Beer & Buddies – Astoria, OR
One of the cool things about volunteering here at Cape Disappointment State Park is that we are right across the bridge from Astoria, OR. This excellent little town was founded by fur trader & investor John Astor in 1811 and is the oldest Western settlement in the US. Set alongside the mighty Columbia River it has a long history of maritime links as well as a strong Scandinavian history thanks to the many immigrants that made it this way in the mid 1800’s. I’ve written about this great town before, and everytime we come back we find more things we like about it.
Visually-speaking Astoria has a distinctly unique style with Victorian-style homes staggered along narrow hills that overlook a bustling but compact downtown area and the Columbia River. It’s got a funky and not overly-touristy vibe (just the right mix) with excellent eateries, fun museums, great coffee and a fabulous weekly farmer’s market. Last year we ate at the lovely Columbia Cafe (highly recommended) as well as the not-to-be-missed Bowpicker (for true fish and chip lovers -> as I said, not to be missed!). So, when our RV buddies Island Girl Walkabout wrote that they were in the area we decided to expand our local foodie explorations (purely for the sake of science, naturally) and try some of the breweries in town.
Turns out Astoria has no less than 5 beer spots, all of which offer an excellent array of samplings. We started our expedition at the Fort George Brewery which offered an extensive “flight” of 12 beers for $18. Food doesn’t get a great rap here, so we focused on the ale and only ordered a simple appetizer to enable the digestive process. Decent beers all-around with the Quick Wit getting my fav vote.
Following our apéritif we meandered over to a spot that Hector had eyed on the way into town. The Rogue Ales Public House is located in a unique area across a rickety wooden bridge on Pier 39 in the old Bumblebee Cannery. We know and love this beer from our days in San Francisco and the place did not disappoint. We ordered a flight of 4 self-chosen beers and sampled the food. The beer was excellent (as expected) and the food mixed (also kinda expected from Yelp reviews, although we did enjoy the fish and chips), but the place got bonus points for pet friendliness (outdoor seating plus a dog menu) as well as outstanding location (you can watch the boats go by on the Columbia River right from your table). Plus I loved the old Cannery museum and coffee shop located in the same area. Definitely a place we’d come to again.
We returned to Cape D well-watered and full just in time to see the clouds disperse for yet another stunningly sunny afternoon. A near-perfect day out. Hector & Brenda are coming over again tonight for a lighthouse tour and some hanging time, plus we’ve got some more socializing set-up for the rest of the week so I predict many more foodie explorations coming. It’s all in the name of science, after all
P.S. If you’re in the area, a fabulous book to accompany your travels is the newly released Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson’s Lost Pacific Empire. It’s a well-written and fascinating history of 1810 Astor Expedition and America’s first colony on the continent’s West coast. Great book!
Related Posts & Links:
- Blog Post -> Astoria & Cannon Beach, OR -> Maritime Refinement & Bloody Beautiful Coastline
- Astoria Visitor Link -> Lots of good info about town HERE.
- Astoria Farmer’s Market -> Every Sunday 10-3pm in summer. Click HERE
- Astoria Maritime Museum -> Excellent museum which we’ve visited several times. Click HERE