Friday, April 20, 2012

Rogue Juniper Pale Ale – Rogue Ales – Newport, OR

Every time I see something different in my local shop from the Best in the West…The Rogue Brewery. I jump on it pretty quick. Here in Northern New York, although Rogue is available, it’s not available in abundance. So if you see it, you need to grab it. Not only does Rogue brew some fantastic beer, always infusing odd flavors and spices, but they also champion their considerable differences with Mega Breweries, as well as their general quirkiness. Anyway, reference the Juniper Pale Ale…I was really looking forward to something light and fresh, which I could enjoy while watching the Baseball game. I decided to go ahead and give the Juniper Pale Ale a shot. Here’s what the website has to say:


Style: Pale Ale      
Food Pairing: Turkey, Hot & Spicy
ABV: 5.2

Tasting Notes:
A Pale ale, saffron in color with a smooth malt balance, floral aroma with a dry spicy finish from whole juniper berries.

11 Ingredients:
Malts: Maier Munich,Crystal, Triumph, C-15, Great Western 2-Row
Hops: Styrian Golding, Amarillo, Perle Speciality: Juniper Berries
Yeast & Water: Pacman Yeast,Free Range Coastal Water

34 IBU
77 AA
3.2º Lovibond

World Class Package:
Draft, 22oz Bottle, 12oz Six Pack

HISTORY: The Turkey was named the official bird of the Rogue Nation in August 2007. To commemorate the momentous occasion, Rogue Juniper Pale Ale was dedicated to “the turkey in each of us.” An axe and the dedication have been added to the serigraphed 22oz bottle and Juniper Pale Ale tap stickers.

The Pilgrims were ale drinkers and most likely enjoyed beer at the first Thanksgiving. Juniper Pale Ale, like all Rogue products preserves water by using more ingredients, contains no chemicals, additives or preservatives and uses Free Range Coastal Water.


2011 World Beer Championships - Gold
2010 World Beer Championships—Gold
2010 Australian International Beer Awards—Bronze
2010 6 US Beer Tasting Championships—PNW Champ


Construction began in June of 1988 in Ashland along a very scenic little stream called Lithia Creek. The 10 bbl brew system was set up in a basement with a 60 seat Pub above. The first brews were Amber and Gold. The Brewery and Pub opened in October 1988.

While the Brew Pub was located in a very pretty and scenic location, had a beautiful deck and enjoyed moderate success and the beer was great, Ashland was not to be Rogue's only adventure. Ashland was basically land locked, and frankly we were losing our butts in Ashland, trying to sell our hand-crafted ales. Rogue needed room to grow and grow we did. So Jack set off in search of greener pastures.

In early February of 1989, Jack wandered to Newport in search of the perfect place for another Rogue Pub. Legend has it that a terrible and unusual snow storm struck and Jack found himself stranded on the Historic Bay Front, with no way up the hill. He was forced to walk the streets until he met up with Mohave Niemi, founder of the famous Mo's Clam Chowder. She took him to the original Mo's restaurant, gave him a bowl of hot clam chowder and told him about her dream of living above a Bar and how she might just have the perfect spot for the next Rogue Brew Pub. The large building sported 3 full time apartments upstairs, a sweater shop, an Art Gallery and 1,100 sq. ft. of empty store front and an 800 sq. ft. garage that was currently being used to store antique cars. Mo offered the vacant space and the garage to Jack at a very generous price, under two stipulations: that a picture of Mo herself, naked in a bath tub, be forever displayed at the Pub (it's still there today just to the left of the Bar) and that Rogue "feed the fisherman", meaning that we give back to the local community. This building was known as the Front & Case Bldg.

In Feb of 1989, construction began on the Bay Front Brew Pub. Making this a step up in the world by going from a basement in Ashland to a garage in Newport. The front of the house also was being readied. The back bar was originally from the old Elk Tavern.

In May of 1989, John Maier joins Rogue after a stint with Alaska Brewing. John is a former Senior Technician with Hughes Aircraft Co. in El Segundo, CA from 1975 to 1986 and Seibel Institute graduate.

The Pub opened in May of 1989, with a small but enthusiastic customer base, made up of curious locals who dropped by to see what was going on and never left. Many joined in and helped with the construction and other projects as needed. The names of many of these early customers have been immortalized with brass plaques that grace the bar today. One of the most notable of these future customers was Chuck Linquist. He was retired, was a home brewer, and had an interest in microbrews. He was also bored and wanted to do something useful. We consider him one of our first employees. His handiwork is still visible at the Pub, the shelves that line the bar area, the light sconces, as well as the memorabilia on the shelf above Mo's picture, that Chuck brought back from Europe.

So begins the story of Rogue Ales, enjoy!


They have their own Pledge of Allegiance – to The Rogue Nation (Rogue Ales--Rogue Nation Pledge of Roguellegiance – it can be found at


If ever Rogue were to produce something for the masses, The Juniper Pale Ale would be it. At 5.2% ABV, this is one brew that can be enjoyed by many. My expectations were high though, as they always are whenever I crack open a Rogue Brew. The pour was clean but a little over-carbonated. There wasn’t much of a head produced at all. In fact, I was a little worried that perhaps the beer had gone bad, but nope, it was fine. As for the taste, it was clean and refreshing, which was great when watching the game in the middle of the afternoon, but there was a bitter aftertaste that I just couldn’t shake. I just wound up putting up with it as I tore through my sixer. Overall, The Juniper Pale Ale is a fine brew, with a complex makeup. There is a lot going on with the brew. The overpowering Juniper though steals the show, taking over everything else fighting for recognition in this brew. Not a bad table beer, but you have to be able to get pass the Juniper.


6.5/10 – Not the Best

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