From the Bottle Collection

Oregon Ales coaster

Oregon Ales coaster

Looking up at our vast collection that covers the walls I noticed Oregon Brown Ale. There were several Oregon Ales, and I remember them being interesting for the time. Not real aggressive by any means, but pretty much what would now be considered a BJCP judge’s idea of “to style,” for American versions of those styles. So during the mid 90s, when most Americans were still learning what they preferred, since the brewing boom to them must have seemed like it was just starting… maybe for the general public just a bit “aggressive?” Especially with a Blackberry Ale? Now I know the Brown and the Pale, the ones I remember the most, would probably slip somewhere between Anchor/ Sierra Nevada and the often (not always) less aggressive Shipyard. More towards Shipyard. Those who decide what goes into their bottles at Shipyard seem to be satisfied with keeping a few of Alan Pugsley’s somewhat dated recipes he brought back from England way back when. An unfortunate collective “yawn” sometimes, even when compared with the vastly bigger brew scene in New England.

Back to Oregon, which apparently is not even all that “Oregon.” Here is what one website says about the “brand…”

Brewery Info – Oregon Ale and Beer Co.
City Cincinnati
State: Ohio
Country: USA

Interestingly, these guys are actually owned by Sam Adams and the beer is brewed in Ohio, which is a little ways away from Oregon. An irate poster at http://food4.epicurious.com/HyperNews/get/drinking/294.html says:

“This company continues to thumb it’s nose at the Oregon and consumers nationwide by continuing this charade. Oregon Ale and Beer is a subsidiary of the Sam Adams/Boston Beer gang and is brewed in Cincinnati, Ohio, not Oregon. The name was created to grab the cache of the Oregon beer scene. For awhile, they had their beer brewed (along with all of Sam Adams on the West Coast) at the mega Blitz/Henry Weinhard Brewery in Portland (not at a microbrewery). (Ken’s note: but in “Oregon,” right?) Now the beer is made in Ohio. This company has nothing to do with Oregon. Epicurious does a great disservice to consumers and to Oregon by promoting a company the (Ken: “that?”) misrepresents itself to the consumers in such a blatant way.”

“Oregon Ale is certainly not the only company to do this – many ‘microbrews’ are, in fact, brewed by big houses like Minnesota Brewing – but it is somewhat unique amongst Oregon microbrews, many of which are brewed in house.”

I suppose the comment is fair, to a certain extent, but when it comes to taste: not bad for the time. Isn’t that the most important thing?

I’d be curious who in Cincinnati brews this, if they still do. Several breweries have come and gone. I haven’t seen Oregon in a while. If the “brand” is still being used, I haven’t seen it anywhere where I shop: and that’s Florida to New England.