House Astoria Oregon with no intention of drinking the beard beer. Things changed quickly when I decided to order a beer flight. With a taste of 4 beers I thought to myself this was my chance. I could try the beard beer without fully committing to a full 16 ounces of it. I know, cheating, right?
As I was still a little gun-shy of the Beard Beer, I started off with the Morimoto Imperial Pilsner. This beer has a 8.8% Alcohol By Volume (ABV) and a 74 International Bittering Unit (IBU). It is pretty rare to see an imperial pilsner, so I thought I would give it a go. The beer is not an overly hoppy, more of a malty base with a floral aroma. It pours out a cloudy straw color and comes in a kick ass bomber bottle if you buy it off the shelf.
Because I love pub food I ordered lunch to go along with my beer tasting. One thing I have learned is that in addition to putting out tasty beers, Rogue Public Houses also make great food. I ordered the Fried Cheese Curds to start. These cheese curds are battered in Rogue’s Mom Hefeweizen and served with a jalapeno jelly for dipping. After you place one of these cheese curds dipped in the jalapeno jelly in your mouth you are going to want to high-five yourself. Don’t worry no one will judge you. They will know what you are doing once they see what you are eating.
My next taste was the Promises Gone Ah-Rye IPA. I love rye in my beer almost as much as I love Boomer, Jovi and well Bon Jovi. With a 7.5% ABV and a 70 IBU this beer is packed full of rye flavor. It poured out as a pretty red color and was my “flavorite” out of the bunch I tried that day.
My lunch arrived and there sat a plate of creamy mac and cheese in front of me. The only thing traditional about this mac and cheese is the elbow noodles. A mixture of white cheddar, Gruyère, mozzarella and blue cheese top these noodles, which will again result in you giving yourself another high-five. And again no one will judge you once they see what you are eating.
With my mac and cheese I enjoyed the 7 Hop Imperial IPA, a 7.77% AVB and 76 IBU beer. This beer is made up of 7 different hops: Liberty, Newport, Revolution, Rebel, Independent, Freedom and Alluvial. All of these hops are grown at the Rogue Farm in Independence Oregon. I liked all of the different hops mixed together and found this beer to be a nice flavorful IPA, but not overly punch you in the face like some imperials can be.
The food had been cleared, the other beers had been tasted and I was left with one last beer. The Beard Beer. As a beer collector I knew this day would come and I would have to try a beer I was slightly afraid of.
I took the small glass in my hand, brought it up to my nose and breathed in the aroma of the beer. It smelled like beer and not a sweaty beard. I then pressed the glass to my lips and took a small sip. It was at that second I realized I was being overly dramatic. The Beard Beer did not come with any funk. The beer did not taste out of the ordinary. It tasted like beer. The beer had a sweet aftertaste despite the fact that it is classified as a sour beer. The Beard Beer has a 5.6% ABV and a 25 IBU. And there you have it, I faced my fears and collected a beer I said I would never drink.
Before I left the pub, crossing the narrow wooden bridge back to Astoria, I purchased one last beer. There was a chili beer listed on the tap list, that I had been interested in trying, but it was not available due to its popularity. The bartender recommended I give the Sriracha Stout a try. The Sriracha was also not on the tap, but available in a bomber bottle. I took the bottle home with me and eagerly awaited tasting it.
The beer came in a bottle reminiscent of the Sriracha hot sauce bottle and left me only with curiosity. The beer has a 5.7% ABV and a 55 IBU. Like the Sriracha hot sauce, this beer delivered on its word with a spicy goodness. This beer also has a nice roasty stout flavor which pairs well with the spiciness of the chilies. It was delightful!
The Rogue Ales Public House Astoria Oregon is located at 100 39th Street. The Public House is located right on the water and has a cute little wooden bridge leading you to the Public House. There is not much parking or a large turn around space, so if you have a big vehicle you may want to park elsewhere and walk out to the pub.