How Rogue Nation Brewery Saved Our “No Plan” Vacation

Rogue Nation Brewery

Before we left for our “no plan” vacation, we’d made only one reservation for a Motel 6 in Grants Pass, Oregon. We chose that location because we planned to meet up with a relative that evening, and Motel 6 because the room was $89, and the chain doesn’t charge extra for dogs. When were about four hours away, we learned that meeting up wasn’t going to work out. So, we had to decide to either stay on our route to Grants Pass, or head to the Oregon Coast. We opted for the beach.

Little did we know this turn of events would cost us almost twice the amount of our original reservation.

Tip: Motel 6 has a great cancellation policy—you have up until 6 p.m. the day of arrival.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. 

Thinking of going to Newport, Oregon? My go to source is TripAdvisor, but there are plenty of ways to get the scoop. Find deals and read reviews at TripAdvisor or Hotels.com.

Rogue Nation Brewery

How Rogue Nation Brewery Saved Our “No Plan” Vacation

Staying true to our “no plan” vacation we talked about when and where we’d turn toward the sea. We stopped at a rest stop, and the hubs looked at a map on his phone and did some preliminary hotel and campground research. After some time, we decided to head to Newport and either camp or find a hotel when we got there.

As we drove the Corvallis-Newport Hwy over the mountains, the rain became heavier and didn’t look like it was going to let up. After a very long day of driving we didn’t want to camp in the rain or pack up camp in the rain, so, we knew it would be a hotel stay. Then it dawned on us, wouldn’t everyone else that had planned to camp want to stay in a hotel too? Of course, as luck would have it, our phones didn’t get reception in the mountains. So we waited and waited and waited. About 45-minutes later we called the Motel 6 in Newport. They had ONE room left for $150, plus taxes. When I asked why it was so expensive, I was told that was the weekend rate.

Compared to the $85 Motel 6 in Grants Pass, we were more than a little put-off, but we wanted a dry night. The result—it was the worst $175 we spent on our trip, and I’m not even going to bother with a pro and con breakdown.

The best money we spent on our trip was at Clam Beach in California.

Motel 6 in Newport is Not Worth the Price

The Motel 6 is a newer building, not a roadside motel, like most Motel 6’s. It was also in an unusual location, next to the Yaquina Bay Bridge. And, the front desk clerk was super friendly. (They’ve got a star employee with her.) With all those things combined, I thought that maybe, just maybe, our room would be up to snuff for the $150 price.

It wasn’t.

Everything inside that room screamed rundown Motel 6. The décor was dated and horrible, the bed too firm, pillows flat, sheets ruff, and the polyester comforter had cigarette burn holes—I’m not joking!! For that price, they could have at least upgraded the bedding. On top of that, the only way to control the room temperature was a window that no wind came through, and their dog bathroom area was extremely hard to find and down a very dark, moss-covered staircase. It made the Motel 6 Walla Walla look like a dream motel, and the cost to stay there is $60.

Needless to say, the price in Newport is totally unjustified.

What’s the shining light at the end of this tunnel? We could see Rogue Nation Brewing & Spirits from our window. It was less than a 3-minute walk from our hotel.

Thinking of going to Newport, Oregon? My go to source is TripAdvisor, but there are plenty of ways to get the scoop. Find deals and read reviews at TripAdvisor or Hotels.com.

Rogue Nation Brewery & Spirits

After we’d come to terms with our crummy room and eating $175, a cold beer and some food was definitely in order. So we walked over to Rogue Nation Brewery & Spirits, which has a restaurant, pub and a working brewery.

Tip: Rogue Nation Brewery & Spirits has daily brewery tours at 1, 3 and 5 p.m.

From the start, the vibe says “get over it, have fun and relax.” Guests enter through a bright red grain silo, into the brewery, and follow a path up to the restaurant and pub. The atmosphere is lively, and the restaurant and pub have views of the Yaquina Bay and the marina. They serve the full line of Rogue beers and a selection of nano and pub-only beers.

Tip: The restaurant is family-friendly, the bar is not.

What did we order?

Rogue Nation Brewery

For beer, we had their 4 Hop IPA and the Good Chit Pilsner ($6.50 ea).

Since I’d raved and raved about the fried cheese curds in Faribault, MN we started with their version, which is fresh cheese curds dipped in Mom Hefeweizen beer batter and served with jalapeno jelly. They were good, but not as light and fluffy as the ones in Minnesota.

Rogue Nation Brewery

I had the Rogue House Salad with spring greens, dried cranberries, crumbled chevre, and Rogue Farms hazelnuts, with a balsamic vinaigrette ($7). I also added salmon for $6. After a day of snacking in the car, it was the perfect healthy and light meal.

Rogue Nation Brewery

The hubs got the Brutal Reuben with corned beef simmered in Brutal IPA and topped with melted Swiss cheese and Shakespear Stout marinated sauerkraut, 1000 Island dressed, and marble rye bread ($11) with tater tots.

My stepdaughter got the BBQ Chicken Sandwich with house-smoked chicken breast with white BBQ sauce and dill pickles($12). I have to admit it looked rather plain so I didn’t take a picture, but she said it was good. Her Maier Lemonade was killer tart ($3).

Overall, Rogue Nation Brewery had good service and food, with the exception that the waitress forgot to bring me my beer for like 15-minutes. But, compared to 150-dollar cigarette burned comforter that seemed like a minor thing.

Newport looks like an interesting small town, and I want to go back and explore. But, next time, I plan to plan ahead.

Rogue Nation Brewery

After our meal, we dreaded going back to the hotel so we took Hazel out for a walk near the Yaquina Bridge and waterfront. FYI-she loves to eat sand fleas.



Thinking of going to Newport, Oregon? My go to source is TripAdvisor, but there are plenty of ways to get the scoop. Find deals and read reviews at TripAdvisor or Hotels.com.

Rogue Nation Brewery

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67 thoughts on “How Rogue Nation Brewery Saved Our “No Plan” Vacation”

  1. I’m really glad there was a light at the end of the tunnel! It’s amazing how a $150-a-night place can be so awful!! I’ve stayed at places 1/2 the cost that sound twice as nice. At least you had beer – that’s a big savior – and that salad looks yummy. I haven’t tried cheese curds yet, but I definitely will at the very first opportunity 🙂

    Reply
    • Lindsay, I’m still shocked they can get away with that price. And, I agree, I’ve stayed at other Motel 6’s that were half that price and decent. I hope you get to try cheese curds soon!

      Reply
  2. The food and area look amazing – But I will be 100% sure not to stay at the Motel 6…that price is outrageous. Just look at the bedspread!

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  3. We are booked for the coast in Oregon next spring so I’ll definitely give the Rogue Nation Brewery a try! And we’ll skip the Motel 6! Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Yikes! A nightmare of a place to stay. Sounds very much like our experience in Lincoln City this last spring. Awful, awful rooms there too. You missed out on a great, although expensive, experience in Newport. Oregon Coast Glassworks was one hell of a lot of fun.

    Reply
    • Arnie, I want to go back so I will check the Glassworks place out. Thanks for the tip! Next time we see each other tell me about the hotel in Lincoln City.

      Reply
  5. We need to go on a road trip together. We are so similar in so many travel areas… and the fact that I have an extensive collection of reuben photographs from traveling (as I get it EVERYWHERE) cements this. And yes, Rogue is awesome; and yes, the Oregon Coast can be an expensive no-plan destination.

    Reply
  6. That sucks when you pay big dollars for crappy accommodation. Sometimes this is the drawback with no set plans in place I guess. At least the brewery was on the horizon. Nothing like a few drinks and some good food to make everything seem a lot better

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  7. So glad to hear that Rogue Nation Brewery saved the day 🙂 Sorry to hear that the vacation ended up being double for probably worse accommodation though. Noted to avoid Motel 6 if we ever head through Newport! I love the spontaneity of no plan vacations, but they can definitely be a luck of the draw in terms of how the experience turns out.

    Reply
  8. There’s nothing worse than being ripped off with a hotel but not having any other choices – sorry you had to have that experience but I’m glad that Rogue Nation Brewery came to the rescue with good food, drinks & service. Look forward to reading about your future adventures

    Reply
    • Sheena, I’m still a little PO’d about the entire experience. Motel 6’s are known for being cheap accommodations and that 150$ price was beyond crazy. Yes, I agree, thankfully the brewery made it more bearable.

      Reply
  9. Ah, it is always really bad when accommodation doesn’t live up to its price. But I guess that is one of the things we learn along the way that we have to plan ahead if we really want to secure a good place. The food looks great and a great meal at the end of the day always make a day better.

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  10. Thank you for sharing and sometimes I find it more challenging to “plan” something during a “no plan” vacation ~:P and you had fun with your family and took some nice food photos! @ knycx.journeying

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  11. The Rogue Nation Brewery does emerge as the hero of your story. A nice place to chill out and relax, I am sure. But yes no-plan vacations are fun and the uncertainty adds to the excitement.

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  12. I think we stayed at a Best Western when we stopped there for the night on our Oregon Roadtrip. My mom and I also hit up Rogue and ate the cheese things too! I like their pumpkin beer. Sometimes you have to make the best of a bad situation and just do the best you can!

    Reply
    • Andrea, That is what we tried to do for sure. All the other hotels were booked or not pet-friendly, and we didn’t want to drive anymore so we had to make the best of it.

      Reply
  13. It’s great to read that Rogue Nation at least saved your holiday. It looks like a nice place to visit. I like to visit breweries, so will note down this place.
    At the hotel, looking at the photos, it really does not look at all like it’s worth the money….

    Reply
    • Sabine, I’m still in a bad mood about that hotel every time I think about it. So not worth it. Happy to put a new brewery on your list!!!

      Reply
  14. A brewery saves the day! I bet that’s a headline many people are familiar with LOL. We have experienced outrageous rates for no-frills hotels too and it is hard not to let it get under your skin. Having a nice cold beer and a meal though is one way to get it out of your mind. We are planning on turning a van into a camper so hopefully we can avoid situations like these. Rain won’t be a problem because there’s no real set up in a van and if prices are too high for hotels we would definitely either stealth camp or go to a campground if possible. Now we just have to get the van plan in action! Thanks for sharing your experience!

    Reply
    • Angela, My hubs has been rebuilding an old ford van for our camping trips. We like camping, but the weather in Washington State and be rainy and this way we can still go out and explore and not have to worry about setting up and tearing down in the rain. Not sure when it will be done. Hopefully it will be soon.

      Reply
  15. The price of accommodation never ceases to surprise me. Even just recently we stayed in some of the most amazing places in Vietnam for a fraction of what I could get at home. Embarrassing really that they are so expensive in Australia. I would love to try the fried cheese curds, such a lover of cheese but have never been anywhere that has these. Love how they serve the beers in their own branded masons jars too.

    Reply
    • Kerri, I haven’t been to Austrailia yet, but I have heard it is expensive. I hope you get to try cheese curds soon! The best I’ve had were in Minnesota. So if you happen to go there, but sure to put that on your list!

      Reply
  16. Sorry your trip didn’t go as planned but you know how I feel about breweries! And that’s awesome to know about the Motel 6 cancellation policy. I had never heard of that before. Also, that salmon salad looks delicious! Totally worth nearly doubling the cost of the salad.

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    • Nathan, It was a serious bummer, but the beer and amazing food helped ease the trauma. Thanks so much for commenting. Happy to put another brewery on your radar. 🙂

      Reply
  17. After seeing these pictures I think rogue nation would be my first stop for when I am headed to newport hehe. I love breweries and the decor / layout here looks inviting and ofcourse I don’t mind grabbing a Pilsener or two 🙂

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    • Jo, I really liked the layout. When you enter you walk through the brewery so it sets the atmosphere in the restaurant and bar.

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    • Bethanny, Oregon is beautiful and like Washington has a very diverse landscape from sea to mountains to desert. I hope you get to visit and go to the brewery!

      Reply
  18. I love visiting brewery’s! Do they offer free tastings when you arrive? I love being able to taste everything especially when the bar men know exactly what they are talking about and have a passion for their job!

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    • Jess, There is no free tasting in the restaurant, but you can sample a beer first before you buy one. There might be a tasting during the brewery tour. We didn’t go on the tour as we got there to late in the day.

      Reply
  19. Hi Lara, was just going through some of your stories and came upon this Newport one. We moved to Newport as I was headed to college in 1985 and my dad was the commander of the Coast Guard station there until his 1st retirement. So, my family was in Newport from 85 until about 2014. If you make a return trip let me know, I’ll give you my fav spots. Let us know the next time you pop into the Yakima Valley (and Union Gap 😉 ) If you have time/interest I could take you on a cherry line tour/apple line tour/stone fruit line tour … cheers, glad you found Rogue, always a fav stop for us in Newport!

    Reply
    • Erik, I will definitely let you know! I am planning a trip in Yakima Valley way in the spring. 🙂 Let’s stay in touch for sure.

      Reply

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