Rogue Ales and Spirits has teamed up with Oregon based Dreamland Skateparks to create a beer that helps build skateparks. The new lager is a tasty way to support skateboarding, and is light enough to go hand in hand with any sesh. The partnership has already benefited the community of Newport, Oregon having renovating the existing skatepark that was in disrepair. The money raised from beer sales will go towards building more skateparks by the skater ran crew that has been apart of numerous projects, including helping to build the famous Burnside park in Portland. I reached out to Rogue to get more info on the project. I asked the President of Rogue, Dharma Tamm, how the project came to be and how you can get help in your own community.
What makes a beer company interested in supporting skateparks? Do a number of people involved with Rogue skateboard?
Since day one, Rogue has been committed to “feeding the fishermen”, which to us means giving back to our local communities. The idea to renovate the Newport Skatepark came from one of our employees, who visited the park almost five years ago and saw an opportunity to give back in a unique and important way. It wasn’t until we linked up with professional skateboarder, Kevin Kowalski, and Danyel Scott with Dreamland Skateparks that we realized we weren’t the only ones who wanted to see a positive change at the park. We have some active Rogue skaters and it has been amazing to witness the internal enthusiasm from non-skaters and the “I-used-to” skaters regarding progress with the skatepark.
How did you initially come together with Kevin Kowalski and Dreamland Skateparks?
We were introduced to Kevin through our Newport brewery tour guide at the time. There was a casual conversation about how amazing it would be to do some work on the skatepark and he chimed in with “Hey, I think I know someone that would be able to help.” We linked up with Kevin shortly after and he introduced us to Danyel and Dreamland Skateparks – that’s when things started progressing. Kevin grew up about 20 minutes from the skatepark and watched it fall into disrepair. The park was incomplete from the inception as a lack of funding left the “street” section of the park paved with rough concrete pavers and years of coastal wind and sand made the bowl a cheese grater nightmare. Kevin and Dreamland had been advocating for improvements for almost 3 years when we were introduced. We formed the Newport Skatepark Alliance and started attending city council meetings, organizing community clean ups, and holding video premieres and fundraisers at our pubs to benefit the park. In November 2018, with help from the city, we were able to resurface the park and fix major drainage issues in the bowl as well as clear a ton of overgrowth from around the park. We continued raising money for the second phase of the park when the idea of doing a collaboration beer with Dreamland came about.
When will Newport Skatepark be completed?
We are extremely proud to say that the Newport Skatepark has been completed and re-opened on Saturday, November 22, 2019. The coastal weather gods blessed us with a beautiful opening day, which is impossible to predict during the winter in Oregon. The amazing crew at Dreamland Skateparks worked non-stop for 4 weeks to add 2,000 square feet of concrete and new skateable surfaces to the park.
Are there any other parks on the immediate agenda?
We have already started brainstorming the next location. We understand the importance of skateparks in communities and hope to support projects that otherwise wouldn’t be funded or completed through traditional means. The beer has just launched so right now we are focused on getting the word out so we can raise more money for future projects. Dreamland is involved in many amazing projects and there are always communities in need, so we are looking forward to the next project.
Where can New Yorkers find Dreamland Lager so they can support the cause?
Dreamland Lager should be hitting shelves on the east coast very soon. You can find some near you using our beer finder: finder.rogue.com.
If you don’t drink, we also have limited runs of skate decks (and other merch) on our website made in the USA by South Central (Same wood as Bacon, 5boro, Politic). A portion of proceeds from the decks will go toward the skatepark funding as well.
Will there be any “beer can” coping at the park?
That was one of our first thoughts as well. No beer can coping made it into the Newport park but we did do something similar but on a larger scale. On top of brewing beer and distilling spirits, we also have our own cooperage where we make oak barrels by hand for aging beer and spirits. We had the idea of using a barrel as a skateable feature at the park, so Dreamland filled a used barrel with concrete, let it set, peeled the wooden staves away and drilled the steel hoops back on. The result: a giant concrete barrel that is fully skatable. One of the guys in the Dreamland crew even made a wooden pool trowel out of the discarded wood.
If skaters want to get you guys involved with their local city boards and refurbishing their parks is there any contact info they could reach out to?
For sure! We would love to hear from anybody looking to help their community and assist the best we can, whether it’s advice on how to move forward with your project or financial assistance. Realistically we won’t be able to fund every project, but we are always open to hearing your story and helping anyway we can. Feel free to email [email protected] with any questions or comments.
Drink beer – build skateparks! Thanks for the support.