Permit Party Photo Recap

What do we do when our building permits get approved? We celebrate! And how do we celebrate? With all the best people we know, lots of beer and food, corn hole, live music, and impromptu dance parties.

full houseLast Friday we hosted our first ever official Common Block shindig, and we loved seeing our building full of people talking, playing, dancing, and enjoying beer. That’s exactly why we’re doing all this! We want to send a big thank you to everyone who came downtown to join us, and let you all know we count your presence as a huge party success.

ooblies and beerThe local beer and food was a hit – Ooblies Waffle Sandwiches filled the air with cooked-to-order waffle batter, which lured us all to the awesome food truck selections. Beer and cider from Southern Oregon Brewing, Standing Stone Brewing and Apple Outlaw kept us satiated all night long…and maybe helped inspire the fore-mentioned impromptu dance party.

We invited local photographer and friend, George Rubaloff, to snap shots all night so we can add this memorable event to our Common Block history books. We hope you enjoy looking through these photos like we have! Stay tuned to our blog and sign up for our newsletter (at the bottom of our webpage) to get word when we plan our next bash. We’re more excited than ever to get the doors open and make these get-togethers regular affairs!

Meet Common Blocker Nick Blakeslee

One of the reasons we get so excited about opening a new brewery (aside from the obvious: tons of beer!), is that we get to work side-by-side with all our awesome team members/good friends. So we’re doing a blog series with introductions to our Common Block coworkers. This way, you get to know some behind-the-scenes brewpub facts, and our team members get to take a break and write a bit about themselves – for some, maybe a love-hate task.

First up: meet Nick. In addition to being our videographer and Instagram star, he’s also a social media contributor, keyboardist, substitute teacher, cat owner, book club member, and once-a-year-runner. Take it away, Nick!

Does your cat know you drink beer?

Once, when I was drinking a can of Caldera’s Pale, my cat (whom is affectionately and deceivingly A man and his cat.named Button) jumped up on a lap and bit my hand, drawing blood.  She did it again with Deschutes’ Inversion IPA, the only difference being she bit my nose, but not when I was drinking Seirra Nevada’s Pale, making me think she didn’t like beers from Oregon.  It happened when I was trying to nap, and once more when I was feeding her, and I realized she’s just a cat and mostly insane.  I like to think I’m the owner and she’s the pet, but at times the line is so blurred and convoluted I can’t tell who’s who.

Word on the street is, you attended the 2014 Beer Bloggers Conference. Tell us about that memorable (or maybe blurry) weekend in San Diego…

So much beer, and SO much time.  I remember feeling exhausted at the end of it, because there were so many good beers.  A WEEKEND of good, full, high alcohol, hangover-inducing beers.  Everyone was pushing their latest brew, often times an experimental one more rich in flavor than a See’s Candy box.  I’m not a pilsner or lager fan, but I remember being ecstatic when a brewery brought out a lighter ale for our drowning, overwhelmed pallets.

And that was just the ‘Beer’ part.  The blogger part of the conference was great.  I learned a lot about social media, video/photography and networking.  Plus, it was great to be among people with similar interests and talents.

group photo

Nick can’t quite put his beer down.

What have been the most interesting, and most boring, videos you’ve ever shot?

The most boring video I shot was probably one I did for an event last year.  I had 50+ people say the same paragraph, then spliced it all together to have those 50+ people saying parts of the whole message – solidarity and all that stuff.  The video turned out great, but shooting it was rather tedious and editing, ho-boy.  I had about two hours of footage to sift through and splice.  And then there was the psychological damage of hearing the same paragraph of words over and over and over again.  I still have those sentences dancing around in my head like a bad song I can’t get out of my mind.

This is going to sound weird, but I love timelapse videos.  It makes everything cool, it’s like the microwave of film: you get to fast forward through all the meaningless stuff.  Like watching paint dry?  Nope!  But watching a TIMELAPSE of paint dry?  Well that’s another story all together.  It’s fun to watch the movement happen.

I also liked doing a submission for a competition the Oregon Shakespeare Festival put on in Ashland.  It was a lot of fun to work with a big group and see what kind of talents they had (or didn’t have).  The video ended up taking second place in the competition, which feels just good enough to keep me motivated to make something better.

When you’re editing footage, what beer do you like to drink? When you’ve finished editing, what’s your victory beer?

My editing beer(s) is the same as my weekend, weekday, evening, after-work, breakfast, lunch and dinner, and post cat-bite treatment beer(s): something pale and something slightly hoppy.  I love Caldera’s Pale ale, GoodLife’s Descender IPA and Portland Brewing Company’s IPA.  The I Heart Oregon Ale from Standing Stone is one of my favorites. After I’m done editing, I usually stay the course and drink whatever’s in my fridge, which seems to just hold beers and cheese sticks these days.

If you could have any Twitter handle, already taken or untaken, what would it be?

@SomethingWitty

And if you liked Nick, you’re really going to like:

Meet Common Blocker Andy Schow

Meet Common Blocker Ashley Nunes

Meet Common Blocker Rachel Koning

A Weekend Guide to Brewery Events in Southern Oregon

While putting things together at our brewery, we’ve had lots of time to relish local beer and cruise the Southern Oregon beer scene on weekends (we’re enjoying these days now, before they get too busy later this year). We’ve put together a guide for what we think are some of the best brewery activities in the Medford-Ashland area all weekend long. Of course, our weekend begins on Wednesday, but shouldn’t everyone’s?

WEDNESDAY: Portal Brewing
Start the weekend early with a group of your nerdiest friends, and show off your collective intelligence at Portal Brewing’s Trivia Night, starting at 7:30pm. Visit their Facebook page to see the week’s theme, and study up beforehand – the competition is fierce!

THURSDAY: BricktownE Brewing
On Day 2 of the “weekend” visit downtown Medford for Thirstday at BricktownE. You’ll keep your wallet stacked with Happy Hour prices all day long! Two-wheel commute to burn off those extra beer/food calories, and hang your ride on their spacious outdoor bike rack.

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Big-kid games at Swing Tree Brewing in Ashland

FRIDAY: Swing Tree Brewing, Southern Oregon Brewing
Warm up for the evening with darts, shuffleboard, foosball, or jumbo Jenga at Swing Tree in Ashland. Or if you’re not the pub-sports type, grab a pint and relax outside at the picnic tables while reading this post and planning out the rest of your weekend.

Afterwards, trek to Medford for live music Friday nights at Southern Oregon Brewing. They almost always have awesome local food trucks hanging out, too, so you don’t even have to stop for dinner on the way. Thanks goodness – no one like interruptions in beer tours.

SATURDAY: Opposition Brewing, Caldera Restaurant and Brewery
Take your time in the morning on Saturday, and then head over to Opposition Brewing when they open at noon. Their dog-friendly taphouse welcomes your four-legged friends to join the fun, so bring a leash and follow up your pint with a stroll around the neighborhood.

Over in Ashland, Caldera’s restaurant and brewery location on the south end of town showcases 40 beers on tap, outdoor seating and a fireplace/couch seating area for those casual Saturday get-togethers. If you bring a group, consider their 100 oz. beer tube for $21. Because, why not?

beer and brussels

Sunday Beer Pairing (photo: George Rubaloff)

SUNDAY: Standing Stone Brewing Co.
Wind down your beer-filled weekend with a lazy afternoon Beer and Food Pairing at Standing Stone in Ashland. For $25 you’ll join a multi-course, staff-led pairing over the course of one hour. Taste some fare, learn pairing concepts, and finish up with time left in the day to do whatever else you love on weekends. Begins at 3pm.

And that’s how you spend a brewery-themed, activity-filled weekend in Southern Oregon. Or, at least, that’s how we do. What are your favorite weekend happenings in our area? Next summer, we’ll throw in some not-to-be-missed Common Block events to add to the list. For now, go forth and enjoy the fruits (a.k.a. beers) of summer in Southern Oregon.