Tag Archives: Deschutes Brewery

Released two years ago today!

Today marks the two-year anniversary of the release of Bend Beer: A History of Brewing in Central Oregon!

Bend Beer is out!

It has been a terrific two years and Bend’s beer scene is as vibrant as ever. I wrote a post last year summarizing the changes that occurred in the one year since the book was published; of course there have been even more changes since then!

  • Monkless Belgian Ales expanded into the 10-barrel brewery formerly occupied by Fresh Tracks Brewing (which started as Brew Werks Brewing, and this space was originally 10 Barrel’s).
  • Immersion Brewing opened their brewpub and brew-on-premise location, in the Old Mill Marketplace complex next door to Atlas Cider.
  • Kobold Brewing opened, a two-barrel production brewery headed up by former homebrewer Steve Anderson.
  • Deschutes Brewery announced that Roanoke, Virginia will be the location of their east coast brewery.
  • New breweries for the region are in the works, including Good Earth Brewing (Terrebonne), Crooked River Brewing (Prineville), and possibly Crooked Jay Brewing (Bend) and White Mare Brewing (Bend) — these last two are still in the rumored stage.
  • New cideries, the growth of hop farming, and even more beer-related businesses and services have punctuated the past two years as well.

But don’t let that deter you from the book itself! If you haven’t read it yet, you can still pick it up  at Amazon and a number of places around Bend and Central Oregon (see sidebar).

And of course I greatly appreciate all the support of those who have bought Bend Beer over the past two years! That definitely makes it all worthwhile.

Have you read the book? Have a favorite period in our beer history that stands out to you? (I’m partial to the frontier days and Prohibition, myself—such interesting stories from those days.) Let me know, and always feel free to send any questions my way!


“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!

Deschutes Brewery will be on the East Coast by 2019

Deschutes BreweryIt’s no secret that Deschutes Brewery has been eyeing the East Coast for expansion for a while now. The 27-year-old brewery is #7 on the Brewers Association’s list of Top 50 craft breweries, and they are shipping beer to something like 28 states and two Canadian provinces, so it makes sense—shipping and refrigeration of liquids is expensive, not to mention environmentally costly from a carbon footprint viewpoint.

So it was interesting this weekend to see an article come out of Asheville, North Carolina—itself quite a beer town, not unlike Bend—highlighting that as a possible destination for a new Deschutes production facility. Here are some quotes:

Representatives from Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon, the sixth-largest craft brewer in the country, visited Asheville in December and plan a second trip in late May, according to company president Michael LaLonde, who spoke highly of the mountain region.

Among the sites company officials visited was the 137-acre parcel Buncombe County recently bought from Henderson County for $6.8 million to entice an undisclosed economic development prospect.

“We’re looking at a number of locations in a number of states,” LaLonde said. “We’re looking in North Carolina, we’ve looked in Virginia, we’ve looked in Tennessee, as well as South Carolina.”

The brewery also looked at sites in the Greenville and Charleston, South Carolina, areas, LaLonde said. The company was impressed with Greenville.

The company plans to open an East Coast operation by 2019, LaLonde said, “so we have a little time, but not much.” He said the search and securing land would likely take about a year, with construction taking another year.

Plans call for a brewery that could produce about 200,000 barrels of beer annually, with the capability for growth. That would require about 100 employees for the brewery and packaging operation, and another 100 or so if it adds a brewpub on site.

Deschutes would be joining a small-but-growing number of regional craft brewers who have expanded east, including New Belgium, Sierra Nevada, and Oskar Blues (also in the Asheville area), Lagunitas (Chicago) and Stone (building a brewery in Virginia). And from an historic standpoint (since this is a blog about Bend’s beer history, after all!) it’s amazing to watch the continued success of a brewery that almost didn’t make it way back in 1988 when they opened in the economically-depressed milltown-in-transition of Bend.

It will certainly make an interesting addition to a future edition of the book!

Attend the official book launch, Friday the 7th!

The first Friday in November we are celebrating the official launch of the book with an event at the Des Chutes Historical Museum—the perfect venue for a book on Bend’s history!

Official launch party at the Des Chutes Historical Museum

And even more appropriately, Deschutes Brewery will be on hand, pouring a keg of their pub specialty Botanical Ale. I like to pitch this as “Bend’s history and Bend’s first brewery” event because Deschutes (the Brewery) plays such a big role in Bend’s beer history—and the Museum embodies all of the history (beer and non-beer) that came before.

I’ll be signing books, answering questions and I’ll even do a short talk at some point, likely with a Q&A session as well. There will be food available, and the Museum will I believe be open for folks to check it out (which I would highly encourage!).

Afterwards we will be embarking on a “historic” pub crawl through downtown Bend, visiting several of the pubs that feature in the book as the source of Bend’s beer. The tentative schedule:

  • McMenamins Old St. Francis School
  • JC’s Bar & Grill (birthplace of Wildfire/10 Barrel)
  • Bend Brewing Company
  • Deschutes Brewery

So come on out and join the fun! Cheers!