Just last year, Charlie Van Meter was brewing tiny 20-gallon batches of beer from his tap room in Yachats.
Today, he’s producing about 200 gallons of experimental ales from the new seven-barrel custom brewhouse at Yachats Brewing + Farmstore, positioned midway between Newport and Florence on the Central Coast.
“We’re busier than we thought we’d be,” says Van Meter, the brewmaster who came on board in 2015, three years after the organic farm store opened.
Today, the cozy, rustic brewpub is a favorite hangout for locals and visitors looking for a handcrafted beer and farm-fresh pub food for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch.
Their experimental beers use untraditional hops, grains and other ingredients, meant to reflect their unique sense of place on the Oregon Coast.
Later this fall they plan to roll out a sour farmhouse ale with salal berries (a combination between blueberry and blackberry), hand-harvested on the Coast.
They’re also working on a barrel-fermented tart saison with huckleberries, hand-harvested near Yachats. Van Meter hopes to get both in the bottle by late November or December as their first bottle releases, which will be distributed around Oregon in limited quantities.
Visitors can enjoy their brews inside, amidst the salvaged and reclaimed materials, old-growth timber bar top and timber posts and beams. Or they can take it outside in the greenhouse, with doors that open in the summer. “It’s a great hideout in the winter when you really need every drop of sun,” Van Meter says.
Yachats Brewing + Farmstore is just one of the inspired spots on the Central Oregon Coast to enjoy a handcrafted beer. Make sure to check out these other spots, each of which channels their own unique sense of place:
McMenamins Lighthouse Brewery in Lincoln City was the first brewpub to open on the Oregon Coast. Watch the beer-making in action at the onsite brewery, or sit outside with Fido for a breath of fresh, salty air. From Oct. 15 to 31, 2016, sip their seasonal Black Widow Porter, a dark, rich porter made with seven different malts that’s been a fall mainstay for 25 years.
Rusty Truck Brewing Company in Lincoln City strives to reduce its carbon footprint by sending the spent grain, hops and heated water from the brewing process to a local pig farmer to use for cattle and pig feed, among other green measures. ‘Tis the season for their festive Oktoberfest brew, an old-world style marzen lager that’ll set the mood for cheer in fleece-wearing weather.
Rogue Ales Public House and Rogue Ales Brewery in Newport are rooted in Oregon Coast history, having put down roots in the 1980s in the very building owned by Mohava Niemi, founder of Mo’s Restaurants. Their legendary beer takes its cue from their homegrown hops, malting barley, rye, pumpkins, honey and other ingredients. On a stormy day, drink their Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout, deeply roasted and creamy with a chocolatey finish.
Bier One Brewing in Newport is an all-around beer-lovers’ hangout with solid pub grub, 15 rotating taps from Oregon and beyond, a homebrew shop and enough bar games to fill an afternoon: foosball, pool, shuffleboard and darts. One of their most popular seasonals on tap this fall is the Latitude 42’s Lucifer Cuvee bourbon barrel-aged Imperial stout.
Occupying a former Ford dealership and gas station, Homegrown Public House is a funky new space that’s become a hot spot in Florence since launching in 2012. With eight local beers on tap and an exceptional pub menu, it’s a sweet spot to unwind with an IPA and beer-battered local albacore fish and chips for a true Oregon Coast experience.
Story and photo by Jen Anderson (pictured is Yachats Brewing’s brewer Charlie Van Meter)