81. Chatoe Rogue First Growth Single Malt Ale

This is a unique offering from Rogue, or “Chatoe Rogue“. It is part of their Grow Your Own (GYO) series of beers, which are all brewed with Rogue’s first year’s harvest (First Growth) of their own hops and malts. No chemicals, additives, preservatives, all free-range yeast, humanely treated water, yadda yadda yadda.

Located along the Willamette River in Oregon, the Rogue Hopyard lies in what is considered prime hop-growing land of the Northern Hemisphere. The long stretches of daylight and shorter stretches of night along the 45th parallel create ideal hop growing conditions, in addition to the climate and well-drained soil.

In a perfect world, I’d probably be living out there in Rogue’s idyllic little farmstead. Waking up in the dewy morn to toss feed to the chickens and check on the hop cones, as I then casually stroll down to the lazy brook, where I sip freshly brewed ale in a hammock until my husband nudges me awake telling me that he has made dinner and that all of the cats are fed. Ah the life of an Oregon hop farmer.

First Growth Single Malt Ale is a blonde ale that comes to us in a 22 oz. bomber. It pours a slightly hazy yellow, with a billowing, creamy white head. The nose is light citrus with a mild and floral hop presence.

This beer begins with a light toastiness from the grains and but then delivers some great citrus notes and a hop kick in a bitter, crisp finish. It’s very bright, but at the same time, also earthy. The PacMan yeasts even give it sort of an English ale dimension. This is a medium-body beer with lots of carbonation and a slight creaminess.

A very easy drinking beer; simple in its flavors, but I think it does what it intended to do; showcase the freshness of the ingredients and the essence of beer itself. I’m really looking forward to trying other selections from the Chatoe.

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