Sunday, May 31, 2009

Oregon Stories

I promised to tell the story of my travels in Oregon, and almost an entire month later I am finally getting around to it. Read everything after the jump. Hopefully I'll be able to get pictures posted from my trips around Georgia last weekend - we shall see what time allows.

We got on our plane on the 1st of May after having some pints at the Sweetwater Ale House in Concourse B of the Atlanta airport. Our plane was late taking off for Denver, and as the tension was building on our descent, we were told we were going to need to "run" to make it to our connecting flight to Portland. After sprinting through the Denver airport, we found that boarding was still yet to begin for our Portland flight...out of breath, we cursed the flight attendant who had told us to sprint down there.

We arrived in Portland a bit later than anticipated, but our other friends were arriving even later after having bigger delays in Texas. So we set course for Concordia Ale House (after being given an H3 to drive around Oregon instead of the large van we had requested [oh and our luggage got lost too]). Concordia was a cool enough place, although you could tell it was a Cheers type of place - everyone there knew everyone else's name...except ours. So the service lacked a little bit, but still the beer was a decent enough start for the trip.

We then went back to the airport to pick up the rest of the gang, and immediately we went to the Kennedy School. This place is an old school house that has since been converted into a series of bars in different "rooms" (detention, cafeteria, etc.). Very cool place to hang out, although we wished the beer had been a little bit better.

The next morning we started our drive towards Rogue in Newport, but en route we stopped in Corvallis, home of Oregon State University. We stopped in at Block 15, where three of the guys took part in the Brewmaster's Challenge - a two patty burger with Tillamook cheddar, bacon, and jalapeƱo poppers on it. Also, you had to finish two sides in order to complete the challenge. To the victor went a free pint of beer. Fortunately, two of the three completed the challenge, while the third fell short by not eating the tomatoes or jalapeƱos from the burger. Still, a tasty treat that later caused tremendous pain in their stomachs.

We then proceeded to the Oregon Trail Brewing Company, where they were celebrating National Home Brew Day (May 2). After grabbing our beers ($3.50 a pint) we went out back to see what was being brewed. We had some homebrew, and were invited upstairs for a quick tour of the brewery. We ran into a group of OSU students with their mothers who posed in a picture with me - it's always nice to meet new friends. After exchanging stories with the brewmaster, he gave us a bottle of the bourbon porter that he had just bottled. We will probably open it on our next beer trip (which we are currently in the process of deciding where to go to), but we're very excited to give it a try.

We then made our way over to Newport, where we got to do a brewery tour, distillery tour, drink in the brewery's taphouse, and also have some beers and play trivia at their ale house across the bay. The city was very pretty, with a very scenic bridge and inlet into the bay. I hate writing so little about the "main" brewery we planned our trip around, but there weren't many specific stories to tell from that particular day. Other than walking back from the ale house and some of the guys having too much beer once they got back to the hotel...

We woke up early the next morning and made our way up to Pacific City to have breakfast at the Pelican Brewpub. The brewery is located ON the beach with an astonishing view of the shoreline. The beer and breakfast was very good, and it was really cool of them to give us our own brewery tour (the second they heard we were from Georgia, they jumped at the opportunity - got to love beer trips). After doing the tour we went for a walk on the beach, which led to us Kiwanda State Natural Area, where we got to enjoy the beauty of the Oregon shoreline from a very unique perspective. We spent hours out there, and after finally going back to the beach saw quite a commotion as a downed surfer had to be rescued by US Coast Guard helicopters. Fortunately the surfer was able to walk away from the incident, and as such we were able to drive away.

After that, we drove our way back to Portland. Along the way we came up for an amazing iPhone app, and also determined that Brandon was producing the most awful smelling farts in the history of time. We first ended up at the Raccoon Lodge, which was known for their sour beers...the one they had on draft was quite impressive, so we bought some bottles to bring back home with us.

Portland was two days of staying at a hostel and going to as many brewpubs as possible. What stood out the most from the trip were Hopworks, the tour and tastings we got at Hair of the Dog brewery, Deschutes Ale House, Pix Patisserie (amazing desserts), Laurelwood Public House, and The Horsebrass Pub (can't argue with drunk darts).

There were too many specifics about my stay in Portland to go through, so I just decided to list our favorites. All in all, it was an amazing trip - lots of beer, beautiful views, and meeting a bunch of new people who were (for the most part) doing great things with beer. Perhaps when we start making beer in the next month or so we will be inspired by something we had on the trip.

Did you actually just read all of this? Kudos.

Safe travels!


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Gnomes in the Mediterranean

A few days ago one of my Facebook friends tagged me in some pictures from Turkey and Greece. However, the Gnome being tagged was not me - in fact, it was another of my Clemson Gnome brothers! Which gave me a fantastic idea - there are many of us traveling about the globe. Why not have us all combine forces to find our long lost brother, GNOME? Thanks to Benjamin Miskelly, we have now searched some famous landmarks in both Turkey and Greece, and can eliminate them from the list of potential places GNOME could have been taken to.

If you have any evidence of your Clemson Gnome in other locales that we have yet to search, please send them my way so we can check them off of the list.

I will be updating the blog with stories from Oregon as soon as I get a few minutes to type it all out - it'll happen eventually, I promise!

Safe travels,



Friday, May 8, 2009


As a slight addition, I also took some pictures on my layover in Denver. They can be found below.



Oregon Beer Trip

At the moment I am a bit short on time, but since I have a gap between now and my next trip I will just post pictures from my recent visit to Oregon. While I did have a lot of fun, I did not find any clues leading me to GNOME. With each day, my hopes of finding him get bleaker and bleaker. I'll provide an overview of the trip in the days to come - in the meantime, enjoy the pictures and check out my newly updated map!