De Garde Brewing Tillamook Oregon – Delicious Wild Ales

Updated Visit January 2018

I don’t have a lot to update on the quality of the beer at De Garde but I found out in my recent visit that they have a nice new tasting room in the center of downtown Tillamook. This new spot has a lot more indoor seating than before and a large outdoor patio for people to hang out. This is one of the few places where it is worth coming out and staying the night so that you can fully explore their beers including trying a vintage bottle or two from the cellar.
Large outdoor seating area
Tap list with more taps than before.
Though they have now 12 taps, they had 8 of those as guest taps when we showed up. So if you really want to explore their beers you may have to try some bottles. I found out that lately De Garde has been selling out pretty fast when it hits Portland area so I had no choice but to make the drive to pick up some bottles at the source. We get their bottles in San Diego occasionally but not always the fruited sours that are the most popular.
The Lucy on tap.

De Garde continues to offer beers at great prices at the tasting room. $5 or $6 for a 12oz pour of barrel aged sours is below typical market. I really enjoyed the Lucy muscat grape sour on tap when I visited though I wish I had tried a splash of the jester king collaboration before ordering it as it was too funky for me. During warmer months I expect the patio to fill up even more than it did this day. Thankfully a lot of people make the drive mostly to pick up bottles if they have already visited, meaning crowds rise and fall quickly.


Original Visit February 2017

De Garde has a reputation for making fantastic wild ales in their brewery near the Oregon coast. To get there you will probably have to drive from Portland for an hour and a half minimum in each direction through windy roads and a pass that sometimes gets snow when it is cold enough. I visited in late February 2017 and it rained most of our drive through the pass to the west and snowed the night we stayed out there so that it was coated in white on our drive back East. This is one of the few breweries that has completely lived up to the hype for me. If you don’t want to make the long drive you can usually find their beers around the Portland area. They are even showing up occasionally in San Diego as well.

De Garde 01

In the tasting room you have a choice between paying $3 for a 6 ounce pour or $4 for a 12 ounce pour, so I naturally stuck to full pours before ordering a bottle out of their cellar. While there is outdoor seating, since it tends to rain quite a bit, if you arrive on a rainy day you might find the tasting room a lot more packed with people than it was on the day of sun when I visited. I started with the famed Bu Weisse, a 2.5% beer that is still quite flavorful thanks to the time it spends in oak barrels. The beer had a good medium body and notes of lemon and lime with oak on the finish. The brewery regularly makes fruited versions of this same beer but I much preferred its base version. They also make a stronger version that spends much longer in the barrels.

De Garde 03

I went next for the Nectarine Premiere, a fruity beer that I was quite excited to try after the rave reviews. It is not a standard stone fruit sour but instead is a soft juicy beer with minimal tartness that at times reminds me of fruit puree. It hides the alcohol well and was so delicious I had to bring home quite a few bottles for myself. With a choice on tap between fruited Bu and a beer I recently had down in San Diego, I ordered one of the bottles from the cellar, the purple kriek, a beer brewed with cherries and raspberries. This is more of the traditional lambic style beer with a strong tart finish but still plenty of prominent cherry and raspberry notes. The acidity was quite prominent so I opted to share some with people near me.

De Garde 04

De Garde 05

Before heading home I purchased some bottles of De Garde’s Saison Facile, their wild saison. In Portland I picked up two bottles of the Alt Bu Weisse, aged for 3 years in oak barrels. This is one of the few breweries outside from major cities that I can see myself visiting again for all the delicious beers they release throughout the year. It also helps that most of the bottles are priced lower than most California breweries making the same styles of wild ales and sours. If you happen to be traveling with a friend who doesn’t like sours, they tend to have a few stouts on tap from other breweries to satisfy them.

De Garde 02

Known for:
Come for wild ales, lambics, and sours. Though they usually have a few guest beers on tap.

Paul McGuire

Paul McGuire is a craft beer enthusiast. He likes to travel with his husband and enjoy the great outdoors. In his day job, Paul is a divorce attorney serving clients in San Diego California.

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