Crowing Hen Brewery
Updated: Sep 16, 2021
A tot-friendly haven for family-fun, delicious beer, and beautiful views in Carlton, OR.
This place is an absolute dream and you must visit ASAP
After visiting Crowing Hen Brewery over the weekend, I had to take a few days to fully process our experience there before I could even begin to think about writing this blog post. Why, you ask? Well, if I'm being completely honest, I felt that I had to make sure 100% that our visit there actually took place *in real life* and wasn't just an elaborate, magical dream that I conjured up in my own "new baby at home", sleep-deprived mind. After looking at all the photos that we took at Crowing Hen, I finally convinced myself that yes, this incredible place really does exist. And more importantly, that it was my civic duty to let you all know about it and to urge you to pack up your tots and go check it out for yourselves immediately! :)
You guys, where do I even begin? Crowing Hen Brewery is exactly the kind of place that the Tots Crew looks for when we go out on a family adventure. Let me try and break down all of the awesomeness that we experienced at Crowing Hen, which opened just a few months ago.
First of all, we love a beautiful drive out in wine country (even if we are on the hunt for beer!) Tot #3 does very well in the car so if we have an excuse for a short family drive to an awesome location then we are all in. From our home in Keizer, it was about a 40 minute drive to Crowing Hen in Carlton which was just perfect. Secondly, venues with green space for tots to roam are huge plus in our book. Crowing Hen had plenty as well as some great seating options to accommodate the unique needs of any group that visits. And maybe most important to us is the overall "vibe" of a place as this truly makes or breaks an experience. Crowing Hen was absolute perfection in this regard. Did you hear me? PERFECTION.
When we walked through the doors of the tasting room/brewery production space, we were instantly greeted by the smiling faces of owners/brewers, Michelle and Ryan. What a cool couple! To say that these folks were nice would be the under statement of the century. They instantly made us feel like family and took the time to walk us through the history and story behind Crowing Hen Brewery as well as their adventures moving from the suburbs and navigating all things "farm-life." The brewery is truly the full family's labor of love - Michelle's parents, Laura and Paul, were there helping behind the bar, chatting with folks, and bringing drinks to tables. Again, super sweet people. Paul has actually been a long-time home brewer so his in-depth experience helped instill a love of brewing in his daughter and son-in-law. Michelle and Ryan's three children also help out on the farm and LOVE when other kiddos come to visit because, who doesn't like making new friends?
Michelle and Ryan brew all the beer on-site and will often make their own individual creations in friendly husband/wife competitions between one another to see whose beer is the people's favorite. Michelle's "The Hen IPA" is on the current line-up and it was sensational. Ryan's "Rooster" brew will be hitting the taplist soon we can't wait to try it! We were very impressed with the sheer number of beers that they had available (twelve at the time we visited) as well as the wide variety offered. They definitely had something for everybody! Tots Dad was stoked to see quite a few hazy options while Tots Mom enjoyed their sour and farmhouse saison offerings. For the tots specifically, they had a refrigerator with juice boxes and Capri Suns - first one for each tot is on the house (and we love things like this!) They have a fun selection of tot-friendly charcuterie boards that are served on frisbees and other snacks available for purchase, too.
Check out the full beer (and food) menu below.
But this was only the beginning of our fun at Crowing Hen. Once we made it to the lawn area behind the tasting room with our beer selections in hand, we were awe-struck by the impressive array of lawn games and activities for the kids (and kids at heart alike). Cornhole, giant jenga, Connect Four, Hoola hoops, and lawn dice were scattered about the grounds with plenty of picnic tables and Adirondack chairs for all. The lawn overlooks the stunning farm property and a couple beautiful ponds as well as the rolling hills of Carlton. The property is dog-friendly and there were a few very sweet pups that were also enjoying their time at the brewery.
The mix of folks that were visiting Crowing Hen when we were there was about 50% families and 50% those without kiddos. And honestly, even if we ourselves didn't have kids, we would absolutely be spending our time out at Crowing Hen. I'm telling ya, it was just that great of an experience and the beer was really, REALLY good. We can't wait to see what other fun brews they come up with next!
No joke - we could have stayed all day at Crowing Hen Brewery. And trust me when I say that we will be back, and often! Our tots had the best time and were very sad to leave (literally, they cried.) In speaking with Michelle and Ryan, they shared their vision of wanting to create an approachable, comfortable, and friendly brewery where the whole family could relax and enjoy. In our humble opinions, we would say that this vision has been realized, and then some. Kudos, Crowing Hen, for making something oh-so special for all to enjoy!
What to expect when you visit:
Great variety of indoor and outdoor seating options
Amazing beer selection - with the nicest brewers around!
Check their social media often for fun upcoming events (i.e. Cornhole Tournaments)
Changing tables in BOTH the men and women's restrooms (they even have little steps for tots to use to reach the sinks...so thoughtful)
Lots of green space for your tots to roam and play (supervised, of course!)
Plenty of room to bring a picnic blanket with activities or table-top toys to keep your tots entertained
Their outdoor area is dog-friendly. WOOF!
No outside food please
P.S. - Look at all this great indoor space at Crowing Hen for when the weather gets yucky!
Website: Brewpub | Crowing Hen - Farmhouse Brewery | United States
Open Thursday - Friday 3pm - 7pm, Saturday 11am - 7pm, Sunday 11am - 5pm
Address: 10282 NE Abbey Rd. Carlton, OR 97111