928 SE 9th Ave., 503-517-0660, rogue.com. 11 am-11 pm Sunday-Wednesday, 11 am-1 am Thursday-Saturday.
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 except as a symbol of its own peculiar isolationism and full vertical integration—a bloody-mindedness viewable in a more charitable light as fierce independence. Still, why does so much of Rogue's beer taste pre-oxidized? And why do the Buffalo wings at its newly rebranded Eastside Pub & Pilot Brewery—once the Green Dragon—come half-sauceless and leathery, with skins vinegar-cured into stale hardness? I don't get why anyone thinks a muddled and malty eight-hop IPA is ever a good idea, or 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 Quonset-hutted 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 the excellent Cascade Brewing Barrel House, which is always packed with tons of beer tourists. And as every true-blue Oregonian knows, only tourists go to Rogue.
Drink this: You're at Rogue, you get the Dead Guy. Or a guest tap.
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