Tai Lee is a genius: a man that works for The Arthritis Foundation and loves to ride bikes. Why a genius? Well, he somehow worked his way into organizing The Amgen People's Coast Classic, a 6-day ride down the Oregon Coast. Why do we want to tell you about Tai? Because one of the proud sponsors of the ride is Rogue Ales, and Tai can tell you all about it:
You organize the Arthritis Foundation's Amgen People's Coast Classic, a ride down the Oregon Coast that touts Rogue Ales as one of the main sponsors. What do you feel that brings to the ride?
For starters, it brings Brewmaster John Maier to the ride! Getting to spend six-days riding and hanging with a legend is nothing short of awesome. It also brings a huge enhancement to our event. We've got really high-end catering, and we have Rogue Ales' help with pairing recommendations. There's something different every night, and their huge variety of beers gives us a lot to play with. Above all, our ride is a celebration of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest...Rogue is a huge part of that. You can come ride the Oregon coast, drink award-winning Oregon beer, eat best-in-show Rogue Creamery cheese, ride an Oregon-built Co-Motion, and sleep next to the shark tanks at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. By the end of the ride, you might not want to leave the state because we've only scratched the surface.
In the six cities that you stop, what is your favorite beer spot to stop and spend some time?
I'm going to break the rules and pick more than one. There's obviously Rogue Ales brewery and pubs along the way...it doesn't hurt that we stop in Newport on a Tuesday, where a Hawaiian shirt will get you a free pint at both Rogue locations. Our mid-day stop in Pacific City is at the Pelican Pub and Brewery. On a sunny day, it's a little slice of heaven to sit on the patio right off the beach, have an incredible lunch (that tastes even better because you worked for it), drink great beer, and maybe even watch a gray whale playing in the bay. Some of our riders treat this event as a six-day pub crawl because there's always a place to get a mid-day pint and/or get out after dinner to the local watering hole.
Being a cyclist in the Northwest, why do you feel that beer is such a big part of the riding culture?
It's all about spending time with the people you love. Can you think of anything better than grabbing a bunch of your friends for a ride out to one of our many breweries and pubs for a mid-ride drink and meal? Heck...post-ride pitcher as well. That's hard to beat. Riding in the rain just makes the food and beer taste better.
If you went on your own ride and had to choose one beer to bring along (Rogue or otherwise), what would you take with you?
Dang it...you actually said "one" this time. My favorite kind of beer is dark, smooth, and not too heavy. Rogue Creamery and Rogue Ales recently collaborated on a really lovely 75th Anniversary Ale that fits just that description. It is REALLY incredible stuff, but of course it should be because David at R.C. has an impeccable palate and John is an incredible brewer. It's a bit hard to find though, so I'd make do with Rogue Ales Morimoto Black Obi, a collaboration with Chef Morimoto of "Iron Chef". Sorry...I just can't seem to follow the rules can I?
Where should a Northwest cyclist go to get a tasty brew and meet other two-wheelers?
I definitely can't give you just one answer to this one. If you've been to Portland and Seattle, you've seen how many people ride, both for sport and leisure. You could go to ANY brew pub and meet a fellow cyclist. That said, the ride out to Red Hook in Woodinville is a must-do here in the Seattle area...just don't try to tackle Winery Hill after a big lunch. Portland's Pearl district is incredible for pub-crawling...you've got Rogue, Deschutes, Bridgeport and a few other breweries all within a couple square miles.
Thanks, Tai! We look forward to hearing all about this year's ride!