No Smoke, No Joke: Connor Fields Brewing at The Haul in Grants Pass
The first thing anyone says when I bring up Grants Pass is that phrase, “It‘s the Climate!” They either say this with a knowing chuckle, or in a sort of sardonic way that makes me wonder if they actually like the climate at all. I had no idea what the whole hubbub is, to be honest. At least until this last visit.
I live in Ashland, which for the last eight weeks has been the general color and flavor of my Grandmother’s well used 120-year-old Victorian fireplace. Anyone who lives here during the summer knows that the smoke can be a real downer. I’ll go the mailbox, grab my daily bills, return to my home and promptly hack up a lung because I feel like I’ve just spent the morning smoking several packs of cigarettes. The sun is nothing more than a red orb dully glowing in the sky, reminding me of the Mars-scape scenes from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Total Recall. Every morning I get a notification from my phone that tells me just how stupid I’d have to be to go outside into the smoke. I have a friend who bought a pair of blue tinted glasses so she could remember what the sky used to look like.
Basically, the smoke has started to take a small bit of my sanity.
One particular day, I had had enough. I told my cat farewell, got in the car with a friend and drove north until I found some reprieve from our Ashtray home. Turns out I really didn’t have to go far.
I stopped by The Haul in Grants Pass and, boy, was I pleased. The Haul is a counter service restaurant/bar that has over a dozen beers on tap and a large selection of menu food items. They make a killer margarita and their wood fired oven means their pizzas are top notch too. But, let’s be honest, I wasn’t there for the food. I was there for the beer (beer has food calories in it, which means I get to count it as a meal). The Haul is the where Connor Fields Brewing pours all of their beers. Currently, the beer is brewed in the Applegate area, Brittany the bartender told me they’re building a second location nearer to the brewery to feature their beer there as well.
I tried a handful of their beers. Their styles range from sours to browns, from porters to pales. The staples for modern breweries. Their “Afterglow” dry hopped pale had a delicious subdued body that left room for the hoppy flavor and piney aromas to seep through. The “Dry Stout” had a lovely sweet, yet bitter dark chocolate flavor, and a surprisingly mild body that meant it went down easy. But my favorite was their “Cream Lager,” a session ale the specialized in a more refreshing flavor. Something that went well with clear skies and 90-degree weather. I liked it so much my friend had to drive us home. I even took some with me.
The Haul was everything it boasted to be and more. Great beer, lovely service and an array of food to help get more beer in me. More importantly, it was a little bit of heaven, beneath the clear blue skies of Grants Pass, sipping on great beer, breathing in that fresh, Grants Pass air. All of the sudden, I understood just what the whole hubbub about the climate was about.
11 am – 10 pm, Sun., Wed., Thurs.
11 am – 12 am, Fri. and Sat.
11 am – 9 pm, Mon.
121 SW H Street, Grants Pass