Medford enthusiastically welcomed a round of new brewpubs with the opening of Common Block Brewing downtown and RAM Restaurant & Brewery at Northgate Marketplace, but plenty of great little neighborhood spots continue to serve craft beer.
Rogue Growler, at 454 Highland Drive, opened in March 2016. Its 51 taps pour forth a large and eclectic array of beer, cider, wine, kombucha and even cold-brewed coffee. Whether you like a hearty stout, intense IPA, refreshing sour beer, or cider, sweet or dry, there’s truly something for every taste.
I’ve found Rogue Growler a perfect place to mix it up and try something different. A summer evening was perfect for Oakshire’s Sun Made Cucumber Berliner Weisse, a delicious blend of light malts, a delicate tang and the refreshing real cucumber flavor. For fall and winter, I’ve enjoyed Schilling’s Chai Cider, a slightly sweet, hard, apple cider redolent with the same spices you would find in an apple pie. Instead of being baked in a flaky pastry, this apple concoction has been aged in barrels that once held cabernet sauvignon.
Even the seating options offer seasonally appropriate variety. The cozy taproom features reclaimed lumber, polished concrete and metal accents inside and a welcoming beer garden patio tucked into an alley out back. The outdoor seating area behind the business is sheltered by high fences and a hedge. A large, rectangular fire pit provides glowing warmth in the winter, while shade trees, misters and fans keep things cool when the temperatures rise.
This winter, Rogue Growler added another reason to linger longer or perhaps order another round: a pizza oven. The pizzas are premade for them at a commercial kitchen, then baked on location and sold by the slice ($4). On a recent visit, my husband tried a meaty combo with pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms and olives, while I tried a white chicken pizza accented with mushrooms and tomatoes. While you can’t go too wrong with a chewy crust, golden brown melting cheese and some standard toppings, pizza isn’t the primary draw at Rogue Growler. It is nice to have the option to order food, but those lovely liquids you can fill a growler with are what it’s really all about here.
The extensive and ever-changing tap list is displayed on three large-screen TVs behind the bar. You’ll also find a full tap list online at www.theroguegrowler.com if you want to make sure your favorite is available or otherwise preplan your visit. You can also sign up for Rogue Growler’s excellent email coupons and discounts on the website. Rogue Growler opens at 11 a.m. daily and closes at 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, but stays open until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Call 541-779-4031.
If your Super Bowl party calls for beer more interesting than the macrobrews being advertised during the big game, Rogue Growler is just one great spot to fill up a growler. Growler King offers 39 well curated taps at Quality Market, 1211 E. Jackson St., Medford, and a location at Fair City Market in Central Point. Beerworks offers taps and an extensive selection of cans and bottles in downtown Medford and in Jacksonville, while Ashland is home to Growler Guys and Gil’s. This is a winning lineup for fans of quality beer and cider.