The Astoria Bridge, Oregon Coast Highway.
Astoria Beer Adventure

A few weeks ago, I went on a journey to check out the beer scene in Astoria Oregon. Between then and now, I've been juggling a lot and running behind in a few things. I really had no timetable for getting this finished, but I thought it would be finished in the first week or two. That didn't happen. The other night, I went out for a beer (or two) to organize the notes I had taken on my trip. Only then did I realize that I was in for a real treat. As I gazed down at my inebriated scribblings, I immediately wanted to title this piece "Fear and Loathing in Astoria" as I tried to piece together the story of that fateful trip. So, come along with me on my journey West to discover what's brewing in Astoria.

For those of us in Portland, Astoria is about 2 hours away. This provides some interesting obstacles. This distance doesn't really make Astoria a great day trip beer excursion. I know it would be hard for me to find an unpaid chauffeur willing to drive for a four hour round trip to watch me drink beer. The next option is to elevate the trip to an overnight stay, and extend the excursion time and cost of the adventure. For most people, once a trip turns from a day trip to an overnight trip, they will start to weigh the cost and benefit ratio a little more closely. So, let's get to it and see what Astoria has to offer for a weekend beer adventure.

Astoria Beer Adventure
Route 30, Portland to Astoria.
There are a few choices you can make to get to Astoria from Portland. I chose to go north through a bit of Washington and then West on Route 30 to Astoria. This path is about 95 miles or about 2 hours in the car. The other direct route would be to take 26 to Seaside and then North to Astoria. According to Google Maps, this route is about the same time and distance. Perhaps under ideal conditions, but my experience along 26 usually includes a bit more city-to-coast traffic. If you leave early enough, stopping at Ecola State Park for a morning hike is definitely a great way to start the day, and you can still make it to Astoria around noon. Whichever way you decide to travel, if you're headed to Astoria for the weekend, you're probably not in a race against time and both drives offer beautiful scenery through forests and parts of the Coastal Range. Curiously, on my route, there is a scenic overlook in Oregon that looks across the Columbia river directly at some belching paper mills and fiber factories in Washington. Is it actually a scenic overlook or just Oregon looking down it's nose at Washington? I called for the Lorax, but he did not appear.

Astoria Beer Adventure
The Columbia River from Astoria, OR.
During my adventure, I left Portland around 10am and arrived in Astoria a little before noon. My assignment: meet the brewers at Fort George Brewery and Astoria Brewing, then head down the street to Rogue Public house, and drink beer along the way. Evidently, according to my notes, a lot of beer.

There's a lot to talk about, so I'll break this trip down into a few installments. Check back to see what Astoria has to offer as beer after delicious beer pummel my facts into oblivion.

Check out the rest of the photos here.