A Look at Portland’s Craft Beer Scene

Rogue Brewery Portland

Hard to think of a time when craft beer wasn’t an every block proposition in Portland, Oregon. Truth is though, that time wasn’t terribly long ago, only a few fledgling brewers like Deschutes and Widmer and the Henry Weinhard’s brewery stinking up a warehouse district at mid-day that was then referred to simply as old town instead of the Pearl District.

Rogue was around then too, with the aforementioned, one of the early flagships of quality in the Pacific Northwest. As the brewery bonanza takes hold, and a whole host of haute taps crop up around town, it’s easy to lose sight of how those stalwarts came to prominence. They were some of the original innovators.

As time has passed, Rogue is no less innovative than their early days. They’re crafty when it comes to beer and as a business.

Welcome to their Green Door Store, a small southeast neighborhood storefront bottle shop dedicated, as the slogan on the bottle says, to the rogue in all of us.

It’s not like bottle shops are scarce in this town either. Located just off of Highway 99, Rogue opened the shop as a way of showcasing beer on the east side (their main breweries are across the river and down the coast in Newport). Named in part for its proximity to regaled taproom, The Green Dragon, they started out selling a variety of beers at wholesale. That business plan didn’t last long though. Competing with venerable bottle purveyors, Belmont Station to the east and the Beermongers just south, it turned out a simple bottle shop wasn’t quite the right niche. So Rogue opted to make the Green Door an exclusive gift shop and beer collector’s haven.

A dedicated bottle shop may seem like an unlikely proposition, but that simply isn’t the case. Especially when you’re featuring Rogue’s diverse selection of unique beers. Stepping into the Green Door is like taking a trip back in the beer aisle time machine, an enthusiasts heaven where their staples (Dead Guy Ale, Brutal IPA and Shakespeare Stout) line up next to one-offs and novelties, like Morimoto’s Black Obi Soba, their truly iconoclastic, Vodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale (bottled in the bakery’s signature pink glass) and Rogue Sriracha HOT stout. In a sense, their shop is a secret stash of every “oh my gosh, they tried that?” beer that Rogue has become famous for. Looking for out of print t-shirts, tap handles, flags or that hard to find four-ounce taster glass? They’re here.

As previously stated, Rogue’s famous tagline boasts, they’re dedicated to creating a different kind of beer for a decidedly different kind of drinker. Rewarding the inner brigand has never been so easy, or as you pass through the Green Door’s entry, so darn tasty.

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