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Breakout Brewer: de Garde Brewing

Trevor Rogers and Linsey Hamacher, co-owners of de Garde Brewing, chose Tillamook, Oregon, for their brewery and tasting room after collecting yeast samples from Oregon’s coastal areas.

Emily Hutto Apr 11, 2015 - 8 min read

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“Tillamook, Oregon, isn’t exactly the ideal place for our brewery tasting room,” jokes Trevor Rogers, the co-owner at de Garde Brewing. The modest taproom may be right off Highway 101 and just a few blocks from the Oregon coast, but the closest craft beer market, Portland, is more than an hour away. After a tour of the town’s Tillamook Cheese Factory, tourists seem to mirror the drinking habits of Tillamook’s locals, Rogers says.

“This is lager territory,” and de Garde brews everything but. Rogers and his fiancé Linsey Hamacher make a lineup of beers inspired by European farmhouse traditions that include a Berliner Weisse, a dark strong ale, a Belgian pale ale, and a porter, among many others. The beers at de Garde are aged in oak, bourbon, wine, and gin barrels, and are sometimes fermented with fruit. Although sessionable and refreshing (some beers come in as low as 3 percent ABV), de Garde’s taproom is hardly satisfying the local demand for pilsner.

Tillamook might not have been the ideal place for de Garde’s tasting room, but its climate is perfect for the brewery’s coolship. “We’re quite fond of the microbes and naturally occurring yeast on the Oregon coast,” says Rogers. Through a process similar to Jester King’s “mini-coolship,” he and Hamacher collected yeast samples from various coastal areas and found the area between Pacific City and Tillamook to be particularly viable. “We liked the character in the yeast around here the best. The fermentation lifetime is much shorter here than in other coastal areas,” Rogers explains.

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