There’s something brewing on Oregon’s South Coast. Just a couple of years ago, there was a veritable beer desert between the California border and Newport, more than 200 miles up the coastline. Now you can find a delightful taste of Oregon craft beer in the towns of Coos Bay, Gold Beach and Brookings.
Just off Highway 101 in Gold Beach, find Arch Rock Brewing Company, the oldest of the new South Coast breweries with a January 2013 birthday. Owners Larry and Marjie Brennan converted their former cabinet making shop and hired brewer James Smith. Arch Rock mainly supplies regional restaurants, but the tiny tasting room pours three signatures beers — Pistol River Pale, State of Jefferson Porter and Gold Beach Lager. Buy a 4-ounce taster, a 12-ounce beer, or fill a growler filled (or a growlette) to take with you as you wind your way south to check out the Arch Rock seastack for which the brewery is named.
Brookings’ Chetco Brewing Company, named for the nearby river cascading down through the foggy forests of the Coast Range, opened in April 2013. Chetco proudly brews vegan beer, and while not certified organic, owners Michael Frederick and Alexander Carr-Frederick create their beers with pesticide-free hops, herbs and fruit. Try the Raymond’s Fathead Red or Chetco Logger pale ale.
Coos Bay’s 7 Devils Brewing Company celebrates its first anniversary this September. The beautiful tasting room — adorned with the glass, metal, wood and ceramic artwork of various local artists — urges one to stay awhile. Try one of eight taps and delicious local menu. Drift out onto the patio to enjoy the sunshine (or the firepit) and take in the wall-sized mural of Coos Bay’s network of waterways. Don’t miss the rotating seasonal tap or the refreshing, non-alcoholic ginger beer.