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Hoppy Times at Chatoe Rogue

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My trusty taster boat.
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My trusty taster boat.

That’s just a smidgeon of what you’ll encounter at Chatoe Rogue, Oregon’s best-known brewing company’s tasting room and working hop farm in Independence, Oregon.

The woman behind the counter, Emily, had selected the biggest variety of their beers for me to sample, and I sipped on one after another from my taster boat.

Each was refreshing on the baking hot day. I watched families and friends playing cornhole and bocce on the big lawn surrounded by fields of hops as I let the range of flavors sink in. Emily had explained that any beer with the word Chatoe in its name was made from plants grown right here.

“You haven’t had your taste of the day yet,” she said when I returned the taster boat. “Everyone gets one whether they ask for it or not — well, as long as they’re 21.”

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Folks enjoying a friendly game of cornhole, surrounded by fields of hops.

She handed me a taste of the Single Malt Ale, as I read the pamphlet on the counter. “Bringing the winery experience to beer drinkers,” it said.


“This seems like a fun place to work,” I remarked.

“I just started, but I love it,” Emily said. “We do all kinds of fun events, too. We just had our salmon bake this past weekend. Members of the Warm Springs tribe bring fresh-caught fish and cook it on stakes in their traditional way, and we all have a big cookout under the stars.”

Another guest came up to pay as I continued reading and sipping.

“I’m paying with Hoppoes today,” the lady said.

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Chatoe Rogue pilsner on a bed of hops in the tasting room.

She held up a bill that read “National Bank of Rogue” across the top (the faux currency is their version of gift certificates). That’s when I noticed the menu for dogs.

“This place has thought of everything, hasn’t it?” I asked Emily.

“Pretty much. We even have a Hop ‘n Bed — the yellow house you probably saw when you walked in,” she said. “It doesn’t come with breakfast, but you get all the beer you want.”

I know where I’ll be staying next time.

Follow Shannon’s adventures on Twitter @CuriousTraveler and on Instagram @ShannonSwitzer

Shannon is photographing with an Olympus PEN E-PM1 and an Olympus Tough TG-820.

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