The Ale Apothecary (Bend) is official!

The Ale ApothecaryI’m incredibly excited to read this blog post from Paul Arney announcing that The Ale Apothecary (his brewery venture that I wrote about in detail here) is now official and brewing beer! (The blog post was published on Wednesday the 22nd and I had posted the announced the first beer on the 15th, after seeing a Facebook post.)

The Ale Apothecary has been approved, licensed, granted, sanctioned, decreed, and authorized to manufacture malt beverages by numerous Big Brothers.  If it hadn’t been so difficult and costly, I’d think we were getting away with something.  The brewery was fired up for the first time last week and produced wort for yeast propagation…our first fermentations are on track for next week.

The fact that beer will be fully on track this week (to be ready likely by June) is exciting enough, but what’s got me more excited (particularly from a beer geek/homebrewing perspective) is this:

2 Flagship Ales to be in year-round production, targeting June for initial release(s):
SAHALIE. One of the most unique beers in the world.  There.  I said it.
THE SAHALIEN. The bizarro version of Sahalie, similar in appearance yet very different in flavor.

3 Specialty Ales in limited production, available to our yet-to-be-defined beer club members:
*UNNAMED ALE #1* Blended test batches, aged in a pinot barrel on wild black currants for over a year with wild yeast.  Fermented with 11 yeast strains.
*UNNAMED ALE #2* Unhopped crystal malt ale aged in brandy barrels for over a year with wild yeast.  Fermented with 5 yeast strains.
*SAHATI*  Inspired from the ancient Finnish ale, we will cut down an 85 foot tall spruce tree and turn the trunk into a traditional mash tun.  The boughs will be used as the mash filter, and the fresh tips for aroma.
Other specialty ales may be produced, but dependent upon brewery capacity and consumer consumption.

(Emphasis mine.) All of those beers are interesting (particularly the unhopped wild yeast #2) but the Sahati? I’m familiar with the practice of using boughs as filters (from various evergreens and juniper) as well as tips for aroma (used much like hops), but using the trunk itself as mash tun? That hadn’t occurred to me but how could you not get excited by something like that?

(And yes, that’s some Apocalypse Beer thinking, right there, as well.)

There is also mention of a beer club that, while details are forthcoming, sounds a bit like a wine club in that you’ll get first crack at upcoming beers at discount prices, probably limited to 3 bottles per quarter. Which seems like a good idea for a specialized selection of limited run beers.

Other details on the upcoming beer and release plans are also mulled upon, it’s worth the read. And, if you haven’t been reading Arney’s blog until now, bookmark it and read all the past entries; The Ale Apothecary may well be the most interesting brewery to come around in a long time.


  1. I’m pretty excited, too, Jon. Details on our version of sahti will have to wait until later in the year (I’ve got other fish to fry currently :). The intent is to hollow out the trunk and set one end up slightly higher than the other, lay the boughs in the bottom, add mash on top. Then vorlauf?! We’ll see. Thanks for the write up…let’s hone the apocalypse thing in by December!

Comments are closed.