We started day two of our journey with a scenic drive up California’s rugged North Coast from Eureka to Crescent City, before we cut across the mountains to Oregon and found ourselves in Grants Pass.
My wife loves to make beaded jewelry, so our first stop today was Fire Mountain Gems, a huge mail order gem and bead company. We took a tour of their facility.
This may sound lame, but it was a fantastic tour. They do everything at their facility but make the product and print the catalog!
If you’ve ever wondered how catalog sales works, take this tour. Stop by at 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. on weekdays.
My wife was in heaven!
Following the tour, we drove down the street to Wild River Brewing and Pizza Company.
Good pizza and decent beer.
Surprisingly, my favorite here was the Pilsener.
My flight at Wild River
Next, we headed off to Central Point, home of the Rogue Creamery and some awesome Blue Cheese!
We traveled a short distance down to Medford and the Southern Oregon Brewing Company.
Nice pub atmosphere with a small crowd gathered to watch the Oregon Ducks take on the Texas Longhorns in the Alamo Bowl (spoiler – Ducks win).
I tried a sample of eight beers:
Nice Rack IPA
Another surprising favorite for me here — Holy Water, a maibock, was crisp and refreshing and had a wonderful hint of honey.
My flight at Southern Oregon Brewing
After a quick stop at Harry & David‘s for some post-holiday bargains, we headed on to Ashland.
Arriving in Ashland, we checked into the historic Ashland Springs Hotel.
This 88-year-old hotel has been lovingly restored and we enjoyed a comfortable, European-style stay. The room was comfortable and warm and the hotel was within walking distance of our dinner destination…Standing Stone Brewing Company.
The lobby at Ashland a Springs Hotel
This was, by far, my favorite brewery so far on this trip. Standing Stone lives up to their website description:
“Standing Stone Brewing Company is a family-owned, full-service restaurant-brewery committed to craft beers, great food, happy customers, fulfilled employees, community and sustainable business. We seek to ensure customers feel like friends, employees feel like family, our community values us as good neighbor and we leave the world a better place. Handcrafted beer is our passion and we love to share it!”
Our dinner was fantastic. I had top sirloin (SSB raises it’s own beef one mile away) and my wife had trout. Presentation, flavor and service was flawless (this place feel like an Oregon version of Stone Brewery World Bistro in Escondido).
The beers were the best of the day as well:
Farmer Brown Ale
I (heart) Oregon Ale
Twin Plunge 2IPA
My favorites we the stouts and the I (heart) Oregon Ale.
My flight at Standing Stone