New Beer on the Block: Parkside Pilsner

Let’s do a little guided beer-mediation…

You’re on the back patio, and the sun is shining overhead.

You’ve got your sunglasses on, and you’re enjoying the view of the park across the street – a nice little oasis in downtown Medford.  

You reach for your cold beer (because what could be better in this scenario?!), and it’s the new Parkside Pilsner.

You take a drink, throw out an obligatory “ahhhhhhhhh” just like all the commercials, and smile because life is good.

 

We’re excited to announce the latest addition to our Common Block beer line-up: the Parkside Pilsner. This beer is here right on time for summer, and whether you love light-bodied beers or steer toward flavor-full options, this beer is here to make your daydream of lazy summer afternoons come true.

 

About Parkside Pilsner

 

Style: German Style Pilsner

ABV: 5.1%

IBU: 40

 

Malt:

  • Pilsner
  • Munich
  • Wheat (just a teeny bit!)

 

Hops:

  • Saaz (Czech style)
  • Tettnanger (German style)

 

Food Pairing Suggestions:

  • Cold Brew Chicken Tacos
  • Double Blue Buffalo Chicken Sandwich
  • Roasted Carrot Hummus Plate

 

We invite you to come enjoy this new specialty beer while it lasts! We think the name, Parkside Pilsner, says it all…sit back, relax, take in the view, and enjoy summer to the fullest.

Local is Love: May Specials with Dunbar Farms

Food and beer go together like…well…food and beer. And as much as we think our entire food menu is special, for the last year our chef has been pining over seasonal produce from the Rogue Valley. There’s just so much awesomeness that comes from local farms, and we’ve been daydreaming about all the food specials we can feature throughout the seasons.

local is love may specialsSo, we’re excited to announce our new Local is Love program! Each month, we’ll feature a local farm in three to four menu specials. The star-ingredients will come from our chosen featured farm, until the next month when we’ll shine the spotlight on another. You can find the specials on a cute little notecard at your table, with information on the back about the farm of the month.

We’re launching this program with one of our favorite local farms in Southern Oregon, just up the street in Medford: Dunbar Farms. This family-owned farm has been a gem of the Valley for over 100 years growing organic produce, stone-milled flours, grains, beans and other fantastic staples, as well as grapes for delicious award-winning red wines.

 

May ‘Local is Love’ Specials

 

‘The Beet Is On’ Salad

Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper tossed Arugula, topped with Roasted Chioga Beets, Marinated Carrots & Creamy Goat Cheese

 

Spring Up! Pizza

Grilled Spring Onions, Lamb Sausage, Mozzarella, Marinara, Scallions & Crisp Parsnips

 

The Herbed Bird Burger

Housemade Turkey & Herb Burger, Smoked Onion Mustard, Spicy Mayo, Lettuce & Five Cheese Sauce

 

Modeling the farm as a complex ecosystem, Dunbar focuses on varying crops on the diverse terrain below Medford’s “Rocky Knoll.” And to educate the next generation of local growers and buyers, they also partner with Kids Unlimited of Medford and Rogue Valley Farm to School to offer after-school programs, field trips and summer programs for youth at the farm!

Want to try Dunbar Farms produce for yourself? Well first of all, you can come in and try their goodness in our May specials! You can also swing by their Honor Barn Stand on Hillcrest Rd. anytime from dawn until dusk, or join their Farm Pick-Up newsletter list, where you can order your veggies, fruits, breads, eggs and more online and then pick them up at the farm stand each Friday. As a bonus, you can purchase their Rocky Knoll wine and wood-fired pizza while you’re there, too.

We invite you to come taste the flavors of Southern Oregon in our new ‘Local is Love’ specials! Your choice to dine on dishes made with local ingredients supports our local farming community, and just tastes really freakin’ good. Pair your plate with your favorite beer, and you’ll be about as fresh as it gets!

New Beer on the Block: Deep Down Double IPA

We have a new brew on tap: the Deep Down Double IPA.  We call it ‘Deep Down’ because, deep down, we really love beer. Everything about it. Creating new recipes, pouring it fresh, pairing it with food, serving it at race finish lines (like the upcoming Siskiyou Challenge Relay), and drinking it (duh).

This beer, like all our Common Block brews, also pays homage to a beloved Southern Oregon landmark – Crater Lake. We named this beer in honor of the deepest lake in the United States, because that’s how deep our feelings for beer run. And now that we have Common Block liter growlers available, you can take your Deep Down Double IPA to the rim itself and look deep down while savoring a glass…or whatever vessel you choose to use for your beer to-go. We don’t judge if you drink straight from the bottle.

Here’s a bit about the beer from Brewer John:

Dee Down Double IPA has a mellow malty profile that lets the pounds and pounds of hops added to the kettle shine through. Generous amounts of Citra, Ekuanot, and Mosaic hops added after fermentation give this beer a fruity, floral, herbal and citrusy aroma and deep down hop flavor. Brewed for us by out friends at Climate City Brewing Company in Grants Pass.

 

Deep Down Double IPA

 

Deep Down Double IPAStyle: Double India Pale Ale

ABV: 8.5%

IBU: 90

 

Malt:

  • 2-Row
  • Crystal Malt
  • Dextrose

 

Hops:

  • Cascade
  • Chinook
  • Centennial
  • Citra
  • Ekuanot
  • Mosaic

 

Food Pairing Suggestion:

  • Bacon & Bacon Burger
  • Reuben
  • Beer Braised Pork Nachos
  • Usual Suspect Pizza

Open Thanksgiving Day at Common Block

Love beer with your turkey? We invite you to join us for Thanksgiving Day at Common Block!

Because we just can’t bear to be away from our beer for the holiday, we are open all day with a special three-course Thanksgiving dinner with all the traditional fixings ($28 per person). We’ll also have our full menu available, with beer, wine, cider and hot drinks (you know, the important things) to pair with your holiday meal. So whether you’re hungry for a full Thanksgiving feast or simply want to grab a snack with friends in town, we’re here 11am-11pm to serve you and say thanks for being a part of Common Block’s first year open!

Here’s what’s on the menu for the big day:

And just for the holiday, we’re taking reservations for parties of all sizes! Whether you’re a group of two or twenty, you can make your reservation by calling us at (541) 326-2277 or emailing us at info@commonblockbrewing.com. Let us know how many people you have in your party and what time you’d like to come in, and we’ll set aside a table with your name on it.

We look forward to serving you on Thanksgiving Day and throughout the holiday season, and we’re so thankful for all of our wonderful customers who have made this first year of being open so fulfilling! We’re excited to spend the day with our favorite comfort foods, yummy drinks, and good friends, both old and new.

NEW! Online Ordering For To-Go Orders

Exciting news: you can now order your food to-go online! We’re making it even easier to take Common Block food (and beer) home with you – just visit our website, click the ‘Order To Go Online’ button, and add whatever you’re craving to your ticket. You can pay either online or when you pick it up, making it an awesome way to place an order for a work group, a hungry teenager or that one person you know who always forgets their wallet at home.

New Online Ordering Features

 

  • Schedule your order to be picked up right away, or hours into the future. If you’ve already decided during the mid-afternoon lull that you don’t want to make dinner tonight, place your order early and schedule for pick-up at 5:00.

 

  • Add special requests…if you don’t want cheese on your salad, just let us know. Want an extra side of ketchup? You can tell us that, too. You can type in your special message for each item, so your order comes exactly how you want it. Ordering for a big group? You can also use the feature to write people’s names on their orders. When we see a ticket with lots of names, we’ll write each one on their to-go box so there’s no confusion about who has what. That’s right Bill, keep your hands off Susan’s Reuben.

 

  • Order gift cards online, too! For the holidays or special occasions, just hop on our online ordering page, click ‘Start Your Order’ and then click on ‘Buy a gift card’ up at the top. You can have their gift card either emailed or texted, and send it right away or on a future date – you can schedule out gift cards for the entire year in one step (if you’re a Type A, get-er-done kind of person).

 

  • If you have your own gift card, you can also go to the online ordering page to check your card balance – no need to play guessing games with how much you have left.

 

  • Taking beer home in a growler, too? You can pay for that online all at the same time. Just ring in which beer you want to fill your half gallon or liter bottle with, and once you arrive it’s all paid for. Just make sure you bring your own bottle!

 

We hope you find our new online ordering system as convenient and easy-to-use as we have. Just add your order, choose to pay online or when you get here, and then head straight to the bar counter to pick up your food when it’s ready. Have any questions? Feel free to call us at 541-326-2277 and ask more about how it works!

New Beer on the Block: Last Cast Special Bitter

Greetings, beer drinker!  Yes, YOU!  We’ve got a new alcoholic beverage for you to try.  We’re calling it Last Cast.

Before we get into the details of the beer itself, let’s talk about the style of beer.  Our Last Cast is a Bitter Session Ale.  Remember the Brits?  You know, those guys who love tea, planting flags in foreign countries and making food that is somehow enhanced by vinegar?   Well, they’re responsible for a lot of modern-day beers, including IPAs, Stouts, Porters and Pales.  If the Brits were a Boy Scout, they’d be that annoying over-achiever who had a badge for everything and smugly told the rest of the world how they’re doing it wrong, like how beer is best enjoyed at room temperature.

So naturally, they’re responsible for the Bitter Session Ale as well.

The Session Ale is similar to the IPA in the sense that there’s no true history behind the name.  It’s somewhere between rumor, fact and hypothesis.  We have ideas, but no one wrote down the exact history as it happened.  Possibly because they were too busy drinking beer to write anything down.

With that in mind, here are some of the nitty gritty details of a Session Ale:

Technically called a Bitter Session Ale, this style of beer is characterized by its low alcohol content and drinkability.  A true session  is generally accepted as having lower than 4% alcohol content.  The point of the beer is to be able to enjoy its flavor over a plethora of pints, something not possible to do with a 6-7% abv. beer.  At least without stumbling into traffic.  Beyond the 4%, it’s broken down into two more specifications: a Special Bitter is between 4-4.9% and an Extra Special Bitter is anything 5% and above (but generally not higher than 5.9%).

Perhaps oddest of the name, a Bitter ale doesn’t necessarily imply bitterness.  Kind of like a pale ale.  A pale ale is a style that’s generally pale, but just because it might have a reddish or copper tone, doesn’t mean it’s no longer a Pale ale.  A Bitter Ale certainly has a hop flavoring to it, but it’s mild when compared to the heavy hopped Double and Triple IPA’s of the Northwest. The name is victim to the time in which it was created: at the inception of the Bitter Session Ale, the most popular ales in The United Kingdom were Stouts and Porters, a sweet and malty beer that could make just about any other style of beer seem bitter.

That’s all fine and dandy, but what does this all mean for flavor?  Well, we’ll step aside and let the Brewer and stats do the talking:

Last Cast Session Ale

Style:  Special Bitter (a British session beer)

ABV:  4.5% (easy drinkin’)

IBU:  30 (modest)

Malt: 

  • 2-row
  • munich
  • crystal
  • special roast (great malt backbone)

Hops:

  • Fuggle (traditional hop)
  • Goldings (traditional hop)
  • Amarillo (a little NW twist because that’s our jam)

From the John the Brewer:

Low alcohol, moderate carbonation, and round malt flavor finely balanced with modest hop bitterness create the easy-drinking effect.  In spite of its name, Special Bitter is NOT a bitter beer.  The British use the term metaphorically to refer to sessionable pub beers generally in the way one might use the word “pints” to describe “beer.” 

Pairing Suggestion:

Try this beer alongside our Pretzel, Herbivore Burger, or Stout Battered Fish & Chips!

 

Drive Less, Bike & Walk More, September 16 – 30th

The Oregon Drive Less Challenge returns for two weeks this year, September 16-30. At Common Block, our team is joining the fun and logging our collective trips to try and beat last year’s numbers – 1,523 total miles for Common Blockers not driven alone! Our favorite parts of the Challenge: catching up with coworkers during the commutes and rewarding our efforts with beer at the end of each day. Because, heck, we feel like we’ve earned it. Also avoiding traffic, because…grrrrr.

Join us in burning calories instead of gas by biking or walking to work and play. Divide the ride and the cost by carpooling, or take the bus and let someone else do the driving so you can listen to music, read or dominate Candy Crush. Then log your trips at DriveLessConnect.com to win awesome weekly and grand prizes!

Cutting back on driving alone even a few times a week can make a big difference for your health and happiness, and we’ve got the awesome Bear Creek Bike Path that makes it easy to get from Point A to Point B throughout the valley. Plus, the more non-drive-alone trips you log during the Challenge, the greater your chances are to win weekly and grand prizes like Hydro Flasks, Dutch Bros coffee, KEEN shoes, gift cards and more. Every trip counts!

How to join the Oregon Drive Less Challenge

  • Sign up at DriveLessConnect.com (or reactivate your account)
  • Bike, take the bus, carpool, vanpool, walk or telework for work, errands or play
  • Log trips Sept. 16-30
  • Challenge yourself to drive less…every trip counts!
  • WIN PRIZES!
oregon drive less challenge common block

Last year’s dedicated Common Block commuters

Thank you to the Rogue Valley Transportation District (RVTD) for promoting this awesome community event, and we’re excited to log trips and join events for the rest of the month. To see what’s happening near you, check out their Events page for meet-ups and themes everyday from Grants Pass to Ashland (and be sure to plan a bus trip on Transit Tuesdays, when you can ride the RVTD buses around the valley for free!). For more information, visit the Oregon Drive Less Challenge page on www.RVTD.org, and we’ll see you on the road!

Seven Wonders of Southern Oregon

You may have seen Travel Oregon’s list of Seven Wonders in the state. Heck, you may even be lucky enough to have visited a few (or all!). Well, we’re big fans of Southern Oregon in general, and feel like our home is worthy of it’s own Seven Wonders list.

So here you go! This is our list of mesmerizing, fascinating, super unique and fun-filled places to visit in Southern Oregon, for the adventurous local and globetrotter alike. Pack a bag, plan a trip, and let us know your own favorites to add to the list!

1. Crater Lake National Park

Obviously, this repeat from Travel Oregon’s ‘Seven Wonders’ list earns top mention as Southern Oregon’s most famous gem. The fifth oldest national park of United States, Crater Lake is an international destination for those in seek of a totally awe-inspiring view. The turquoise waters along the shore and dramatic view of peaks around its edges make for a one-of-a-kind backdrop for day hikes or picnics. As Southern Oregon is home to the state’s only national park, we’re pretty proud to call this second-deepest lake in the U.S. ours. We recommend grabbing a beer in the lodge during the summer season, or bringing your own to enjoy while hiking around in the snow much of the year.

2. Southern Oregon Coast

The Oregon Coast is officially divided into three sections, and we think the Southern portion is pretty darn great. At the mouth of the Chetco River, Brookings is home to several worth-while eateries (we like Oxenfré and Fat Irish), Chetco Brewing Co. and Superfly Distilling Co. Head north and find Gold Beach next, at the mouth of the Rogue River. Here, you can play all day at the beach, fish along the Rogue, wander inland to camp, or spend the afternoon soaking in hot tubs at Ireland’s Rustic Lodge (our personal favorite).

3. The Table Rocks

When it comes to volcanic plateaus, we’ve got it goin’ on. The Upper and Lower Table Rocks are both home to endangered wild flowers, vernal pools of fairy shrimp, and awesome views that extend along the Rogue Valley and to the Siskiyous and Cascades. Hike Upper Table Rock for an easier 2.8 mile loop, or head to Lower Table Rock for a moderate 5.4 mile trip, which ends with a slightly higher viewpoint of the valley. Together, the Table Rocks annually see about 45,000 hikers.

4. Mt. Ashland

Mountain biking, backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, snowboarding, sledding, camping…if there’s an outdoor mountain sport you enjoy, Mt. Ashland delivers. In the Siskiyou mountain range, it’s the highest peak at 7,532’. The southernmost stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail in Oregon skirts the south and east sides of the mountain, where you’ll find wildflowers like crazy in the summer months. For all you runners, we sponsor the S.O.B. race in July and highly recommend this trail run! In the late summer, we also like to head to the summit or any of the other secluded back roads and watch the annual meteor showers away from the lights (and sometimes smoke) in the Rogue Valley below.

5. Mt. McLoughlin

Also known as Mt. Pitt, Big Butte, or Snowy Butte, this steep-sided, lava-coned mount gives a dramatic view to hikers who climb the 10-mile roundtrip trail (FYI, it’s a rocky scramble at the top). It’s central to the Sky Lakes Wilderness, where you’ll find plenty of hiking and backpacking trails, as well as high mountain lakes all summer long. We recommend planning a trip in September to avoid the mosquitos.

Fun fact: each year, as the snow melts on Mt McLoughlin’s western side, the remaining snowpack takes the shape of wings. Locals see the wings as a sign that fishing at nearby mountain lakes is at its peak.

6. Rogue River

It’s wild. It’s scenic. It’s full of salmon and super fun for rafting. Bubbling up from a spring near Crater Lake, this rugged river gathers steam for 215 miles and then clashes with the Pacific Ocean at Gold Beach. With public parks, hiking trails, camp grounds and boat ramps galore, there’s no shortage of fun to be had in and along the Rogue.

Another fun fact: ‘The River Wild’ (you know, that awesome 90’s movie with Meryl Streep and Kevin bacon) was filmed along the Rogue River.  Watch the movie, and then go do a jetboat trip out to Hellsgate to see scenery from the film.

7. Umpqua River Hot Springs                                          

On your next secluded getaway, check out these geothermal pools on the North Umpqua River! Three oval soaking pools (one covered) are accessible all year long, giving you a warm water retreat even among the surrounding snow. The hike in is about ¼ mile much of the year, though you’ll have add an additional two miles if the access road is snow-covered and not plowed. Just so you’re not shocked when you get there, know that clothing is optional, and often missing.

New Brew on the Block: Tunnel 13 Cascadian Dark Ale

We’ve got a new beer on the block!  Tunnel 13 is a unique, dark ale with a crisp, hoppy finish.  The laymen might call it a Black IPA or a IBA (India Black Ale),  but we’ve been told by our brewer, John, in no uncertain terms, that this beer is not a Black IPA or IBA.  It’s a Cascadian Dark Ale.

What’s a Cascadian Dark Ale you might be asking?  It’s called a CDA for short, and the beer typically has proponents of flavor, color and aroma from both an IPA and something like a Stout or Porter.  CDAs typically combine a dry hop finish with a sweeter, roasted malt body.  The color is usually either very dark brown or black, and the head of the beer should be tan or khaki.  Black IPAs, IBA’s and CDA’s all share similarities.  What makes the CDA unique is in the ingredients list.  Like the name would suggest, Cascadian Dark Ales should source most of their ingredients from the Cascadia Region of the US (The Pacific Northwest).  This means, a beer made in a similar style should not be called a CDA if the ingredients were solely sourced in Europe or on the American East coast or from Gibraltar.   It might sound like petty semantics, and perhaps it is, but hop flavors are affected by different climates in the same way wine grapes, peppers and coffee beans are.  It is a technicality, but technicalities are what help us make distinctions, people.

Additionally, it’s a bit confusing to be drinking a Black India Pale Ale, and India Black Ale brings to mind the strong hop finishes an IPA typically has.  So what we’re saying is, most breweries making this particular style of beer will worry about semantics and call their beer what it is: A Cascadian Dark Ale.

Whew, OK, that’s enough beer style background. Let’s get to the beer itself.

Tunnel 13 Cascadian Dark Ale

 

7.1% ABV
65 IBU

Malts

  • 2-row malt
  • Carabrown
  • Chocolate
  • Carafa II

Hops

  • Columbus (bittering)
  • Cascade
  • Amarilla
  • Citra (dry-hop)

From the Brewer:

Common Block Tunnel 13 CDA balances the spicy, citrus, and piney hop flavors of the Pacific Northwest with a laid-back chocolate malt roastiness.  In spite of its dark appearance, Tunnel 13 CDA finishes light and smooth.  Dark as a tunnel, light as day!

That John, what a poet. We’ve debuted seven beers in the last eight months of being open, and we wont stop brewing now.  For further reading on the history behind Tunnel 13 (spoiler alert, there’s murder and robbery involved) check out our other blog post on the name behind the CDA. And keep an eye out for the next beer on the horizon –  we’ll be tapping our Session Bitter Ale come mid-September.

A Tale as Black as our New Tunnel 13 Cascadian Dark Ale

We released our Cascadian Dark Ale just over a week ago, one we’re calling Tunnel 13.  We wanted to give you all a little insight into how we came to the name the beer, so we’ve dragged back out our resident History Major, Nick Blakeslee. 

Oh, wow.  It’s great to be back.  Nothing says, “You’ve made the right decision” like being able to use your College Degree to write about beer.  Let me tell you, it’s pretty cool.  Anyway, I’m here to tell you all a little bit of history.  Wait!  Don’t leave.  I promise I wont be that boring history professor who wears nothing but mustard colored button ups and khakis.  My voice is much less monotone and I’d never wear socks with sandals.   Also, we’re talking about beer.  Not the Treaty of Versailles.  Specifically, we’re going to talk about our newest beer: our Tunnel 13 Cascadian Dark Ale

You are wondering a couple of things: 1.  What is significance of Tunnel 13? and 2. How can Nick read my thoughts?  For the latter: I really don’t know.  And the former?  Well, that’s a bit of a story.  So take a seat, grab a beer and drink in our beer’s dark history…

Told you it looked spooky.

Other than the fact that it bears the unluckiest number in English culture, Tunnel 13 started as a seemingly normal tunnel.  It runs through southern Oregon, cutting through a portion of the Siskiyou pass.  Those that are familiar with southern Oregon’s past, might know it’s story.  Namely, it’s haunted.

Whoa, I know, I know, that’s a big claim, certainly for a brewery to make.  Our tagline is “Welcome to the Block” not “Common Block: Beers, Ghosts, etc.”  But guess what, Google says it’s haunted, and who is going to argue with that?  After all, Tunnel 13 is home to one of the last great train robberies in America.  You heard me, a train robbery. 

Let’s rewind the clock, and take us all back to another time, when alcohol was illegal and America had just given women the right to vote: The 1920’s.  The year was 1922, and some brothers were looking to make their family rich.  They’re names were Roy and Ray D’Autremont.  They decided they were going to rob a train of its gold, and they knew of one that ran right through their backyard: the Siskiyou Station.

The train in question was from Southern Pacific, and carried the nickname The Gold Special.  Clearly, someone looking to protect their assets sucked at naming their trains.  The Balsawood Special or Paperscraps, Dead Pens, etc. would have probably done a better job at averting prying eyes.  Rumor had it, the train carried half a million in gold bars and an inordinate amount of cash as well.  Making the hit worth the risk.

Tunnel 13 marks the end of a steep incline that runs through the Siskiyou Mountain range.  The tunnel itself stretches just over 3,100 feet.  Additionally, it’s the beginning of a steep decline, one where the engineer of the train was required to stop in order to test the brakes.  This marked the perfect spot for the D’Autremont brothers to jump on the train and steal their fortune.

So they set the date, and eventually recruited their brother, Hugh, as well (clearly not fitting into the rhyming scheme of Roy and Ray).  They stole some dynamite from a construction site in northern Oregon.

On October 11th, 1923, they set their trap.  At the height of the summit, while the engine stopped for a brake test, Roy and Hugh D’Autremont hopped on the train, while Ray waited at the end of the tunnel with the dynamite.  Roy and Hugh held the engineer, a man named Sidney Bates, at gun point and ordered him to stop the train at the southern end of the tunnel.

With the train stopped, the Brothers would be able to begin their work getting the Mail Car open, which was believed to carry the half-million in gold, cash, and probably some love letters as well.

There was a hiccup, however, when the Mail Clerk in the car, Elvyn Daugherty, refused to open up.  The car was secured, and it would take something big to get it open.  Like, dynamite for example.  The brothers slapped on the explosives and ran.

Unfortunately, at the time there were no YouTube Walk-Through’s or “Dynamite for Dummies” books, so the brothers packed too much dynamite on the door to the mail car.  When the fuse fired, the dynamite obliterated not only the entire contents of the mail car—including poor Elvyn—but damaged the railcar as well.  So when they ordered Engineer Bates, and Marvin Seng to decouple the mail car and move the engine forward, they found the train to be too damaged to move.

Not exactly Ocean’s 11 caliber of execution.

The mail car that was obliterated by the dynamite blast.

Their plans were ruined, the gold, if it had even been there at all, was nowhere to be found.  And all they had were a series of witnesses to their crimes.  In the ensuing chaos, the robbery claimed the lives of three more, Sydney Bates the engineer, Marvin Seng a fireman, and Charles Orin Johnson the brakeman.  Bringing the final body count to four.

$4,800 reward for each man. That’s the modern day equivalent of almost $70,000

The robbery chilled southern Oregonians – a crime this brutal was not common in sleepy southern Oregon.  It received nationwide news and a massive manhunt took place.  It wasn’t until 1927, when Hugh D’Aturemont was found in the Philippines shortly after enlisting in the Military (no good deed goes unpunished).  Less than year later, both Roy and Ray were reported and arrested in Ohio, marking the end of a half-decade long manhunt.  Hugh was paroled in 1958, but died less than a year later of cancer.  His brother, Ray, served time until 1961, at which time he was released after repenting his crimes.  He was on record saying, “For the rest of my life I will struggle with the question of whatever possessed us to do such a thing?”  He settled down as a janitor at University of Oregon in Eugene and went on to write a book.  Apparently, he picked up painting Oregon landscapes as a means to reflect.

And finally, Roy D’Autremont was diagnosed with schizophrenia while incarcerated, and later underwent a frontal lobotomy.  Spooky.

The case is historically important not only because of the nature of the crime, but also the use of forensic evidence as well.  Edward Oscar Heinrich, dubbed “The Edison of Crime Detection”, used ground breaking techniques to tag the men with the crime.  Including forensic analysis of handwriting, curing an old receipt to read a postal code, and the chemical testing of grease found on the killer’s trousers to indict the murderer while proving the innocence of another man.  He did some amazing things, but really, he deserves his own post.

Since then, Tunnel 13 has never been the same.  Locals stayed away from it for decades and in 2003 the tunnel burned to the ground mysteriously. Officials thought it could have been transients or trespassers, but we know what it was: ghosts.

Today, Tunnel 13 is open for business, but that hasn’t stopped Ashland locals and travelers alike from coming to the tunnel to investigate its haunted properties for themselves.  Some say if you shut off the lights to your flashlight, you can see the apparition of Sydney Bates, patrolling the south end of the Tunnel where he lost his life.  Others suggest that the howling wind sounds less like gusts and more like the ghastly moans of Elvyn’s disembodied soul.

And if you sit in the darkness long enough, they say you can hear the crazed laughter of the lobotomized Roy D’Autremont.

Whatever the truth may be, the place is creepy as heck, but cool as well.   Making it worthy of our Tunnel 13 Cascadian Dark Ale.