An April 1st R&D Update

It’s been a while since we checked in with our Research and Development Department.  Mostly because our R&D is located in the deep catacombs that run beneath the Hydronic Heating system of our restaurant.  To be honest, we forgot about them down there.  Well, Nick did.  He can be forgetful.  The good news is they have health insurance and are being treated by the doctors, so we’re hoping for a speedy recovery.

While we weren’t able to save all of their fingers, we DID get a hold of all the wonderful things they’ve been researching.  Frankly, we think the sacrifice was worth it, and we hope their lawyers feel the same.  Speaking of sacrifice, doesn’t it totally suck that you can’t have beer all the time?

Like, if you’ve ever been at work and thought to yourself, “Man, I could really use a beer right now.” Especially when it comes to paperwork.  Who hasn’t, right?  We’ve got some good news for you!  Common Block Brewing is happy to announce our newest merchandise item: Beer Flavored Post-it Notes.  I know, I know, we’re brilliant.  Now, whenever filing something or leaving a note for someone, you can choose that special flavor that’s perfect for the occasion.

Want to tell someone they did a great job and you think they’re sweet?  Go with the Chocolate Porter Post-it!  There’s nothing quite as good as getting a compliment and then being able to eat it.  That’s decadence as far as we’re concerned.

Leaving a note to remind Debbie that she needs to stop eating your clearly labeled tuna salad in the fridge?  Why not choose the IPA Post-it note to match the bitterness in your heart.   It’s called a bag lunch, Debbie.

Need to remember a bachelorette party?  Why not write it on our Blueberry Hangover Gose flavored Post-it?  It’s a little like pregaming.

 

Our team is also working on some Common Block Brewing Beer Goggles.  Perfect for weddings, blind dates or settling.

But our changes don’t stop there.  Taco eaters will be happy to hear that we’ll be serving all you can eat tacos between 4:45am and 5:03am on Tuesdays, 3:17am to 4:01am on Wednesdays and every 6th Sunday from 10am to 5pm during the month of Octember.  Whoa!  So cool.  Our chef is never happy about giving things away, but we feel like he’s wrong and we’re right.  Also we have the login information for Facebook where we post all of our special menus, so generally things go our way.  Also he doesn’t know  yet.

Photo of our vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free Flank Steak served with our current gluten free, nonalcoholic beer option.

Where were we?  Oh yes!  Menu changes. Don’t worry about your favorite food item getting the ax because we’re keeping everything on the menu the same, with one exception: we’re going to be modifying our Flank Steak (served with buttered mash and beer marinated vegetables) to allow for a Dairy free/Gluten free/Vegan option. (See photo >)

Finally, we’ll be drawing checks at random every week to give our customers some GREAT giveaways.  We don’t want to spoil all of the surprises, but the raffle prizes will include things like 99¢ Dollar Store Gift Cards, DISCOUNTED Blockbuster Memberships and a lifetime supply of toothpicks**. WOW! Those are some enticing prizes.

That’s all we’ve got for now!  But keep an eye out for future announcements.  We can’t give you all the details, but we will say this:

Post-it note flavored beer.

 

**Lifetime supply calculated using data from the American Dental Association study on toothpick consumption with denture dependent patients.

New Beer on the Block: Block & Mortar Porter

Tall, dark and handsome. That’s how we’d describe a 20 oz. pour of our newest house beer: Block & Mortar Porter. It’s also how we’d describe Jon Hamm, but who wouldn’t?! This traditional-style porter goes great with outdoor fireplaces, jackets with shoulder pads, and an extensive library collection. If you don’t have the jacket or books, don’t worry. We at least have a fire pit, and you’re welcome to use it.

Block & Mortar Porter

Malt

  • 2-row
  • Crystal
  • Honey
  • Chocolate

Hops

  • Kent Goldings
  • Fuggle

ABV: 5.8%

IBU: 30

 

From the brewer

“Block and Mortar Porter is a substantial, malty dark ale made with traditional English hop varieties and yeast.  The blend of crystal, honey, and chocolate malts create a complex and flavorful roasty character.”

 

If you like food with your beer, we’ve got that too! We recommend the Beer-Braised Pork Nachos (for an appetizer), Bacon N Bacon Burger (for dinner), Porter Chocolate Cake (for dessert), and a scoop of vanilla ice cream (for second dessert).

We think this porter is a fabulous, delicious addition to our house beer collection. But maybe come try Block & Mortar Porter for yourself, because can you really trust what blog writers say anyway?

 

 

Where to Walk to Beer Downtown Medford

We’ve got some good news. At least, if you like walking from brewery to brewery without ever getting in your car, it’s good news. Maybe even fantastic news. By doing a very extensive, scientific, comprehensive search (a.k.a. typing in locations on Google Maps), we’ve found that you can walk to all three breweries and one bottle shop in downtown Medford, and it’s only ¾ of a mile total! Under a mile to cover all four awesome places to grab beer!

At a walking pace of 3.1 miles per hour (apparently that’s average), it’s just 15 minutes of travel time between beers. It would take more time to get in the car, drive, and park at all these places. If that’s not motivation to trek from beer to beer on foot, we don’t know what is.

With that said, if you feel like some more exercise then trek on over another brewery in the downtown area that just popped up: Osmo’s Alehouse. The tap house is located at 522 S. Central, just 1/3 of a mile from BricktownE Brewery.

Our recommendation: bike or bus to downtown (we have lots of bike parking available to be your home base), and then meander around all the great beer-centric places within a few blocks. You can also call on our friends at Pint Rider if hopping on a group bike with dance music and a chauffeur is more your style.

To recap, here’s our suggested route:

  1. Park your bike, and yourself, at Common Block for your first stop. Maybe grab a bite to eat to lubricate your belly and get ready for the adventure ahead.
  2. Stroll over to Portal Brewing Co. for their Coconut Cream Ale and Peanut Butter and Jellyfish Sandwich.
  3. Head South to Beerworks for your choice of over 300 beers, in bottles and on tap.
  4. Walk up to BricktownE for a game of pool and their Table Rock Red Ale (a local favorite).
  5. Tighten your laces and high-tail it to Osmo’s for a taste of something new in southern Oregon.
  6. Make your way back, slow and steady, to Common Block, where you hop on your bike or have us call you a cab, depending on how much tasting you’ve done.

There you have it. Probably the best way to spend your next day off.

So, Where’s the Brewing Equipment?

In the past two months since we opened, we’ve gotten loads of questions about our brewery and our building’s history.  We’ll be writing a post in the future about our building’s very cool, rich past (as well as some other FAQ’s), but we wanted to take the time to talk a bit about our most common question: “Umm…where’s your brewing equipment?”

That’s a great question.  Thanks for asking.  We’d like to have an exciting answer.  You know, something like, “It was on the way, but it got stolen by a rival brewing crime syndicate in Northern Oregon.”  That would be a fantastic story.

We found our Common Block Pale pairs well with a warm fire and good company.

Currently we don’t have any brewing equipment in the building because we wanted to open our doors first and deliver on our promise of opening in 2016.  We recognized that we needed to get things rolling, and so we concentrated all of our construction efforts and funds on finalizing our building so we could do what we love doing best: serving food and beer to the masses!

Also, just because we don’t have equipment here, doesn’t mean we don’t have our own beer!  If you’ve been in, you’ve seen that we currently feature two house beers: the Common Block Pale Ale and Rogue Runner IPA.

How did we do it?  It wasn’t from Santa Claus, though beer was certainly on our Christmas list. Instead, we’re contract-brewing our beers through Wildcard Brewing, an awesome brewery in Redding, California (we also server their delicious Ruby Red IPA). The recipes and sourcing all came from the brain of our brewer, John Donehower.  He’s been brewing at home and commercially for over twenty years, so he’s got some good ones saved in his little black book.  We’re continuing to grow our beer list, too; expect to see a new specialty beer each month as we play with more house recipes and get feedback on people’s favorites and go-tos.

And if you’re curious about what it’s all going to look like when our brewery is finally installed, you can check out our video about our planned construction.

So if anyone asks you: “Are they brewing their own stuff?” the answer is irrevocably and unequivocally yes.  Just not on site.

Not yet.

 

New Beer on The Block: Rogue Runner IPA

There’s a new beer on the block, and its name is Rogue Runner IPA. This generously hopped ale officially marks our second house beer, brewed with our own Brewer John’s recipe. You can count on Rogue Runner IPA and the Common Block Pale Ale gracing our menu from now on…until the end of time. Really.

For all you knowledgeable or curious beer fanatics out there, here’s a bit about the Rogue Runner IPA:

Malt

  • 2-Row
  • Crystal
  • Dextrine
  • Biscuit

Hops

  • Columbus
  • Cascade
  • Centennial
  • Chinook
  • Mosiac

Abv: 6.7%

IBU: 65

 

From the brewer:

“This beer’s malt profile is mild and nutty, with a candy-like sweetness. Generous hop additions create a spicy and floral blend of piney, citrus and tropical fruit flavors.”

That John, so eloquent.

Love having food with your beer? We recommend pairing the Rogue Runner IPA with the Chefslayer Burger, Bacon Mac N’ Cheese Grilled Cheese, or the Farmstead Pizza. Or whatever your favorite food is, because, dangit, it’s up to you.

Come try our newest addition to the Common Block beer family, and reminisce about running, the Rogue River, running along the Rogue River, rafting the Rogue River, or a reddish version of Wile E. Coyote’s arch nemesis.

(That’d be the Road Runner.)

‘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).

 

Progress Update: We’re Open!

Wow.  It’s been a while.  Sorry about that, but so much has happened in the last month!  Let’s see… Nick’s cat went on a diet, our Resident Long Haired Hawaiian left to visit the homeland—oh, and we opened the restaurant!  That’s right, for those who haven’t been in yet, we opened our doors on the 26th of December.  We thought it’d make a great late Christmas present to ourselves.  Or an early New Year’s present.  A belated winter solstice present?

Regardless, Chef David has put together an awesome menu that features loads of local choices and some downright delicious food items.  (If you haven’t read our post on him, check it out and get familiar with the man behind the curtain.)  So far, fan favorites have been the Farmstead Pizza, Stout Battered Fish and Chips and, of course, our burgers.  Especially the Chefslayer (featuring a fried egg and IPA onions, served with a side of Food Coma) and the Bacon and Bacon Burger (we weren’t content with just bacon, so we made a bacon jam as well, because, really, the best pairing with bacon is always more bacon).

 

We’re also featuring 20 beers and ciders on tap, 11 wines on tap, a stellar handcrafted specialty cocktail list and a full bar for all of you drinking connoisseurs out there.  So far, our flagship Common Block Pale Ale has received rave reviews, and we’re about to start brewing more beers!  Keep an eye out in February for our Common Block IPA and Porter.

We’ve been so excited with the support that Medford and our surrounding communities have shown, and if you’ve already visited us, we thank you!  We’re humbled and grateful for the enthusiasm and feedback from our guests as we get this brewpub show on the road. And if you haven’t visited, all we can say is…

What are you waiting for?!

Progress Update: The Final Stretch!

dsc_0338You know how we’ve been saying we’re going to open “soon” for the last year and a half? We’ve had good intentions, promise! It’s just that we’ve really thought we were just months away this whole time, and then new projects and challenges pop up along the way. Such is the restaurant business. And we remained eternally optimistic all along that opening day was just around the corner, because, well, we’re really excited about it.

Now, we’re ready to say opening day really is coming up quick. We still don’t have an exact opening date yet (still waiting on final approval of the last permits), but we can tell you we are planning to open in the next couple weeks. That could mean anywhere from next week to New Years, but we’re definitely staring straight into that blaring light at the end of the brewery-building tunnel.

So what can you expect when we finally open our doors? Well first, it’s a big space. We have our bar area, a big, open main dining room, and mezzanine seating if you like sitting up high and people watching. Our small team built the entire second level out of steel and concrete, with plenty of room to seat guests and make beer.

Speaking of beer, while we won’t be opening with our brewing equipment on site, we do have our flagship Pale Ale on tap and ready to debut. Our brewer, John, contract-brewed our beer at another brewery, using their equipment to make our recipe. You’ll also find another sixteen (awesome, we think) craft beers from the region, as well as hard cider and wine, all on tap.

Our chef, David, has been creating some taste-erific recipes for the menu, and we even got to try some last weekend at our employee training party. We spent last Thursday through Saturday training our big, awesome opening crew, and they’re oh-so-ready to start serving up beer, food, and good times at our tables (see photos of our team and training weekend below).

So we guess what we’re saying is: stay tuned. Like, really tuned. We’ll send first word of our official opening date via our newsletter, so sign up at the bottom of our home page if you’d like to be on that list. And thank you to all for being so patient and supportive while we make our from-scratch brewery dream come true. Cheers, and we look forward to seeing you all over the holidays!

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?

 

Meet Common Block Chef, David Georgeson

As we put the finishing touches on our building, we’re making plans to take your tastebuds on a ride to flavor-bliss, and we’ve got just the person to lead the way. We’re thrilled to introduce David Georgeson as our Common Block chef! When we met David (who has been with us for a couple months now), we immediately knew his focuses on quality ingredients, teamwork, and creative twists on classic dishes were all right up our alley. We love what David has come up with for our menu, and we can’t wait for you to try what he’s whipping up in the kitchen.

Meet Daviddavidcbbc2

Born and raised in Southern Oregon, David knows, loves and eats Rogue Valley food. With over 18 years of kitchen experience (11 of which were at the fabulous Larks Restaurant in Ashland), David has built a name for himself as a talented local chef, earning the title of Top Chef in the 2011 Food and Wine Classic (now the Ashland Culinary Festival). David’s relationships with local growers, producers and fishermen give him awesome access to regional ingredients, lots of which he has plans for in our menu.

When not in the kitchen, David enjoys fishing, hunting, spearfishing, and foraging for wild mushrooms. In fact, David took a professional break from the kitchen for a few years and became a professional fishing guide in Southern Oregon. Now, David is ready to fire up the grill again and throw some awesome recipes your way.

So what kind of mouth-watering goodness is David going to conjure up for Common Block’s menu, you ask? He’s super excited about our wood-fired oven, and has personal pizzas planned with housemade sausages among the toppings. He’s also incorporating beer (which we have lots of!) throughout the menu in sauces, desserts, dressings and more. David’s talent shines in taking classic dishes and weaving in creative twists, so expect to see sandwiches, burgers, salads and main dishes with ingredients that represent the season, our region, and Dave’s personal touch.

Hungry yet? We’re almost ready to feed your cravings, with an opening planned for the near future (stay tuned for an official date soon)! In the meantime, David is slinging recipes at home and in test kitchens, getting ready to serve up a menu that’ll knock your beer- and food-loving socks off. You can read more about David in The Local Dish and Ashland Chamber of Commerce website, and check out some of his recipes featured in 1859 Magazine.