A beer bearing the name of a university will likely find itself at sporting events, graduation parties and general gatherings. Portland State now has its own Rogue ale, dubbed “Portland State IPA.”
A beer bearing the name of a university will likely find itself at sporting events, graduation parties and general gatherings. Portland State now has its own Rogue ale, dubbed “Portland State IPA.” The beer is dedicated to sustainability, something both Rogue and PSU are known for.
A lunch meeting at the Rogue brewpub in northwest Portland between Rogue owner Jack Joyce and PSU President Wim Wiewel resulted in the creation of the IPA.
The honor places PSU on a list of Rogue beers that include Eugene, Ore., one of the first homes to Rogue. The company has also dedicated beers to jazz lovers, Shakespeare, a 16th century Spanish author, dads, moms and even a bull that fathered the cows served in the Kobe beef dishes at the Rogue restaurants.
The bottle is decorated with PSU’s logo and a drawing of a bicycle, and has the words “Think local, buy local, learn local” inscribed on it.
Rogue—a uniquely Oregon company—oversees each aspect of the bottling process, from the bottle manufacturing to the brewing of the contents.
A $25 million grant from the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation has brought a lot of attention and events to the university, from sustainability conferences to creating the Green Building Research Laboratory and funding sustainability research.
Commenting on the new brew, Wiewel said, “I don’t like real bitter IPAs, but I find this one just mild enough. It has real body, lots of rich flavor, and after having one of these every other beer tastes like water.”
The university does not receive royalties for the use of its name and logo. According to Wiewel, the main benefit of the partnership is free advertising.
“That will be worth far more than royalties would ever be,” he said. “Also, [PSU] did not pay for any of the design or production or marketing costs.”
Concerns about the university being associated with an alcoholic product were another reason for the decision. Wiewel said he would not have supported the partnership if the university had a younger undergraduate student body.
“At the same time, I did not want any suggestion that we would financially benefit from the sale of alcohol,” he said. “It seems to me this project is a perfect example of co-branding, where both organizations benefit from doing something together, but neither has to compensate the other.”
And the verdict is…
Undergraduate and graduate geology students at PSU—all self-coined beer experts¬—volunteered to taste and comment on the new Rogue creation:
Angus Leger, graduate student: “Refreshing. A tad sour, but in a good way.”
Russell Tunes, junior: “Good smell, medium hoppy flavor.”
Cameron Tompkins, junior: “Has a light, citrus sweet taste.”
Tamara Linde, junior: “The aftertaste is mild and allows for a clean feel.”
Ryan Cole, graduate student: “Tastes like most every other Northwest IPA I’ve had.”
Esther Duggan, senior: “It’s hoppy.”
Phil Marcy, senior: “The PSU IPA is a smooth, robust beer with a clean finish.”
Josh Brockway, senior: “Nice clean flavor, though the hop profile is a little weak for an IPA.”
Jen Shempert, senior: “A little fruity, a little bitter. Not an IPA, but I like it.”
Tiana Wallace, senior: “A little light flavored and lightly hopped for a typical Northwest IPA, but very smooth. A good summer beer.”
Stacy Olivier, senior: “I like it, but I’m not a regular IPA fan.”
Erin Temple, junior: “I’m not a huge IPA fan normally but this IPA aftertaste is very light and smooth.”