I don't get Rogue Ales.
I don't understand Rogue Nation.
I don't get the brewery's creepy-Uncle-Trump-plus-fist-pumping-Bolshevik design scheme. Maybe you're used to it, but to me it seems right up there with Hop Valley's Mouth Raper in the Bad Branding Sweepstakes.
I don't get why so much of Rogue's beer tastes pre-oxidized, or why the Buffalo wings at its newly rebranded Eastside Pub & Pilot Brewery (928 SE 9th Ave., 503-517-0660, rogue.com) come half-sauceless and leathery, with skins vinegar-cured into stale hardness.
I don't know why the wall in front of the brew tanks has to moronically say "Pilot Brewery" in big, black letters like it's a theme ride at Beery Farms. I don't get why anyone thinks a malty eight-hop IPA is ever a good idea, and the same goes for a cold-brew coffee IPA with "proprietary ingredients." I don't get why pints of regular, everyday "independent" beer have to all cost $6.50, and that's if you even get a full pint.
But you know? I do actually understand why Rogue took the one distinctive and idiosyncratic thing it had, the one good thing it still allowed to exist in the world—the strange and geeky and sometimes Hawaiian-shirty Green Dragon that's now the Rogue-branded Eastside Pub—and smashed it into the soil with its Rogue Nation jackboot.
That's because the Rogue Nationalist party is being thrown across the street from Cascade Brewing Barrel House, which is always full of tourists. And as every true-blue Oregonian knows, only fucking tourists go to Rogue.