DRINK LOCAL: Climate City Brewing – New, But Already Classic
Climate City Brewing is not quite a year old and already has found its footing. The third contemporary brewery in Grants Pass, Climate City is actually drawing from the city’s turn-of-the-century history (as in, 1900s, not 2000s) to bring something new to the area—and the results are wonderful.
Not only does name the nod to the city’s famous tagline—“It’s the Climate,” first pimped by civic promoters in 1910—but the new brewery has settled a ten barrel system into what had been a brewery back in the late 19th century, then the Rogue River Brewery.
The remodeled venue is classic: Exposed red brick walls and a castle-like interior. There is also a charming outdoor patio, complete with a fire pit and criss-crossing strings of lights (not surprisingly similar to the wildly popular 10 Barrel in Bend, as the owners worked with that personnel from that venue in their design). On a recent Tuesday evening, the patio was an easy-going atmosphere filled with groups of friends and couples.
Climate City Brewery started simply enough: A group of friends pooled resources and ideas to launch the brewery, and has since ramped up with ambitious plans, including importing their brewing system from the east coast (O’Neills Brewing in Connecticut) and hiring a seasoned brewer (Jeff Horn from Weston Brewing Co., from Weston, Missouri). Although only draft beer so far, there are reported plans to start bottling and canning—and distributing regionally.
And, that would be great: The beers are strong and confident recipes. On our recent visit, there were four offerings from Climate City (and three others, including, Whoopty Whoop Wheat, from Redmond’s inventive Wild Ride Brewing). Although my manliness almost prevented me from ordering the Yellow Belly Blonde, it was a great session drink; easygoing, approachable and perfect for the waning summer evenings. The Nookie IPA was the real standout: Smooth and bold but not bombastic in its hops.
Climate City may draw from Grant Pass’ past, but it sure looks a lot like the city’s brewing future.