Thanks for Joining Us at Bales & Ales!

We had a toe-tappin’, pumpkin-carvin’, corhole-throwin’ good time last Sunday at Bales & Ales at Common Block, and want to thank everyone who joined us throughout the day! You all carved nearly 200 pumpkins, and we loved seeing the sweet, scary, silly and spooky jack-o-lanterns from kids and adults alike. Seeing families hanging out on hay bales warmed our hearts (and the Bale Bucker Harvest Ale warmed the rest of us!).

Tunes from DK Jazz Duo and The Brother’s Reed were fantastic, and we so loved the live music in the sunshine. A huge thank you to both groups for joining us and keeping the outdoors fall-time spirit alive! And we were so happy Pint Rider spent the day with us, too. Nothing like a beer bike in the sunshine to remind us why we love downtown Medford.

We want to share some photos from throughout the day, because y’all are just so darn cute. And — wow — we were lucky to have some amazing Southern Oregon autumn weather. We loved getting everyone together to share good food, beer and company, and we can’t wait to do it again next October!

Join Us for Bales & Ales, October 14th

 

 

Sure, you could carve a pumpkin.

You could even carve a pumpkin with a beer.

Or, you could come hang out with us to carve pumpkins with beers, BBQ, games, sweet treats, a parking lot party and live music. Your choice.

We invite you to downtown Medford for Bales & Ales on Sunday, October 14th, 12-5pm at Common Block! We’re roping off the parking lot and spreading out hay bales for seating while you carve pumpkins and enjoy seasonal goodies. Bring your own pumpkin, or get one free with any food or beverage purchase. We’ll have all the carving tools you need – just bring your skills!

Of course, we’ll have our corn hole boards set up for playing and tossing, and we’ve invited the DK Jazz Project (12-2pm) and The Brothers Reed (3-5pm) to play live music throughout the day.

Bring the family, because they’ll be jealous if you leave them out of the fun. We’re cooking up snacks for the outdoor grill, and whipping up some fall-themed treats for the kiddos. We also talked our brewer into making a seasonal ale (it wasn’t hard), so look for the debut of our Bale Bucker Harvest Ale to warm you up on a fall afternoon.

How does it all work?

Show up anytime 12-5pm, and get a free small pumpkin with any purchase. Pick your pumpkin, find some carving tools (or bring some with you if you’re a pro), and enjoy some live tunes and grub while you carve an award-winning jack-o-lantern (c’mon, we know you have it in you!). And if the weather doesn’t cooperate, we’ll just move the party inside.

To recap:

  • Live music
  • Pumpkin Carving
  • New Harvest Ale Release
  • Fall-Themed Treats
  • BBQ

Mark you calendar, save the date, tie a piece of string around your finger, or do whatever it is you do to remember events, because we’d love to see you at Common Block for our first annual Bales & Ales on Sunday, October 14th!

New Beer on the Block: Tangerine Squeeze IPA

tangerine ipa

Squeeze more local craft beer into the last days of summer with our latest Common Block seasonal special: Tangerine Squeeze IPA. This beer takes citrus notes from Centennial, Citra, Columbus and Ekuanot hops, and then splashes in additional tangerine notes to give us a late-summer beer worth writing home about (seriously, if you want, we have postcards here and we’ll mail them for you).

We also have new Common Block growler bottles in stock if you prefer your beer to-go. Grab a liter for the road – $12 each for Common Block brew fills – and take your beer along to pair with your own summer feasts at home. We love this beer with grilled chicken, pineapple salsa, and romantic sunsets (obviously).

We’re also big fans of organizing your own brown-bag IPA tasting, and seeing which flavors you and friends can pull out of a blind taste test. Grab a few of your favorite IPAs, throw in some lesser-known options, and then do a side-by-side comparison and see where your favorites pop up. It’s also a great way to pull out some less-obvious flavors and aromas when comparing your beers side-by-side. You might get some funky hop flavors or malty undertones where you never noticed them before.

Tangerine Squeeze IPA

Malt:

  • 2-Row
  • Wheat
  • Crystal

Hops:

  • Centennial
  • Columbus
  • Citra
  • Ekuanot

6.3% abv, 65 IBU

Food pairing recommendations: This brew drinks great on it’s own (like really great), but of course we’ve had to test it alongside food on the menu, too. Our top picks are the Double Blue Buffalo Chicken Burger, Sea Salt Truffle Chicken Breast, Cold-Brew Chicken Tacos, and Fried Cheese Curds. If you’re taking a growler to-go, we recommend pairing it with chicken, lamb or guacamole at home. It’s light, bright mouthfeel and slightly astringent finish make it a fun match for spicy foods.

Come and get it while it lasts! This beer has quickly become a Common Block guest favorite, and we may even make it a year-round brew if enough IPA-lovers are banging down the doors to get their pint before this batch runs out. We wouldn’t want that (doors are expensive), so we’ll probably just brew more.

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!