Oregon State University Libraries and Press

Cheryl Gillson Oral History Interview, January 19, 2017

Oregon State University
Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Search this Index
00:00:00 - Interview Introduction

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Okay, go ahead and introduce yourself.

Segment Synopsis: Gillson introduces herself and provides her date of birth, birth place, the current date and the interview location.

Keywords: Beer farming; Brewing farms; Hop farms; Rogue Ales & Spirits; Rogue Ales and Spirits

Subjects: Beer; Beer and brewing; Breweries; Hop (plant); Hops; Marketing

00:00:20 - Childhood experiences in California and Oregon

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Um, so you were born in California. What was it, what did you do

Segment Synopsis: Gillson discusses her early childhood in California and moving to Oregon, as well as her education and jobs as a kid. She describes her family’s various activities outdoors, along with her primary academic interests in philosophy, psychology and photography. She notes how she was home-schooled all the way through high school. She then discusses how she moved to San Francisco, along with her return to Oregon to work for Rogue Ales and Spirits.

Keywords: Childhood jobs; Home school organizations; Jobs for adolescents; Outdoor activities; Outdoor activity; Rogue Ales and Spirits

Subjects: Hillsboro (Or.); Home schooling; Nature photography; Outdoor adventure; Photography; Religious communities; San Francisco (Calif.); Wedding photography

00:05:15 - Living in San Francisco, CA / Early work with Rogue Ales & Spirits

Play segment

Partial Transcript: That's a pretty interesting time to be in the Bay Area as far as

Segment Synopsis: Gillson describes the cost of living in the bay area, along with her favorite things to do in San Francisco. She explains why she returned to Portland after living in the bay area, and how she ended up working for Rogue. She discusses her various roles in the company over time, and how the company has changed since she joined it. Gillson also details the locations of the company’s different operations.

Keywords: Bay area; Bay area--cost of living; Beer culture; Corporate jobs; Rogue Ales and Spirits

Subjects: Beer and brewing; Breweries; Brewing industry--Oregon--Portland--History; COST OF LIVING; Newport (Or.); Portland (Or.); Salespeople; San Francisco (Calif.); San Francisco (Calif.)--History; Secretaries

00:10:50 - Mentor relationship with Jack Joyce / Life in Istanbul, Turkey

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So what was it like to work with Jack Joyce?

Segment Synopsis: Gillson describes the important lessons out of her mentoring relationship with Rogue founder Jack Joyce, and how she was able to stay involved with the company as she traveled to Turkey. She explains why she decided to visit Europe, and how she ended up living in Turkey for several years. She describes the culture in Turkey, the origins of her love for agriculture, and how she returned to Oregon to raise her son.

Keywords: Backpacking--Europe; Beer--taxes; Hazelnuts--Turkey; International visas; Mentoring relationship

Subjects: Backpacking; Beer and brewing; Car accidents; Istanbul (Turkey); Marketing; Mentors; Mentorship; Physical therapy; Social interaction; Social skills

00:16:10 - Transition to working at Rogue Farms

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So you come back to the states. You have your delightful son

Segment Synopsis: Gillson describes her return to Oregon from Turkey, and how she ended up transitioning to work at Rogue farms. She discusses the different ways she educated herself about agriculture, and the benefits farming have had on her and her son. She emphasizes the importance of first-hand experience in good storytelling, as well as noting the challenge of moving to a small town.

Keywords: Comfort zone; Germaphobia; Small towns--culture; hop farming

Subjects: Agribusiness; Agriculture; Beer and brewing; Marketing; Mud; Obsessive-compulsive disorder; Portland (Or.); Soil

00:21:20 - Crops produced and tourism at Rogue Farms

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So can you talk about how the farm works with the rest of the brewery?

Segment Synopsis: Gillson describes the different standard and specialty crops grown at Rogue Farms, along with the barley farm in the Tygh Valley of Oregon. She notes her love for trying out new experimental crops in the garden, and how it relates to her company values. She then discusses Rogue Farms as a tourist destination, and the farm’s relationship with the local community.

Keywords: Botanicals; Community support; Experimental crops; Hop farming; Hop varieties; Malting barley; Marionberries; Rogue Farms; Seasonal beers; Tourist destinations; Tygh Valley (Or.)

Subjects: Agrotourism; Farm to table; Honey; Hop (plant); Hops; Perseverance; Pumpkins; Specialty crops; Tourism

00:28:17 - Origins of Rogue Farms / Relationship with local farmers

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So what year was the farm, the Rogue company farm established?

Segment Synopsis: Gillson discusses the history of Rogue farms, the reasoning behind opening it and the relationships they have with the surrounding family farms. She notes the history of hop farming in the Independence area, dating back to the 1800s. She details the financial challenges of growing their own crops, and the support they’ve received from their neighbors and landlords.

Keywords: Experimental crops; Experimental ingredients; Farm rentals; Financial loss; Hop shortages; Taprooms

Subjects: Alluvium; Family farms; Farm rents; Farm to table; Financial Management; Hazelnuts--Oregon; Hop (plant); Hops; Terroir

00:33:12 - Consumer awareness of ingredients

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So as far as- I don't know, where do you see this kind of

Segment Synopsis: Gillson describes the importance of raising consumer awareness about the source of their food, and how Rogue tries to develop the public connection to farming through tourism. She then notes her favorite parts of the farm, namely the pet pigs and the apiaries. She discusses the importance of their apiaries for pollination on the farm.

Keywords: Connection to farming; Consumer awareness; Experimental crops; Harvest labor; Specialty honey

Subjects: Agrotourism; Apiaries; Consumer behavior; Farm pets; Farm to table; Local foods; Pollination; Pollination by bees; Self-sufficiency; Specialty crops

00:36:51 - Goals and experiences at the 2017 hop conference

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So you are here, we are here, at the Hop Growers of America conference

Segment Synopsis: Gillson explains her goals in coming to the Hop Growers of America convention, focusing on learning and discussing potential ideas for Rogue Farms. She details the different projects she’s heard about while at the convention so far. She discusses her concerns as a new farmer interacting with multigenerational farmers, as well as her hopes for building more connections between farmers and brewers.

Keywords: Advice; Farming conventions; Farming organizations; Hop Growers of America; Multigenerational farms; Testing ideas; Wild hops

Subjects: Agriculture--History; Climate Change; Education; Endangered species; Family farms; Farm mechanization; Farm to table; Hop (plant); Hops; Mentorship; Terroir

00:42:10 - Future of Rogue Farms / Concluding thoughts

Play segment

Partial Transcript: So what's next for Rogue? What's next for you?

Segment Synopsis: Gillson discusses her hopes for the future of Rogue Farms, as well as her excitement over their journey towards self-sufficiency. She describes her concerns coming into the oral history interview, and how that’s reflected in her intimidation in joining the brewing industry. She notes the different tasks she and other Rogue Farms staff do regularly that are unique to their operation, and public reactions to their work.

Keywords: Barrel-aged alcohol; Barrel-aged beer; Farming families; Hop farming; Locally-grown ingredients

Subjects: Archives; Barrels; Beer and brewing; Brewing industry--History; Family farms; Photography; Process control; Self-sufficiency; Work ethic