|De Garde Brewing
6000 Blimp Boulevard | Tillamook, OR
We visited many beautiful places and tasted countless delicious beers on our trip to the Pacific Northwest, but a highlight of the trip for me was our day by the Oregon coast.
The day started with a stop at two cheese factories, a trip to the Cape Meares Lighthouse, and a lovely drive up and down the coastline, but the best part of the day was our visit to de Garde Brewing.
De Garde Brewing is “a truly wild brewery” located in Tillamook, Oregon, a city located on the southeast end of Tillamook Bay on the Pacific Ocean. The brewery is located directly behind the Tillamook Air Museum, an aircraft collection in a World War II blimp hangar, which happens to be one of the world’s largest wooden buildings.
De Garde Brewing prides itself on its dedication to unique offerings, drawing on historic traditions and local experimentation. De Garde does not add laboratory cultured yeast to ferment beer, instead the wort is cooled naturally in a coolship among the natural yeast and microflora. After the wort is cooled, everything is transferred into oak barrels where it sits for anywhere from three months to three or more years.
The brewery and tasting room are in an industrial building on Blimp Boulevard. A small patio area offers outdoor seating creatively using empty barrels as tables and chairs. As you enter the building, the all important chalkboard is straight ahead, listing the current draft and bottle options.
During our visit in early August, the tap list included…
- Saison Premier – a 6% ABV tart wild farmhouse ale
- Houblon Pêche – a 7% ABV Berliner Weisse style ale aged in oak barrels with peaches and dry hopped
- Petit Desay – a 5% ABV tart wild farmhouse ale
- Dry Hop Premiere – a 6% ABV wild farmhouse ale aged in oak and dry hopped with Nelson Sauvin
- Pâle – a 6% ABV tart rye farmhouse ale aged in oak foeder
- The Unblended – a 5% ABV single barrel wild ale served at room temperature
Beers on tap are available in 6-ounce pours for $3 and 12-ounce pours for $4. Guest taps included Fort George 3-Way IPA, 3 Fonteinen Beersel Blond, Hanssens 2015 Oude Lambic, and Alesmith Hammerhead Speedway Stout.
Order your beer at the bar in the first room, then head outside or into one of the two indoor rooms. We sat in the middle room with beautiful views of the dreary rain clouds, and an even more impressive view of the large room filled with wooden foeders.
I enjoyed a 6-ounce sample of each of de Garde’s offerings while chatting with a local Oregonian with ties to the east coast (Rich had wandered off to the air museum). Don’t ask me to choose a favorite beer here because I won’t. They were all quite delicious.
The beers available to go in bottles included Pâle, Citra Pâle, Petit Desay, Petit Citra, and Saison Premiere. There was no limit on the bottles to go, and the current bottle list ranged from $7 to $8. There was also an on premise bottle list available.
Merchandise available for purchase included t-shirts, hoodies, glassware, keychains, a metal sign, cups, a decanter, and a branded stein. The tasting room is open Thursday and Friday 3 to 7 PM, Saturday noon to 7 PM, and Sunday 11 AM to 5 PM, although I encourage you to call ahead or check de Garde’s Facebook page beforehand.
While visiting the Pacific Northwest, a trip to de Garde Brewing may seem out of the way, but believe me, it will be worth the trip. The beautiful drive through Tillamook State Forest, the breathtaking views by the coast, and the superb wild ales will make for the perfect day.