I made a journey to my hometown of Bend, Oregon recently (I say recently… but it was actually in June—I’m behind on my writing!) and while driving back had the opportunity to stop at the scenic Mt. Shasta Brewing Company. It was a brutal 103° outside and the thought of a bite to eat and a cold pint before we started the last 5 hours of our drive sounded like an excellent idea.
Located just off the Interstate 5 freeway in Weed, California it occupies a large lot in a business park next to the College of the Siskiyous. With a remarkable view of Mt. Shasta behind it (my picture doesn’t do it justice) the vibe upon entering is a warm, ramshackle local spot. An eclectically decorated interior greets you upon entering through the open garage door as old bicycles, skis, model trains, stuffed animal heads, beer bottles and more line the walls. The staff is an easy-going bunch and it being a Sunday afternoon there were only a handful of patrons scattered throughout. Taking a seat near the front, we looked over a menu loaded with tasty options and I checked out the beer offerings.
Featuring the typical ‘standards’ you’d find at most brewpubs they had several eye-catching brews that sounded interesting—in particular their Jalapeño Weed Ale. My foray into pepper-laced ales has been a mixed bag from the so-so Chipotle Ale from Rogue to the really good Habanero Sculpin by Ballast Point—and not feeling too adventurous, partly due to the heat, I opted for a taster and a pint of their IPA. The taster was excellent—it had the right balance of spiciness but proved refreshing and drinkable. Their IPA was very good as well–an ideal ‘first beer of the day’ after a blistering several-hour drive.
For lunch I opted for a bratwurst, my wife got a loaded Brewers Board and my daughter their grilled cheese—all three selections were good (and I want to say some of it was locally sourced). Upon going to the restroom I discovered the route actually took one through the guts of the brewery and a small memorabilia collection—some very cool stuff to look at and it really solidified the initial feeling of homeyness when I walked in. Again, photos don’t exactly do it justice as it was a cross between a brewery and antique shop!
All-in-all it was well worth the stop. There was nothing spectacular or original about it but it was exactly what we were looking for after the first leg of a long drive and in blistering heat—and I bought a bottle of the Jalapeño Weed Ale to go… so had something to enjoy when I got home!