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

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(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!

 

Fill Your Calendar to the Brim at Medford Beer Week

Get ready for Medford’s big, annual craft beer showcase! Medford Beer Week, June 2-11, is a citywide celebration of the craft beer industry. Breweries, restaurants and bars all show their love and commitment to local beer, and the food and entertainment they serve alongside it. You’ll find tastings, tappings, tours and more all around town every day of Medford Beer Week. So much to do, and so little time to do it (dreamy sigh).

Medford Beer WeekWe’re celebrating with our own Meet-the-Brewer event on Friday, June 10th from 5-8pm. Our brewer, John, will be on hand to talk his favorite topic: beer. We’ll also show you around the building so you can get a sneak peek of Common Block before we open later this year. We’ll pull out some chairs, open the big garage doors, and hang out for a few hours of craft beer appreciation and conversation.

Visit the Medford Beer Week events page for over 100 happenings all throughout the week. Seriously, there are a handful of events every day, all day long. Brunch, happy hour, dinner and late night…establishments all around town have you covered with great craft brews, special deals, games and entertainment. Here are our top picks for the week:

  • Kegs and Eggs with Buttercloud Bakery and Oakshire Brewing @ Beerworks Medford | June 4th | 10am – 1pm

This 4th annual event features a special “Kegs and Eggs” sandwich along with tastings of the Oakshire Brewing Overcast Espresso Stout. It’s not too early for beer. It’s 10am somewhere…

  • Brews, Bluegrass, and BBQ | June 4th | 12pm – 8pm

Tap into the best of the Rogue Valley’s food, drink, and music at the 4th annual Brew, Bluegrass, and BBQ presented by THRIVE. Eight hours, five bands, and 26 Rogue Valley microbrews on tap! Admission includes commemorative pint glass and tasting tickets. Buy tickets online at www.roguebbb.org

  • Hops Painting Class @ BricktownE Brewing | June 7th | 6pm – 8pm

Spend a couple of hours creating a beautiful HOP painting. Sign-ups are at BricktownE, or Tia Mckenzie’s facebook page: tiamckenzieart. $30 includes supplies and instruction.

  • Movies in the Biergarden with Worthy Brewing | June 9th | 8pm

What’s better than watching The Goonies? Watching The Goonies under the stars with a delicious stein of Worthy beer in your hand! Kicking off a full summer of Thursday night movies at Schoolhaus Brewhaus with an all-time favorite. Get there early to get a seat.

  • Southern Oregon Craft Brew Festival | June 11th | 12pm – 8pm

With over 25 breweries showing off their best offerings (over 50 beers to sample), this event is a must-attend for Medford Beer Week. $16 gets you a commemorative pint glass and 5 tasting tickets. Pre-sale tickets available at Beerworks Medford and Beerworks Jacksonville for $14. 21+ only.

Mark your favorite events for this awesome Southern Oregon celebration and show your love of the local craft beer community. We’re thrilled to add to the amazing local variety later this year, and in the meantime we’ll join in drinking up all that our valley has to offer. It’ll take some commitment to try all this beer, but we’re oh-so willing to do it.

May is National Bike Month

Go By Bike Week starts today! Dust off your seat, pump up your tires and shine your helmet. Or, if you’re already an everyday kind of biker, just keep doing what you’re doing! During the week of May 16-20th, the Rogue Valley is celebrating the unique and fabulous benefits of biking with prize drawings, special events, and a Go By Bike Week Challenge.

Join us in upping our two-wheeled commutes for this awesome annual community event (seriously, we’re making each other bike to work). Channel your inner pedal-power and ride to these great happenings throughout the week:

 

go by bikeMonday – Bike Breakfast at Railroad Park in Ashland, 7-9am

Tuesday – Slow Roll Fun Ride at Medford Cycle Sport, 6pm

Wednesday – Bike & Lunch Greenway Ride at Hawthorne Park, 12pm

Thursday – Bike Safety for Adults + Bike Social at Jackson Creek Pizza, 5:30-7:30pm

Friday – Medford Bike Breakfast at City Hall, 7-9am

 

You can log your bike trips all week long and take part in the Challenge by signing up with Drive Less Connect. You’ll be able to track your trips (and savings), organize group rides, and enter to win some great prizes from Dutch Bros., Kaleidoscope and more.

Did you know it’s also the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) Bike More Challenge all month? Over 12,000 bikers from around Oregon have already signed up, and you can log your miles there, too, for extra prize-winning opportunities. We’ll admit it, we’re totally double dipping on trip logging. Two great challenges, one simple idea: get out there and bike more! It’s great for your physical heath, mental wellbeing, and the environment. And who doesn’t look great in tight-fitting cycle gear?! (rhetorical question.)

We’re looking forward to seeing y’all out on the bike path! If you snap photos of your journeys, you can use #GoRogueValley, #Bikemore, and #Bikemonth to get even more props from other bikers. And props from us. We’ll be pretty impressed.

Bike-More-Challenge-Email-Header-01

 

 

Siskiyou Challenge Photo Recap

We traversed grueling terrain, raced against strapping athletes and perilous odds, pushed ourselves to the edge of sheer exhaustion…

Ok, maybe that’s all a BIT exaggerated. But, wow, did we feel ready for our recovery beers afterwards.

IMG_3973Last weekend, our Common Block crew joined the Siskiyou Challenge Multi-Sport Relay in Ashland as competitors (we’re using that term lightly here) and sponsors. Our team “Common in Hot” raced with the crowds via bike, kayak and two legs to complete the race and earn a spot among the top 30 finishing teams! We won’t say how many teams there actually were…

We also fed the masses with free food and beer for the racers, because they earned it! What an awesome day of teamwork, encouragement, and all-around fun, provided by the fine folks at Rogue Valley Farm to School. This great organization puts on the Siskiyou Challenge every year as their major fundraising event, and we could see from the happy crowds that this year was one for the books.

Congrats to the winning team, Flywheel Bicycle Solutions, and the top solo racer, Bobby Carpenter! We’ll work on catching up to you all next year.

Here are some of our favorite team photos from the day, to remind us how much we love working together to support this awesome southern Oregon tradition. Our fun meter ranked off the chart! So long, Siskiyou Challenge, and we can’t wait to rally for the relay again next year.

 

Tri-Ath-Wheat Debut at the Siskiyou Challenge, 4/30

Have you ever put together a team of friends for a relay? Because we highly recommend it. Not only do you and your comrades cheer each other on along the way and offer encouragement and support, but also everyone gets to toast a beer at the end. At least, that’s how we do it.

IMG_1046The Siskiyou Challenge Multi-Sport Relay takes place Saturday, April 30th in Ashland, and we’re jumping in with our first Common Block sponsorship.  This annual race is a fundraiser for Rogue Valley Farm to School, an awesome local non-profit that educates kids about our food system through hands-on farm and garden programs. We love the folks at Rogue Valley Farm to School, and we’re thrilled to support this event near and dear to our hearts.

You’ll find us pouring beer and serving food at the finish line for all the racers at ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum. We’re grilling up Oregon-made hot dogs, and serving organic apples and Kettle Brand chips (did you know they have a Beer Pairing Guide on their website?). We also joined forces with our friends at Swing Tree Brewing Company in Ashland to make a collaboration beer just for the occasion. Our brewer, John, and Brandon from Swing Tree are excited to debut…wait for it…Tri-Ath-Wheat! Here’s a bit about this refreshing, post-race beer, made with fresh orange zest and teamwork:

Tri-Ath-Wheat

Style

American Wheat Ale

Malt

Wheat, 2-Row, Caramel

Hops

Cascade, Eureka

ABV

4.5%

IBU

27

 

IMG_3927

John from Common Block and Brandon from Swing Tree, toasting their day of collaboration brewing.

A generous 60% wheat malt makes this beer light, tart, crisp and refreshing. The Cascade and Eureka hops combine with fresh orange zest for a spicy citrus finish. Just the thing for a post-relay refreshment, we think.

If you haven’t registered yet for the race, there’s still time! Get your five best fun-loving friends together, come up with a killer team name, and sign-up by April 28th. You can also register as a solo or duo team, if you’re hardcore like that. We’ve seen some impressive solo racers over the years! (Does anyone else remember the unicycle mountain biker?) We’ve got our Common Block team ready to relay, so be on the lookout for team ‘Common in Hot.’

Great race, great cause, great people…what more could we ask for? We’re excited to greet everyone on race day, and pour you all a beverage afterwards for your efforts. Happy training, and see you at the finish line!