Founded in 1988 in Ashland, Ore., during the early upswing of what became the U.S. craft-beer boom of the 1990s, Rogue Ales has grown to become one of the most widely distributed craft-brewery labels in the country. Rogue beers are available in all 50 states, as well as in more than 30 other countries. The brand also has one of the more diverse portfolios, with more than 35 beers currently available; spirits that include gin, rum, vodka, and a whiskey produced from the wort of its flagship beer, Dead Guy Ale; and even a wide selection of cheeses from the Rogue Creamery. Rogue also has two of its own farms, where it grows the grains and hops used in many of its beers. The brewery’s beers have won more than 1,000 awards over the last 25 years, and it has several popular gastropubs located throughout Oregon, as well as one in San Francisco and one outside Seattle. Most of Rogue’s beers are available for purchase through its online store. (www.rogue.com)
Rogue brews its Honey Kolsch in the style of the lightly hopped German lager with grains, hops, and honey produced by Rogue’s own farm in Independence, Ore. The beer, which hit shelves this past summer, is light and golden in color with great clarity. The dry and distinctly German nose reveals scents of malted wheat and fresh lemongrass. The beer’s clean taste is only slightly bitter, with the dry notes of DextraPils malt and the lingering sweetness of honey.
Style: German Kölsch (lager)
Price: $10/750 mL
The XS Dead Guy Ale—close in style to a German Maibock—is big, bold, and hoppy. Crystal, Cascade, and Sterling and Perle hops lend this copper-colored ale bright and complex aromas, with both floral and citrus notes, as well as a strong IPA (India pale ale) bite. The slightly syrupy mouthfeel coats the palate with flavors of caramel, sweet toasted bread, and pineapple, with a delicate chocolate finish. The XS Dead Guy pairs well with spicy food.
Style: Strong ale
Price: $17.50/750 mL
One of the releases in Rogue’s Morimoto Signature Series—which was launched in 2003 and comprises beers selected by Masaharu Morimoto, the acclaimed chef and star of the Iron Chef reality-TV show—the Morimoto Imperial Pilsner is a high-alcohol version of a classic Czech Pilsner. A stripped-down ingredients list that includes 100 percent French Pilsner grains, low-acid Sterling hops, and Czech pilsner yeast, this beer bursts with aromas and flavors. Among them are dry, floral notes on the nose, with bright fruit flavors including those of apricot and kiwi and a healthy malty base. The Morimoto Imperial Pilsner pairs well with seafood.
Style: Imperial Pilsner
Price: $17/750 mL
Rogue’s Double Chocolate Stout is a bigger, richer version of its standard Chocolate Stout. In addition to a heavy grain bill, the beer is brewed with oats, honey, and Dutch bittersweet chocolate, and balanced with Rebel hops. The resulting beer is dark and syrupy, replete with notes of sweet cream, rich mocha, and bitter dark chocolate. It pairs well with grilled beef and a variety of desserts.
Style: American imperial stout
Price: $13/750 mL
Created in homage to Portland’s extremely popular avant-garde Voodoo Doughnut shop, Rogue’s Chocolate, Banana & Peanut Butter Ale is a dessert in a bottle. Though perhaps a turnoff to purists, this inventive beer is delicious and offers a surprising amount of sprightliness and effervescence. Brewed with dark caramel and chocolate malts, along with its namesake extracts, this rich and complex beer exhibits distinct flavors of chocolate, banana, and peanut butter. Do not disregard this doughnut-inspired beer—it is absolutely worth a taste, and perfect for sharing after a meal.
Style: Dessert ale
Price: $13/750 mL