Our Top Picks for Medford Beer Week 2017

It’s like Christmas, but with beer and in June, and only in the Rogue Valley! Medford Beer Week is an annual Southern Oregon-wide celebration of our awesome region’s contributions to the craft beer world. Not only do we have world-class beers being brewed locally and regionally, we’re also home to top-notch establishments – both restaurants and bars – that understand the importance of quality beer and the food served alongside it.

For the celebration, June 1st-10th, we’ve teamed up with Climate City Brewing Co. in Grants Pass for a collaboration beer – Slow Row Single Hop Amber. This brew is made with smooth and floral Azacca hops and Mecca Grade malts, and you can come get a taste starting this Thursday, June 1st to kick off the celebration week!

 

Here are our top 5 picks for things to do during Medford Beer Week 2017:

 

Brews, Burgers & Bluegrass | Saturday, June 3rd | RoxyAnn Winery

This family-friendly, fundraising event includes more than a dozen breweries, five foot-tapping bluegrass bands, delicious BBQ, home brew classes, and kid’s activities all at RoxyAnn Winery. Ticket outlet and online sales at roguebbb.org

6th Annual Kickball Tournament | Saturday, June 3rd | The Schoolhaus Brewhaus, Jacksonville

Teams compete in a double elimination bracket for the coveted Deschutes Kickball Trophy (and of course bragging rights!). $50 per team, minimum 8 players fielded (teams are co-ed, 21+ only on the field – minors welcome in the audience). Sign up at info@theschoolhaus.com

Cornhole Tournament | Thursday, June 8th | Middleford Alley, Medford

Get your team together, and come downtown on Thursday night to try your hand at the Ninkasi and Summit Cornhole Tournament. Sign-ups and beer garden open at 5pm, and live music with Beth Henderson & Blowin Smoke starts at 6pm. Cornhole until 9pm, with prizes for the top three teams.

2nd Annual Hearts and Hops Food Truck and Brewery Competition | Friday, June 9th | The Medford Commons

Join your favorite food trucks as they compete for the “Best Pairing” with local craft beer offerings. Enjoy music by The Rogue Suspects and sample tons of specialty brews all evening long. 100% of the proceeds go toward community-based organizations dedicated to the elimination of domestic violence. For more information and tickets visit www.heartsandhops.com

9th Annual Southern Oregon Craft Brew Festival | Saturday, June 10th | The Medford Commons

This is the mac-daddy finale of Medford Beer Week! With over 60 beers to sample, the Southern Oregon Craft Brew Festival is a “must attend” for Beer Week lovers. $20 gets you a commemorative pint glass and eight tasting tickets, with additional tasting tickets available for 5 for $5, or 12 for $10. Finish your week at Southern Oregon’s only beer-centric beer festival. Pre-sale tickets available at Beerworks Medford and Beerworks Jacksonville for $16.

 

Don’t forget to come by for the newest Common Block/Climate City beer on tap, Slow Row Single Hop Amber. It’s got a medium body, malty mouthfeel and light hoppy finish – we’re thrilled with how this beer came out! We feel ridiculously lucky to live, work and brew in this awesome place, and can’t wait to celebrate with everyone during Medford Beer Week 2017,

 

 

 

 

 

May is the Month to Hop On Your Bike!

 

May is National Bike Month, making it the ideal time to pedal, walk, bus or carpool around town from Point A to Point B. It’s also the month for joining two statewide and local challenges: The Street Trust’s Bike More Challenge encourages individuals and workplaces throughout Oregon to compete for most miles and trips biked during the month of May. The Rogue Commute Challenge by the Rogue Valley Transportation District (RVTD) pits local workplaces on a leaderboard to see which organization can log the most collective alternative transportation trips. Both are awesome reasons to try new ways to get where you need to be!

 

About the Bike More Challenge

 

The Challenge is a state-wide, month-long friendly competition between workplaces to see who can get the greatest percentage of employees to log the most trips on their bike. Ride your bike to work, the grocery store, or for fun and log all of your trips at bikemorechallenge.com! At the end they tally the results, give out awards in different categories of company size and sector, and celebrate everyone’s hard work and commitment for the month.

 

About the Rogue Commute Challenge

 

The Rogue Commute Challenge allows workplaces to team together and compete against other local workplace teams to see who can log more walking, biking, carpooling, transit, or telecommute trips and earn glory by being named King of the Rogue Commuters! This fun competition is a great way to learn more about commuting options, earn prizes, get healthy, reduce our carbon footprint and build camaraderie while competing to have your workplace win the Challenge! It’s all about fun, building teamwork, and learning about the commute options available in the Rogue Valley.

 

If you haven’t already, you can still sign up for the Bike More Challenge, as well as enjoy all the local events associated with RVTD’s Go By Bike Week, May 15-19. Register for the bike skills class, join group rides with free snacks and schwag, visit a breakfast station, and sign up for the Grow a Pear Run, Walk, or Bike 5K.

 

And if you find yourself biking in downtown Medford, feel free to use our community bike racks! We’ve got plenty of room for all, and then come inside and grab a beer because, dangit, you deserve it! Our team of Common Blockers will be cruising on bikes and busses logging points, too (we have coworkers biking from Ashland, Talent, Phoenix and Eagle Point!), so please cheer them on if you see their blue shirts commuting around the valley.

 

 

Racing Toward the Siskiyou Challenge, 4/29

What has five legs, gives free beer, is seven years old and runs all over?

No, it’s not a rocket-fueled elderly starfish with a keg of beer on its back. It’s the 7th Annual Siskiyou Challenge Relay in Ashland, Oregon! We love this yearly race, so much so that we sponsor the event with free beer and food for racers at the finish line. The five relay legs weave all around Ashland on April 29th, from Emigrant Lake to the hills north of town, and then end at a big finale party at ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum.

The Siskiyou Challenge Relay benefits one of our favorite local organizations: Rogue Valley Farm to School. RVF2S educates children about our food system through hands-on farm and garden programs, and by increasing local foods in school meals. We love their mission, their programs and this race!

 

Here are the Siskiyou Challenge race legs:

 

  1. 3K kayak at Emigrant Lake
  2. 30K road bike around Ashland, over to Valley View Road, and back to Lithia Park
  3. 6K trail run above Lithia Park
  4. 13K mountain bike in the hills above Ashland
  5. 6K run to the finish at ScienceWorks!

 

Speaking of racers, watch out for our team on the course: the Common Block Fantastic Five. And when we say “Fantastic Five,” we really mean a group of moderately active people that hope to survive until the free beer at the end (less fantastic, more thirsty).

Looking for something for the whole family? There’s also a 1-mile fun run that begins and ends at ScienceWorks. Sign ups start at 9am on Saturday and the run begins at 10am. Everyone can enjoy finish line activities, including live music on the outdoor stage, vendors, exhibits and more.

Register now for the Siskiyou Challenge!

You can still register online through 4/27 at 11:59pm (late fee of $20 after 4/25)! Grab your best athletic pals, come up with an awesome team name, and join us for the fun this Saturday. We’re serving up enchiladas, beer, cider and root beer at the finish line (if you need a little more incentive), and the weather is supposed to make for a beautiful race day. We hope to see you there!

 

‘Medford Beervana’ Package at Inn at the Commons

Alright all you beer-loving, romantic-getaway planners…you know how you’ve been looking for the perfect overnight stay that features beer and food in Medford? (We know, mind readers over here.) Look no further than the new Medford Beervana package at Inn at the Commons!

We’ve partnered with Portal Brewing downtown and our next-door neighbors at Inn at the Commons to put together a special treat for those wanting an all-inclusive experience of food and beer in downtown Medford. Everything is within walking distance, so you can enjoy your entire package without ever having to get in your car once you check in. Here are the details:

Medford Beervana

• Overnight stay for two
• Beer & Appetizer pairing for two at Common Block (Two 10 oz. CBBC Pale Ales paired with Fried Cheese Curds and House Marinara)
• Flight of 3 beer tasters at Portal Brewing for two
• $30 Dinner credit at LARKS Restaurant Medford located inside the hotel
• Continental breakfast
• Free WiFi and parking

Starting at $129. To book your Medford Beervana package, visit the Inn at the Commons website.

Looking for other fun places to check out downtown? We recommend Beer Works for an awesome selection of craft beers from around the world, Bricktowne Brewing for another great downtown brewery, or Jefferson Spirits for creative, unique cocktails to wind down the evening. The Craterian Theater is just up the street from Inn at the Commons and Common Block if you’re looking for a show, or you can cozy up at Limestone Coffee the next morning for a cuppa Joe before taking off back home (it’ll be hard, but we’ll still be here anytime you need more beer).

 

Rogue Valley Brewery Tours: Jump on the Bus (or Bike)

While family and friends visit over the holidays, what better way to entertain everyone (or get everyone out of the house) than with a brewery tour? Lucky for us, we’ve got a few options in the Rogue Valley for beer-hopping adventures. Sit back (or on the Pint Rider, pedal forward) and taste all the best beers our area has to offer in one big, awesome beer-tasting session.

Main St. Adventures Magic Brew Bus Tourlogo_brewtour_lg

(541) 482-9852

$69 per person

This all-inclusive, brewery-to-brewery bus tour takes guests around for beer tasting and appetizer pairing, and over the holidays they’ll also throw in a Grand Holiday Lights Tour to get you in the spirit. The four-hour ride also comes with rating sheets and notepads for your brews. Tours can be booked any night of the week over the holidays for groups of 8-16, so jump on it to schedule your own special event – because you’re special.

Pint Rider Bike Tourspint rider

(541) 227-9499

$300 per private group, 8-15 guests; $175 per shared group, 5-7 guests

Pedal-power your way around Medford on the area’s only beer bike! You and up to 14 friends can cruise at 5-8 mph, visiting as many beer stops as you can in the 2.5 hour time slot (usually about 3-4 stops). Pint Rider can make recommendations for brewery/tasting room pit stops along the way, or you can choose your own if you have a beloved beer haunt close by. Pair your beer with some fresh air!

and for after the holidays…

Beer 30 Tours beer-30

(541) 708-3569

$70 per person

Need to recover from the holidays? Jump on Beer 30 Tours, running full-steam later this winter. Choose from either the Beer 101 or Beer Enthusiast tours for four hours and 12 samples of local brews. You’ll explore Rogue Valley breweries, connect with other beer fans, and get safe transportation all around. What more could you want?

 

The Zombies are Coming! Register NOW for the Running Dead 5K

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Ahhhhhhhh!!!!

That’s the sound you’ll hear all over downtown Medford on October 22nd for Goodwill’s Running Dead 5K. Zombies and humans are taking over the Medford Commons in a race to benefit Southern Oregon Goodwill and all the awesome things they do in our community. Sign up as an alive or undead runner, and then join us afterward for the Apocalypse Party in the Common Block parking lot.

Here’s how it works: Racers take off from the Medford Commons and run out-and-back along the Bear Creek Bike Path for 3.1 miles. Humans will take off with three flags around their waists at 4:30, and zombies will take off at 4:32. Zombies do their best to catch flags from humans, and humans have to dodge the zombies and get back to the finish line with as many flags as possible. Awards will be given to King of the Zombies and Ultimate Survivor.

And don’t forget about all the perks! Ro Sham Bo will be on-hand providing free makeup for all zombies – come as you are and start the race looking zombie-tastic. We’re giving $5 gift certificates to all the racers, and serving beer at the finish line alongside Ooblies Waffle Truck and Curbside King. Lastly, you can enter to win at the Drop Dead Beauty Contest – show off your fantastic zombie makeup as you strut across the stage! Kids ages 4-8 can join the fun, too, with the Survivor Sprint around the Commons park blocks.

If you’ve always wanted to practice for the impending zombie apocalypse and haven’t known where to start, this is it! Get real-life experience running from zombies or being a zombie – really, its just being well-prepared. You can double up on your costume, too, for Halloween (we won’t tell anyone).

Register online soon to chase or be chased, and be sure to come see us for a beverage from 2pm-10pm on race day. We’ll be here with open doors, corn hole, food trucks, beer and root beer on tap, and a whole lot of zombie-themed excitement. Don’t get caught dead missing out on the fun!

 

 

 

 

Hop on the Oregon Drive Less Challenge, October 1-15

PrintTune up your bike, lace your walking shoes, and grab your bus pass for RVTD’s annual Drive Less Challenge, October 1-15th! If you’re looking for a little extra motivation to try alternative transportation options around town, this week is full of prizes, events and contests to make the jump a little sweeter.

Participating is easy: register at drivelessconnect.com and start logging your trips every day. You’ll see your travel totals, arrange carpooling, and enter to win prizes. Trying to think of fun ways you can cruise around town? Hop on Medford’s Pint Rider and pedal around to breweries and bottle shops with 14 of your best friends. Just think, you can log miles and grab brews along the way!

Find new fresh-air travel routes for work and around town, and get your coworkers to log on, too, and earn your workplace status as a Regional Leader. Save yourself money and time while adding some fun and exercise to your routine, or hop on one of the fantastic RVTD busses and let someone else do the driving. Any which way you do it, have fun joining the masses of alternative transportation commuters in October, and logging all your efforts to see just how much you can save in money and CO2 emissions over two great weeks. Go forth, and ride!

Pints at the Peak: Pouring Beer at the SOB

This Saturday is the race day we’ve all been waiting for! Well, only if you’re a runner training for the Siskiyou Out Back. And if you are, we applaud you! Racers will line up this weekend to compete in the 15K, 50K or 50-mile annual SOB run beginning and ending at the Mt. Ashland lodge. This race fills up every year (that’s right, there are 175 people out there willing to run 50 miles!), and for a good reason. The views are stunning, the volunteers are wonderful, and the swag at the end is pretty great, too.

About the Race

runoregonblog

(photo: runoregonblog.com)

Starting at a cozy 6,500 feet altitude, this course meanders along the Pacific Crest Trail with views of Mt. Shasta and Mt. McLaughlin. Runners traverse single-track trails through wildflower meadows and mountain-top terrain, as well as unpaved roads with plenty of sunshine. It’s one of those races where you think to yourself “If I’m running today, this is where I want to be.”

About the Finish

2015 15K finishers

Our Common Block Team of finishers in 2015 (the baby didn’t actually run).

This is the good part! Because, let’s face it, we all love the races we’ve done after we finish them. After charging across the finish line, every racer gets their finisher’s medal, and the 50-mile racers grab their commemorative S.O.B. ceramic mug. Our Common Block comrades are pouring free beer outside the lodge for all the runners, alongside meals for purchase from the race organizers. If anyone deserves a cold beer in the sunshine this Saturday, it’s these racers.

So if you’re racing or supporting, we’ll see you there! If not, we recommend heading up the hill (that is, Mt. Ashland) to cheer on these awesome athletes as they cross the finish line. Runners will be coming in 11:00am (for the 15K) to 7:00pm, so there’s plenty of time to drive to the lodge and make the racers feel great with claps, cheers, and high fives all around. We’ll high five you, too.

Local Business Spotlight: Pint Rider

Get ready to pedal for your pints, Medford! There’s a new multi-person beer bike in town, and it’ll steer you to your favorite local breweries and pubs. The Pint Rider is a locally owned and operated downtown staple, proving to be part open-air party bus, part exercise activity, and a whole lot of entertainment. Sign us up!

pint riderAt a cruising speed of about 5-8 miles per hour, you and 14 of your best beer-loving and bike-riding friends can pedal around downtown for two hours, making stops at your favorite spots to eat and drink along the way. And we’re not just talking beer, here (though we’re obviously biased and think you should TOTALLY visit Medford breweries). You can also spend your rental time visiting coffee shops, winery tasting rooms, sports bars, parks…whatever you’re into.

Here’s how it works: The Pint Rider is rented on a two-hour basis, and how you spend your rental time is up to you. Along with a Designated Driver (every rental comes with a bike pilot to steer you along), you’ll weave along Medford streets and stop as often or as little as you want. Think bachelor or bachelorette parties, birthday celebrations, company parties, cyclist group events, parades, wedding parties, family reunions…and the list goes on. Pint Rider has suggested routes and stopping points to visit, or you can create your own voyage with your top spots along the way.

We’re excited to see this fun and ecofriendly pastime come to Southern Oregon! We can’t think of much better than spending a sunny afternoon biking to and from local breweries with a pack of pals to keep things entertaining. Visit Pint Rider’s website and Facebook page for more info, and make your reservation for Medford’s only brewery-hopping cycle pub adventure.

Photo Recap: The Wild Rogue Relay

What do we do when we want a quick break from building Common Block day in and day out? Get a group of friends together and run 218 miles to the coast, duh. We survived/ran/loved/endured/pick-your-own-verb-ed the Wild Rogue Relay last weekend with our 12-person team touring lakes, vineyards, rivers, mountain passes, beaches and trails along the way. We even brought free beer and pint glasses along to pour for all the weary and awesome racers at the end, because no one earns their beer like Wild Rogue Relay racers!

So what does 33+ hours of running, sleep deprivation, and the intimate quarters of a shared van look like? Since we knew there’d be points of delirium and chaos along the way, we took a bunch of photos to remember the weekend. And what an awesome weekend it was! We witnessed lots of amazing team support (that’s you, Clown Punchers), great attitudes (you rocked, Suck It Up Princess), and some killer dance moves by a whole lot of racers.

Here’s our photo recap of the weekend, and a quick note from Team Runners’ Block to the amazing organizers, volunteers, and support staff of the Wild Rogue Relay: We can’t wait to race again next year!