Frontier Brewing: the Woods Brewery at Tetherow Crossing

During my research for the book I uncovered hints toward a frontier-era brewery being located at Tetherow Crossing, a fording point of the Deschutes River about five miles west of present-day Redmond. Andrew Tetherow filed a claim for the land in 1877, and by 1879 he had built a cable ferry across the river, which eventually was upgraded to a bridge. The Crossing became a way point, with a stage area and a store for travelers coming over the Cascade Mountains bound for the Crooked River valley.

Tetherow Crossing location
Map view of historic Tetherow Crossing location

One of the first clues about the brewery that existed there was found in old photographs indexed by the Deschutes Historical Society; there are a number of them of the Tetherow Crossing buildings and bridge circa 1900, and tantalizingly, someone had written “Brewery in background” below one of them—unfortunately, the building it referred to in the background was indistinct. Other clues I found on the web on sites like this one mention “a store, farm, ranch, orchard, garden, dairy, blacksmith and brewery,” but I couldn’t find cited sources.

Author and historian Phil Brogan, writing for the Bulletin in 1980 on the history of Tetherow Crossing, made no mention of a brewery—instead, he mentions a still, on the west side of the river.

So I didn’t have enough to go on for the book, and within my deadline I really did not have a chance to dig deeper on this Tetherow brewery at the time. But you know, research is really an ongoing project, and just recently I discovered much more detail about the brewery—found in the book Central Oregon Place Names, Volume III: Deschutes County, by Steve Lent and just published within the past year!

Lent references the brewery as Woods Brewery, and he wrote:

This early brewery was located at Tetherow Crossing on the Deschutes River west of Redmond. It was west of the Tetherow stage stop and on the west side of the river. Lynn Woods from Prineville built the brewery at the site in 1890. He preferred the clean water of the Deschutes River for his brewing. He built a frame building about 35 by 50 feet in which his brewing activity took place. The brewery operated until 1898.

He sources the Bend Bulletin and the 1880 Wasco County Census (I will try to find specific date/issue of the Bulletin for this info).

I’m glad to see this confirmed, and this means early Central Oregon had three frontier breweries: the Ochoco Brewery in Prineville from 1882 to 1890; the Woods Brewery; and the Prineville Brewery from 1893 to 1906.

Now to figure out just what they brewed there…

Take an extra 25% off of “Bend Beer” at Amazon now!

Right now, through December 14, Amazon.com is offering 25% off any one book! That means you can get Bend Beer at Amazon for the stunning low price of $10.33! Just use the coupon code “25OFFBOOK” when you are checking out.

This is the perfect time time buy Bend Beer for yourself or better yet, as a Christmas gift for the beer and/or history lover in your life! What are you waiting for?

Central Oregon Winter Beer Festival – Saturday, December 12

This Saturday, December 12, is the 3rd annual Central Oregon Winter Beer Festival, being held from 1 to 9pm at GoodLife Brewing in their Biergarden. I’ll be there, enjoying many a tasty winter beer and signing and selling books!

Central Oregon Winter Beer Festival

We are happy to announce Bigfoot Beverages as our Title Sponsor for 2015.

COWBF is a showcase for seasonal and specialty beers brewed in celebration of the holiday season. Admission to COWBF will be $10.00 and attendees will receive a commemorative COWBF glass, as well as 4 drink tickets. Each additional ticket will cost $1.00. The festival will be in a heated tent, and there will be food carts available on-site.

Breweries slated to be pouring include:

  • GoodLife Brewing
  • Three Creeks Brewing
  • Silver Moon Brewing
  • Cascade Lakes Brewing
  • McMenamins Old St. Francis School
  • Deschutes Brewery
  • Boneyard Beer
  • Wild Ride Brewing
  • Oblivion Brewing
  • Ochoco Brewing
  • RiverBend Brewing
  • Sunriver Brewing
  • Bridge 99 Brewery
  • Bend Brewing
  • North Rim Brewing
  • Worthy Brewing
  • Crux Fermentation Project
  • Craft Kitchen & Brewery
  • Atlas Cider

It should be a fun event, so make sure to come by, drink some great winter libations and buy the book—it’s the perfect Christmas present for the beer or history lover in your life!

Where to Buy “Bend Beer” for Christmas

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving yesterday, and it’s time to start thinking about shopping for Christmas. Since today is Black Friday, and Monday is Cyber Monday, I figured it’s time to recap where you buy your copy of Bend Beer: A History of Brewing in Central Oregon!

First, you can buy the book online at History Press, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and Powell’s Books, but if you’re shopping around town here in Central Oregon, you should also be able to find the book at the following places:

  • Barnes & Noble
  • Bowman Museum (Prineville)
  • Broken Top Bottle Shop
  • Central Oregon Locavore
  • Costco (possibly—they were out last I checked)
  • Deschutes Brewery (the Tasting Room)
  • Des Chutes Historical Museum
  • Dudley’s Bookstore
  • High Desert Museum
  • McMenamins Old St. Francis School
  • Paulina Springs Books (Sisters and Redmond)
  • Pine Ridge Inn
  • Redmond Craft Brewing Supply
  • The Brew Shop
  • The Growler Guys (East side)
  • Visit Bend (Bend Visitor Center)
  • Worthy Brewing

If you can’t find it at one of those locations, please let me know!

Happy holidays!

Signing at Silver Moon Brewing’s Redmond Grand Opening

This Friday, November 20, Bend’s Silver Moon Brewing is holding the grand opening party for their new Redmond production brewery (in conjunction with their annual One Beard to Rule Them All fundraising event) starting at 6pm, and I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be there as well, with books to sign and sell!

Silver Moon Redmond Grand Opening

You can learn more about Silver Moon’s expansion and plans in a post on my Brew Site blog here; it’s great to see the effort being put into revitalizing the brewery by James Watts and Matt Barrett, who bought Silver Moon in 2013, paying off! It’s also interesting to watch the “rise” of Redmond in the local beer and brewing scene, which now has four established breweries with Silver Moon becoming the fifth, as well as a growing focus on beer with pubs like The Pig and Pound and restaurants like Jersey Boys Pizza.

Come on out on Friday the 20th, party with Silver Moon and let’s talk books and beer history! See you there!

“Bend Beer,” one year later

One year ago today, October 21st, was the official publish date of Bend Beer: A History of Brewing in Central Oregon! Over the course of the past year there have been many events and signings where I have been able to talk about the book, beer, and Bend’s history, and the book itself has been successful and sold very well. A big “Thank You!” to all of the folks who have bought the book, attended an event, and/or have supported Bend Beer along the way!

Of course the Central Oregon beer scene has not been static over this past year, so I thought it would be interesting to review the various changes that have occurred over the past year from where the book leaves off (which was “current” as of about June, 2014).

10 Barrel Brewing sold to Anheuser-Busch. The news broke on this the week after Bend Beer came out—talk about timing! The owners of 10 Barrel had quietly been in talks with ABInBev for about seven months prior to the announcement of the sale, the terms of which have not been disclosed. There was a temporary backlash in the community but 10 Barrel bounced back and is currently in the process of expansion.

Monkless Belgian Ales becomes the region’s 26th brewery. This tiny one-barrel nanobrewery wasn’t even on my radar prior to the book release, but became official shortly thereafter. They exclusively brew Belgian-styled ales and are currently only on tap at Humm Kombucha.

Old Mill Brew Works closes its doors. The OMBW pub closed down—but in its place, Craft Kitchen and Brewery opened up in the same location. Interestingly enough, Brew Werks Brewing, which had been a separate entity from OMBW at that point, did not close, and instead rebranded as Fresh Tracks Brewing.

Bridge 99 Brewery opened up its tasting room and new brewery space. Located behind Wubba’s BBQ Shack on Bend’s north side, the larger space will ultimately house the seven-barrel brewing system that are in Bridge 99’s plans.

Immersion Brewing announced. The people behind Immersion Brewing, to be located in the Old Mill District down the road from Crux Fermentation Project, plan to offer a “U-Brew” model for customers to brew up their own batches of beer from a pre-determined selection of recipes, as well as having their own in-house 10-barrel brewhouse and brewpub.

Prineville’s Solstice Brewing renamed to Ochoco Brewing. In a nod to the city’s history, Solstice, which was the first brewery in Prineville since 1906, renamed itself after the region’s first-ever brewery, Ochoco, which operated from 1882 to 1890.

Deschutes Brewery is searching out an East Coast location. From humble origins in downtown Bend in 1988 to one of the largest craft breweries today, Deschutes will be opening a brewery on the East Coast by 2019. Currently the final location is yet to be determined, though it sounds like it’s between Asheville, North Carolina, and Roanoke, Virginia. Definitely an exciting chapter for the region’s oldest brewery!

Redmond Third Friday Stroll at Paulina Springs Books

This upcoming Friday, September 18, I’ll be participating in downtown Redmond’s Third Friday Stroll, with Paulina Springs Books once again for signing and selling copies of the book from 5 to 8pm.

Redmond Third Friday Stroll

This is the last “Stroll” of the year for downtown Redmond, and the theme is “Central Oregon Spirits” so I am going to be in good company! Here’s the description that Paulina Springs has posted:

Get ready for a fun night on the town with this month’s Third Friday Stroll! The theme is spirits, and many of the downtown buisinesses will be participating. We will be welcoming back Jon Abernathy, the author of Bend Beer: A History of Brewing in Central Oregon. You can enjoy some spirits from Bend Distillery at the Shabbie Attic, and then head over to Redmond Craft Brewing [the homebrew supply shop] to check out home brewing supplies and sample a recently brewed beer. The Greater Historical Society Museum of Redmond will be displaying an antique distillery, as well as antique beer bottles and cans. It’s going to be a great evening! As you wander between the participating businesses, you can enjoy the music of the two bands, Hat Trick and Mosely Wotta, that will be playing downtown.

It’s going to be a good night all over downtown Redmond, so come on out to enjoy the Stroll, and be sure to come by to say “Hi!” and chat about Central Oregon’s beer history!

See you there!