Christopher Steven White examines a beer cultural gem in Southern Oregon
April 23, 2009
Written by Enniskillen
Jamaica has beaches, Ireland has pubs, Antartica has Igloos, and America has Siskiyou Micro Pub. In the current state of the brewing industry that has developed in the United States one thing that isn’t lacking is money. Money flows throughout the build ’em up and pass ’em out craft beer industry that has slowly built up over the past five to ten years.
The welcome sign at Siskiyou Micro Pub
Many people when "judging" a brewpub score based on selection and many times that is the case with me. Someone by the name of Josh Oakes passed word onto me about Siskiyou Micro-Pub about a year before actually visiting and I should have gone long before. If you are looking for stainless steel walls and ground diamonds for your steak this is not your place.
When is the last time you have been to a brewpub that has a developed a real culture? A brewpub that serves the community and brings it together in a one large quasi-hippie/Irish-folk/bluegrass jam fest? Someone should really do an ethnography on this brewpub because what occupies is very unique.
The selection varies from rare Pacific Northwest beer, to Pabst Blue Ribbon but the selection of beer is not the primary reason you come to a place like this. From the natural decor of whatever showed up, to the patrons this brewpub makes you want to move to the city of Ashland, OR.
As you enter, your gut might wonder whether you’re going into the Toronado or Captain Tony’s. But after you get past the shock and absorb some character, you realize that you are in a place of business that’s more unique then either of those legendary establishments.
a tightly social but relaxed bohemian setting
Up to the bar and time to dig in... Many times in the craft beer industry we’re asked why we do what we do- we now have an answer for them. Again browsing the board and looking around, this isn’t all about selection. I might offer that it’s discovering beer and places. Because a tasting can’t really be extracted from its environment.
And that’s why we’re here. The patient, friendly service sets the leisurely tone that wherever you’re from, you’re welcome here. As much as the place reflects local spirit, that spirit is cool with you, the visitor. The low prices ($3 pints for all beers) are even better than the handshake - anyone can stay here for more than one round.
So back to the selection... Most craft beer geeks will find themselves at home here -- as long as you aren’t looking for a vintage barleywine or a top 10 Imperial Stout. So with a pick of a local craft or St. Louis macro, and some relaxed time in Southern Oregon, not far from Mount Ashland, you should absorb enough of the ambiance to enjoy sipping your time away at the Siskiyou Micro-Pub.
A simple beer geek truth seems clear now -- beer is popular because of what it brings, not because of how serious you treat it. Siskiyou Micro-Pub is a good bet for truly demonstrating this and then some. It’s a bit out of the way - six hours from San Francisco or four and a half from Portland - but that’s the point here.
Wow Chris! You should have put me in the pictures since I became part of the scene when we were there. And you forgot to mention that it is the original Rogue Brewery brewhouse location and a really neat piece of craft brewing history even though we all bitch about Rogue and relabels all the time!100 months ago
Wow, I just noticed this article and it brings back some great memories. I enjoyed many pints out on the back patio during my time in Ashland. I'm glad to see that some of you have been able to stop by. Looks like that put up a new sign... Good Job on the write up. 101 months ago
Chris - I hope to stop in here on the way down to visit you guys. Great article. Thanks!101 months ago
Frylock was the guy who'd told me about this place, from when he lived in Ashland. Nice work, Chris!101 months ago
Nice. I really need to make a trip to Oregon someday. 101 months ago
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When is the last time you have been to a brewpub that has a developed a real culture? A brewpub that serves the community and brings it together in a one large quasi-hippie/Irish-folk/bluegrass jam fest?
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