Something special is in the air in Tillamook; taste it in De Garde’s wild beers.
Trevor Rogers and Linsey Hamacher didn’t move to Tillamook, Ore., for the Cheddar; they moved for the air, or more specifically, what’s floating in it. After a year hunting Oregon’s coast for the perfect cocktail of natural yeast and bacteria, they settled on cozy Tillamook, where the breeze carries microscopic critters into their open kettles and lend tart cherry and raspberry notes to darker beers, citrus tones and funk to their lighter ones. Now, one year into their labor of love (literally: The couple got engaged at their first tap takeover event), the couple’s moving into a bigger brewery. They’ll have more room to expose wort to the elements, kick-starting a fermentation process that continues inside oak barrels; it’s classic Belgian tradition, but with a flavorful, funky Pacific Northwest twist. The air ties each De Garde beer to Tillamook, but so do the ingredients, like local cranberries and blueberries that go into the fruited Berliner weisse.
3 TO TRY
Blu Bu Weisse: “This is a fruited iteration of our Berliner weisse-inspired Bu Weisse, with over 2 pounds of freshly picked Oregon blueberries per gallon,” says Rogers. “It’s one of many unique interpretations of the base beer.”
Vin Rougie: “We added Oregon merlot grapes to first-use wine barrels of Rougie, our wild red ale. By pressing off a high proportion of the grapes, the bright, juicy fruit and acid character expresses with minimal tannins.”
Lee Noir: “A wild red ale with a full malt backbone, it’s designed to feature our local yeast and bacteria character with supportive richness. It aged in port and bourbon barrels before being blended and naturally conditioned in bottles.”