Let the Fun Begin: New Brew House In The House

“Where do you make your beer?”

“When are you getting an in-house system?”

“What do you mean by ‘soon'”?

 

Folks, the time has come! As we speak, our long-awaited, inaugural brewing system is being installed in our dining room. It’s big, beautiful, shiny, and full of beer-making potential.

 

About Our Brewing System

 

Our team has gone to work immediately (because we waited a long time for this) installing the stainless-steel tanks and fixtures in the brewery. We purchased the used O’Neil brand brew house from a brewery in Denver, Colorado, and it just happens to fit perfectly in the space we’ve set aside since opening.

With its 15 barrel batch size, the up-cycled system has the capacity to brew 720 barrels (or 22,320 gallons) of beer each year. The fermenting and serving tanks, which will live on the upstairs mezzanine of Common Block, are currently being fabricated separately by Practical Fusion in Portland, Oregon.

Since opening in December 2016, we’ve contracted-brewed our original recipes on equipment at other local breweries, including Climate City Brewing Co. in Grants Pass and Wild Card Brewing Co. in Redding. And to them, we say a big THANK YOU – we couldn’t have made it through these first couple of years without you!

Our new in-house system will allow us to expand our varieties (including more specialties and seasonals), explore new distribution options, and develop employee and community education about the beer making process with brewery tours, classes, pairings and more.

 

brewing tanks

 

A Special Thank You to SOREDI

 

We secured final funding for the brewing system with the help of SOREDI, Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development, Inc.  This organization works to advance local economic development, and fortunately they like beer…or at least they’ve chosen to help bolster local brewing in Southern Oregon. So a big thank you to the SOREDI team for helping make our beer dreams come true sooner rather than later.

 

So What’s Next for the Brewery?

 

You’ll see lots of changes over the next several months while we install the new system on the platform in the dining room (you know, the big empty concrete pit), and the upstairs mezzanine. We’ll be open during construction, and anyone interested will be able to watch the process phase by phase, until expected completion in the late summer or early fall of 2019.

While we’re building, you can still imbibe the same beers we’ve been serving, brewed at the same great local breweries. And once the system is fully in place, be ready to watch the brewing process in-action on our fully-visible platform.

 

So, are we excited? Uh huh.

Do we have a lot to do to put it all together? Yep.

Are we going to throw a big party when we make our first batch of beer AT COMMON BLOCK???!!! You betcha.

 

Stay tuned for news, photos, progress reports and all the updates over the next couple of months. We couldn’t be happier to reach this milestone, and we want to say thank you to all our guests who have supported us during the past two and a half years while we’ve maneuvered, pivoted, and planned to make beer happen. We’re over the moon to finally be able to brew right here, on our own equipment, and pour straight into your pints.

 

 

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!

Wanted: Awesome People

We’re (finally!) getting started on the finishing touches for the restaurant, and now we’re excited to begin hiring for our big, awesome brewpub team. If you’re looking for a job with rewards that include tasting and sipping, then you’re a like-minded foodie and beer-lover after our own heart, and we’d love to talk with you. Know someone who you think would be a great fit? Please send ’em our way!

awesome people wanted

Who we’re looking for at Common Block

We’re hoping to meet people who love eating good food and drinking craft beer, like we do! For our opening brewery crew, we’re looking for hard-working team players who are adaptable, driven, and independent.  And if you have extra talents, let us know – there will be lots of opportunities along the way to jump into creative roles on our brewery-building adventure.

Hiring our brewery team puts us another step toward opening our doors soon, so we’re excited to start gathering a great group of people! Here’s how to apply: print the application form, fill it out, and bring it along to any of our regular hiring orientations, Thursdays at 4pm and Saturdays at 10am. This is when we meet everyone face-to-face for about 30 minutes, offer a tour of the building, and give details on all positions. A few things to note: these are the only times we’ll be taking applications, and everyone on our service staff must be 21 and over (we’ll be making beer here after all).

DSC_3403_edited-3

You can find us downtown at the Medford Commons, next to Lithia Motors. We’re the big, green building at 315 E. 5th Street. You can visit our Home page for a map and directions, too. And by the way, since we’re still a construction zone in here, we recommend sporting clothes you don’t mind getting a little dusty!

We’re thrilled to see opening day in our sights, and can’t wait to celebrate with a great crew. We get a kick out of working with fun, motivated people, and we have a fantastic staff in place already to welcome more great coworkers. Thanks for looking, and cheers!

Common Block’s First Brew: Rough Draft Ale

We may not have our professional brewing equipment yet, but that doesn’t keep us from making beer! Our head brewer, John, brought his impressive homebrewing set-up to our downtown Medford building, and spent a day making a pale ale recipe for us all to enjoy after a hard day of brewpub-building work.

We just tapped it last week, and – no surprise here – we love it! John’s beer, Rough Draft Ale, has us more excited than ever to jump into this beer-making adventure. Here are the notes on Rough Draft, and all the things it makes us want to eat and do.

Grain-Drop

Separating grain. Eat your heart out, MacGyver.

What’s in it

Malts:
2-Row, Victory, Wheat Malt

Hops:
Citra, Simcoe

OG: 15.5*P
AE: 4.0*P
IBU: 42
ABV: 6.3%

John waits for a boil.

John waits for a boil.

 

What it tastes like

The first thing we noted about this beer is the citrusy hop aroma. The mouthfeel is light and crisp, while the piney and fruity hop flavors give Rough Draft a solid kick. The hoppy finish is long and lingering, like an awkward cross-the-room stare.

What we want to eat with it

The first thing that comes to mind is a basket of fried calamari. We’d also like to have a pint with a rosemary-rubbed pork chop, or crispy fish with lemon tartar sauce. Foods with light-to-medium bodies, a bit of fat, and slight citrus characters are right up this beer’s alley.

And if you’d like to learn a little more about John (because we think he does a heckuva job), check out our Headbrewer Bio post from earlier this week.