You might expect the menu of an Oregon coast restaurant to be heavy on the seafood. But that’s not the case at Yachats Brewing and Farmstore. Here, every dish on the menu comes with a house-made fermented side such as sauerkraut or kimchi.
The menu isn’t the only thing they do differently here. The name reflects the store’s beginning as an actual farm store. Over the years since it’s opening in July 2012, the store has slowly changed what they sell. While it will still sell books, ferment supplies and a selection of growing supplies, the greenhouse room will be expanded in spring and summer to hold lettuces, micro-greens and herbs. At each step of the way, they enlarged the kitchen and dining areas. As customers discovered the place, they wanted more food.
“We had to make a decision about whether we were going to be a real restaurant,” says owner Nathan Bernard. He admits that owning a restaurant wasn’t originally in his and his wife Cicely’s business plan. “When we expanded the beer tasting bar our customers asked us if we were going to have more food. We knew that if we were going to offer food we had to be ecologically minded and really do it right.”
Customers came to appreciate the emphasis on fresh, local ingredients and small batch beers. Their commitment to offering healthy fermented foods grew along with their business. Similar to beer or wine tasting flights, Yachats Brewing offers a flight of four fermented foods served with gluten-free crepes. A dollop of some fermented side accompanies each menu item, such as the Pulled Pork and Apple Grilled Cheesy sandwich or the brunch flatbread with bacon and eggs.
House Smoked Seafood and Fermented Foods
“A huge focus of our food system is our in-house smoked meats using vine maple,” says manager Jennifer Fredricksen. “Any item on the menu that is smoked, including maitake mushrooms, we smoke in a larger smoker—this also includes salmon and tuna.”
Unless you specify, the chef will likely choose from their kimchi, traditional sauerkraut, caraway kraut, cortido (a Salvadoran kraut with carrot and oregano) and a seasonal ferment or pickle. The cheese and charcuterie board features the red horse kraut, made from red cabbage and horseradish. Many Yachats Brewing visitors get a ferment flight and a beer flight.
To demonstrate their commitment to fermented foods and drinks, Yachats Brewing no longer sells any soda. Instead, if you want something non-alcoholic and fizzy, you can choose from kombucha and hop soda. Kefir, shrubs or jun (a drink similar to kombucha but made with honey), are planned for the future.
Nathan Bernard is a woodworker. His skills transformed the former bank building, built in 1965, into a cozy, warm space decked out in salvaged Oregon wood and wine barrel furniture. Using almost entirely salvaged and reclaimed materials, the space remembers its small-town logging roots but also looks firmly into the future.
The store has a small but growing beer lineup thanks to a recent expansion in their brewing capacity. Yachats Brewing formerly supplied three taps of its own small-batch beers made from a 20-gallon system. They now have a 7-barrel brewhouse. With 30 taps, customers can choose from between 10 and 20 of its own beers along with a variety of outside beers, meads, ciders and kombuchas. Take your drink of choice with you to explore the beach in a travel-friendly can growler, or “crowler,” which consists of a filled and sealed can rather than a glass growler.
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