One clear sign an area is growing economically is by the amount of foam-rimmed pint glasses filled with cold craft brew it is pouring. There is nothing hazy about the hopping Oregon beer scene. Breweries, tap rooms and growler fill stations continue to pop up all over the state — including Douglas County. Travelers and beer lovers won’t want to miss Roseburg’s booming breweries. The area, right off Interstate 5 just south of Eugene, is fifth in the state for most breweries per capita.
Roseburg’s newest craft brewery is North Forty Beer Company. Owners R.J. Mills and Arin Forrest have spent the last year remodeling their historic location at 435 SE Jackson Street.
Inside the doors of North Forty offer a very-Oregonian brewery vibe with the perfect marriage of historic and modern. Standing out among the industrial and wood décor is a sparkling copper 15-barrel system for brewing. The spot has a tap room and mezzanine seating for more than 100 people. The century-old building still has ornamental old hoists, the original ceiling and other archaic details that will have visitors swooning over way more than the beer.
The name “North Forty” even provides a historic-tie to the Douglas County as it relates to the classic 80-acre homestead and what is commonly referred to as the “north 40” and “back 40.” And if you visit Oregon’s “Timber Capital,” you will most likely seat yourself close to some authentic, bearded loggers and hear this term used.
Mills explained the “north 40” to typically be the unadulterated, more raw section. “You leave the north 40 more wild. Conceptually, this is how we see Douglas County — untempered, in it’s natural state; raw, scenic, hard work,” he said.
Roseburg’s mouthwatering Smokin Friday BBQ is serving food inside the brewery and a variety of beers from strong IPAs to stouts, to Kolch and ESB are on tap. Growler and crowler fills (a 32-ounce fillable and sealable can) are on site. It’s family friendly, and there is often live music and availability for private parties.
The brewery is open seven days per week from around noon until 8 p.m. Sunday and Monday, 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and midnight Friday and Saturday.
North Forty beer is also available on tap at additional locations in Roseburg such as Old Soul Pizza, Loggers, Scoreboard and the Winston Drive-In. The owners also said to keep an eye out for distribution outside the area.
“Roseburg is authentic. It’s real, and the people are real. A lot don’t get to experience that. We want to show that finding small-town authentic America is still possible,” said Mills.
So go, experience a little bit of old and new – a little bit of small-town charm and a whole lot of brew.