beer.travel: Medford, OR


Medford was the first stop from my home in Southern California as me and my family traveled to Cannon Beach, Or. A gorgeous trip, by the way, over the coastal range mountains to the Central Valley, along the California aqua duct and it’s beautiful farmland. Unfortunately I did not follow my own advice, specifically tip #1, as we drove through some of the best wine country in the world but also iconic brewing cities like Davis and Chico without slowing down or stopping to enjoy the journey a bit more. 

I did research Medford’s beer scene and found Southern Oregon Brewing Company had a couple of beers that sounded tasty -Woodshed Red and Nice Rack IPA. The unofficial reviews are below. SOB has a tap room but it doesn’t serve food (something you need after driving for ten or eleven hours) so we checked into the room, went swimming -cause the kids needed that- ate a road sandwich*- and then I went to the store.  I asked the front desk staff at the hotel and they pointed me to an Albertson’s just a half mile away.  It was a great recommendation and I would recommend this also as it is only a half mile of Interstate 5.  Albertson’s carried two of Medford’s local brews (not to mention offerings from the rest of the Pacific Northwest) in their walk-in cooler.

Southern Oregon Brewing Nice Rack

Label shown for educational purposes only.

The reviews on BeerAdvocate.com are not great for Nice Rack IPA but don’t let those keep you from trying this beer.  Coming in at 5.5% the beer is all about drinkability. Closer to a pale ale in taste, body and ABV this beer becomes an IPA with it’s hop flavor and aroma. However, the crisp hop flavor and medium bitterness doesn’t overpower the palate and makes this beer a great entry level IPA.

Southern Oregon Brewing Woodshed Red

Label shown for educational purposes only.

I just about skipped Woodshed Red thinking that what I really wanted was a crisp Pale Ale or IPA.  In the end I came back to this beer and I am glad I did.  This is an American Style red ale, lots of malt flavor and aroma but the accompanying hop flavor and elevated bitterness scrub the sweetness out before it can take hold and become too cloying.  This is a good beer for the budding HopHead or a good malty beer for an established HopHead.

*Road Sandwich – a sandwich made from leftover travel food that was packed for consumption to reduce food stops along the way.

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