Rogue Ales was founded in Ashland, Oregon in 1988 by three Nike, Inc. executives: Jack Joyce, Rob Strasser, and Bob Woodell.
In 1987, Jack Joyce, Bob Woodell, past University of Oregon fraternity brothers, and another friend, Rob Strasser, were approached by Jeff Schultz, Woodell's accountant, and avid homebrewer, with an idea to open a brewpub.
Construction began in June 1988 in Ashland along Lithia Creek. The 10 bbl brew system was set up in the basement with a 60-seat Pub above. The first brews were American Amber Ale, Oregon Golden Ale, and Shakespeare Stout. The Brewery and Pub opened in October 1988 to moderate success and soon, the company started looking to expand.
In February 1989, construction began on the Bay Front Brew Pub in Newport, Oregon. In March, John Maier, a former Hughes Aircraft F15 designer and Seibel Institute graduate, joined the company. Mair was previously a brewer at Alaskan Brewing before he was recruited by Joyce. The pub opened in May 1989. Rogue now has eleven locations dispersed throughout Oregon, Washington, and California.
Rogue has sponsored the annual surfing event "The Gathering Longboard Classic" on Newport's South Beach.
At the end of 2018 Brett Joyce, (Jack Joyce's son) stepped down as company president and was replaced by general manager Dharma Tamm. Joyce retains an ownership stake and remains on the board.