Recently opened in January 2017, Reach Break Brewing is the newest location to join the beer family in Astoria (a small city on the northernmost coast of Oregon). Owned by brothers Josh and Jared Allison, as well as Finn Parker, Reach Break Brewing boasts the only sour beer program in the county. While the sours age in the basement, a solid lineup of beer styles are available in the taproom.
Location: 1/4 taproom, 3/4 patio
Branding: Nautical high school sports
Beer: Excellent staples with the promise of quality sours
Reach Break Brewing is hard to miss! It’s warm green exterior stands out nicely among the historic concrete buildings surrounding it. Located on Duane St in downtown Astoria, the brewery is within easy walking distance of hotels, restaurants and… other breweries. A cidery is under construction next door to the taproom, and Pilot House Distilling resides across the street. You’ll walk in circles trying all the boozy goods this block has to offer.
Order beer inside the modest taproom and make your choice on where to consume it: at the bar with the locals or outside on the uncovered patio in the sunshine (for a few months out of the year at least). A few food carts are available onsite, prepared to prolong the experience. Take home a crowler or growler if you can, the beer is definitely worth a second tasting.
If a tour is an option, be sure to checkout the spooky basement that’s been converted into cellar space for producing and aging the sour beers. The old tunnel system under the Astoria streets was connected to it, but has thankfully been closed off. No need to worry about ghosts.
Logo: While the brand mark is truly fitting for the area the brewery is in, it’s a bit basic. Weathered, nautical is a great theme for a brewery in the historic shipping city of Astoria, but there’s already another place in town already doing just that (and much better). A compass isn’t necessarily that unique, but works great for a coaster design. The red stars don’t line up with the East & West points, which they should for symmetry’s sake. The word mark looks nice on the glassware, but definitely feels like a high school sports logo. And are those waves or shark teeth? Ooof.
Packaging: Crowlers are the only packaging offered at this time. The design includes an elaborate crest surrounding the coaster design on the front, and ample room for beer info on the back. I really like the dark, textured look these have, and wish it was carried throughout the other brand pieces.
OVERALL TAPLIST IMPRESSION
Admittedly, I tried every beer that was on tap! A new brewery requires a full tasting in my opinion. What I found to be exciting about Reach Break Brewing’s beers is that they did good solid beers in certain styles (a flavor you’d expect – done well), but there were also variations and one offs that proved that they could be creative within a style. For example, tasting the Mariana and then the Magma (both Imperial Stouts) made me appreciate their ability to nail recipes. The Duane St. was by far my favorite, a collab with Pilot House Distilling.
“TASTER TRAY” (THEY DIDN’T HAVE ONE)
PARAMECIUM SESSION IPA
5.2% ABV (3.5)
DUANE ST SAISON
6% ABV (4.5)
Saison with Gin botanicals. Collaboration with Pilot House Distilling.
My Notes: I’ve been loving beers that are made in gin barrels recently, and this was a nice twist.
MARIANA IMPERIAL STOUT
8% ABV (3.75)
A dangerously smooth stout, names by one of our favorite customers and local stout expert.
My Notes: Great stout, I just want the summer beers right now. Sorry Mariana!
MYDAS DOUBLE IPA
7.5% ABV (3.75)
My Notes: Solid Double.
EVOLUTION OF AN IPA PART: 3
6.8% ABV (4)
ENGLISH SOLE ESB(ISH)
7.4% ABV (4.25)
My Notes: Maybe the ish is in the name because it wasn’t that bitter. Came across more as an amber. Delicious nonetheless.
MAGMA IMPERIAL STOUT
8.1% ABV (4.25)
Brewed with cocoa nibs, vanilla beans and chili peppers.
My Notes: Smooth chocolate and vanilla, chili wasn’t noticeable.
(Beer Descriptions in italics are provided from the brewery.)