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.




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:



American Wheat Ale


Wheat, 2-Row, Caramel


Cascade, Eureka







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!

Countdown to Pear Blossom Run: 6 Unscientific Training Tips

The annual Pear Blossom Run is right around the corner, April 9th. It’s, you know, the day where we all wake up ridiculously early and run in southern Oregon’s largest race so we have a (legitimate) reason to enjoy a beer at 11:00 in the morning. Or is that just us?

pear blossom start

(photo: ujenafitclub.com)

Since at least a handful of us at Common Block are running (some people just can’t be lured out of bed at 6am, no matter what), we want to share some unscientific tips to help get you prepared for the big day. With less than three weeks to go we may be pushing it a little close to race day, but maybe some of these tips will give you just the boost you need to bite the bullet and commit to The Pear.

6 Unscientific Training Tips

  1. Sign Up – Register online now! There’s nothing like officially signing up to get you motivated to start training. It’s already past the March 15th deadline to be guaranteed a 2016 Pear Blossom t-shirt, but they will still have limited availability at packet pick-up if you want commemorative proof to show your friends you actually did run.
  1. Find Your Motivation – Everyone’s motivation is a little different when it comes to running. We take a cue from The Beer Runner: if you run for the day, you get to enjoy a beer. Run = Beer. No Run = No Beer. Simple. Of course, we’re biased for the reward. Some other ideas for motivation might be beating a personal record, racing a friend, enjoying fresh air, or getting a shiny medal at the finish (for the 5k and 10 mile races).
  1. Pick a Training Guide – There are plenty of training guides online to get you ready for race day, like this one from Nike +. Browse around and choose one that you think best fits your training level and schedule. Luckily, most can be tailored to fit certain days of the week if your running opportunities are limited. We like having a guide, though, to help keep us on track when we feel like running just two miles and then stopping for a beer.
  1. wild rogue relay van 1Get Friends/Partners Involved – Nothing gets us consistently moving like having running partners. You can organize runs through group texts, keep members motivated, and fit in some great social time. Encourage a friend to sign up and train with you, or join an established running group like Rogue Valley Runners (they host weekly Wednesday night trail runs). And may we suggest four-legged friends, too? Get your dog out and about, and then toss Fido an extra treat while you enjoy your post-run beverage.
  1. Mix Up Your Routes – The Pear Blossom has some flats and some hills, so get ready to work  different muscle groups. Vary your running routes by throwing in hills, trails, roads and the track. We know it can be hard to motivate your self to go out and climb hills on a run, but you’ll be glad you did come race day!
  1. Follow Runners Online – Add inspiration to your feed! Scroll through great photos, learn about races, and get inspired by other people who love running. Our top five social media accounts by runners and running groups include:


Medford Market Season Begins, March 3rd

RVGCM_Logo2010_CMYK-2It’s practically here! The Rogue Valley Growers and Crafters Market (RVGCM) returns for the season next week, and the Thursday location has moved to Hawthorne Park, just down the street from our brewpub. But wait, it gets better. The Saturday Medford market starts in May, and is literally just across the street from us at the Medford Commons. That’s right – two fresh and tasty markets within walking distance of Common Block. We’re not even open yet, and already we’re salivating at the beer and food possibilities.

The market welcomes growers and producers from Jackson, Josephine and Siskiyou counties, making their offerings truly regional specialties. To get an idea of the produce you’ll find at the market throughout the year, visit the RVGCM In Season page. There are also crafters and producers with year-round products (including cheese, bread, meat, coffee, salts, wood-work and more), so the market is not-to-be-missed all season long.

Walking distance from CBBC to Thursday Market

6 minutes? We think we could do it in 4.

Hungry for breakfast or lunch? The market also welcomes a handful of food carts with prepared fare to swoon over. Katrina’s Tamales, Sultan’s Delight, Daddy’s Doughnuts and Peruvian Point are just a few of our favorite (mmm…we can taste the fresh doughnuts now). We recommend getting a bite and relaxing at one of the picnic tables while the kiddos keep busy at the playground.

In the near future you’ll be able grab goodies to go, pick up a growler of Common Block brew, and celebrate local food and drink the best way you know how. Stay tuned for beer pairing ideas with seasonal fare (we’re talking Hefeweizen and Strawberry Shortcake, people!) and vendor highlights. Get excited ahead of time by visiting their webpage and browsing the photo gallery. Or don’t, if you’re nowhere near food – you’ll be hungry.

The Dark Side: 5 Rogue Valley Stouts & Porters

Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring, and it looks and feels like he may be right for once. No offense, Phil, but you’ve been known to fib before. Before the last of our chilly, dark season changes to its sunnier, warmer counterpart, we want to pay tribute to the dark and stormy beers our Southern Oregon breweries have to offer. After all, February is officially Stout Month. Yes, it’s a thing. Just ask Twitter (#StoutMonth).

SOB Pin Up Porter

We had to do some product testing, just to make sure the pairings worked. It was a really tough job.

Here are our five picks for great dark beers in the Rogue Valley (with their brewery descriptions). We like some with breakfast, some with dessert…heck, we’ll take them anytime. And if your cravings lead you toward chocolate for Valentine’s Day, these beers make great pairing matches. Go ahead, indulge in the dark side.

5 Rogue Valley Stouts & Porters

Wild River BrewingDouble Eagle Imperial Stout
As deep and dark as the Moscow Nights and strong enough to warm the Czar’s tootsies even in January! Based on an 1880 Whitbread Triple Stout recipe.


Climate City Brewing Co.Hyperion Porter
Tall, dark, and delicious.  A full bodied ale packed with roast, chocolate, and caramel malt flavors.  Perfect for breakfast or dessert. 


Caldera Brewing Co.Toasted Coconut Chocolate Porter
With over 100 pounds of hand-toasted organic coconut and over $275 of natural chocolate, this porter is a dessert in a glass.


Southern Oregon BrewingPin Up Porter
A dry finishing Porter with coffee and chocolate undertones and a hint of smokiness.


Opposition Brewing Co.Devastated Sky
Black as the devastated sky of the coming apocalypse, this American Stout style brew is deep and complex. Dry, yet robust, with a respectable hop presence. Brewed using our unique cold-steep process that provides a rich roasted malt flavor without the harsh tannin found in many other stouts on the market. If you’re up for a journey through the darkness…this is your brew.


Getting to Know Griess Family Brews

Let’s all raise a glass for a moment to toast this: our region is home to some awesome craft breweries. So much so, that All About Beer Magazine wrote last year about Southern Oregon priming to be a big beer destination in Oregon. We’re excited to jump in and join the fun soon, and in the meantime we’re getting to know some of our fellow beer-making enthusiasts. We’re asking local breweries some questions, they’re giving us answers, and we all get insight into what makes these awesome local businesses…well…awesome.

IMG_2526 (1)We’re starting our brewery spotlight series with Griess Family Brews in Grants Pass. This downtown nano brewery features a welcoming taproom with beer, wine and cider. They brew their beer on-site, and offer guest tap options alongside their flagship ales, such as Girlfriend IPA and Little Orphan Amber. On your visit, enjoy ping pong, live music, trivia, or just sit back with a beer!

When did you start brewing?

For fun, six or seven years ago. Commercially, in 2014.

What are some not-to-be-missed events at the brewery people should know about for 2016?

Our Anniversary Party in April is alway epic, and this year will be for sure! First Friday music events, and First Tuesday of every month Trivia. We also have our annual Ugly Sweater Party in December. (Visit their events page for monthly happenings)

daveDo you have favorite music you listen to while you’re brewing?

Hard Rock – what else is there?

What is your favorite beer and food pairing at the end of a brewing day?

Little Orphan Amber and pizza.

Say the apocalypse happens, and you’re only allowed to pack away one GFB beer for your 12-month bunker supply. Which beer do you choose?

Grandpa Hall and Oats. It’s an oatmeal stout, so it is fortified with oats to sustain us!

(photos: Griess Family Brews)