Last weekend I went to the Pouring at the Coast Event with my boyfriend, and had the best time! We were given souvenir glasses to use during the event (and they had rinse stations to keep your glass clean between tastings). We tried craft beers from every brewery, and I discovered I really enjoy the dark beers (the Terminator from McMenamins was one of my favorites). We also listened to music, ate perfectly paired food from local eateries, and enjoyed the lively atmosphere. The room was packed, and we got the chance to chat with both locals and tourists who were there to enjoy the event. They had great information about the beers, vendors, and the event, and I also discovered that the Pouring at the Coast Event is associated with the North Coast Craft Beer Trail (also known as the North Coast Ale Trail). The trail’s motto is to “find where local beer masters share their liquid bounty.”
The ten local breweries involved in the North Coast Ale Trail are the Rogue Public Ales House, Hondo’s Brew Pub & Taproom, Fort George Brewery, Astoria Brewing Co., Wet Dog Cafe & Brewery, and Buoy Beer in Astoria, McMenamins Sand Trap Inn in Gearhart, and The Wine and Beer Haus, Seaside Brewing Co., and U Street Pun in Seaside. Two annual events that help bring the breweries together are the previously mentioned Pouring at the Coast Event and the Pacific Northwest Brew Cup – an Oktoberfest style beer festival held the last weekend in September in Astoria.
The other part of the trail that’s a little closer to home is the Wine and Beer Haus that’s right in Seaside at the Seaside Factory Outlet Mall (right off Highway 101). They have over 300 beers in their coolers! If you choose a beer under 11% abv (that’s alcohol by volume), they’ll open it for you to drink in the shop. There are 300 plus wines from around the world, and they have wine tastings available whenever they are open. They have deals on six-packs and cases of both beer and wine. They also told me that whenever the distributor puts wines on sale, they offer it to the customer at the sale price. They know their beer and wine and can direct you toward choices that match your flavor preferences. You can spend an afternoon shopping, and then sit back and enjoy a nice craft beer…maybe I’ll head over there later today.