Cascade Lakes Brewing celebrates 20 years

Cascade Lakes Brewing CompanyThis year 2014 marks 20 years that Redmond, Oregon-based Cascade Lakes Brewing Company has been in business, and this month they are celebrating with a number of parties (in Central Oregon and in Portland) and the release of a special 20th Anniversary IPA, a 6.4% abv and 82 IBUs limited-edition beer that’s in bottle and on tap now:

Two decades of brewing beer in Central Oregon deserves a might celebration. To help us do just that, we’ve created our finest, limited-edition IPA utilizing Citra, Liberty and Centennial hops. We are proud of our humble beginnings and raise a glass to you… Thanks for enjoying Cascade Lakes brew for 20 years. Cheers!

Cascade Lakes 20th Anniversary IPA

Their big anniversary celebrations are coming up this Monday and Tuesday, the 13th and 14th respectively:

  • On Monday the 13th, all day long at their 7th Street Brewhouse in Redmond they will be celebrating with their new IPA, beers rolled back to 1994 prices ($2.75 per pint!), and two lucky winners will win free beer for a year (a pretty epic giveaway!). They’ll also have some commemorative swag to give away.
  • On Tuesday the 14th, the party shifts to their Lodge in Bend, with the same great deals and prizes as above, and in addition, KC Flynn will be performing live music from 3 to 6pm.
  • Then on Thursday, the 16th, Belmont Station in Portland will be hosting a 20th anniversary party from 5 to 8pm: “Central Oregon’s Cascade Lakes Brewing has been doin’ it right for 20 years. That’s cause for celebration! And that’s exactly what the Cascade Lakes gang will be doing when they hit Belmont Station on January 16. We will be pouring some special offerings from Cascade Lakes” and they have some other details in the works.
  • And finally the following Thursday, the 23rd, Bend’s Broken Top Bottle Shop is holding their own anniversary party honoring Cascade Lakes, from 6 to 9pm, featuring live music and “featuring special Cascade Lakes brews on tap, including 20th Anniversary IPA, free tasting, free schwag, and meet brewer John Van Duzer!”

Some (abbreviated) history. A Bend Bulletin article from 2002 lays the groundwork: “Cascade Lakes was started on a shoestring budget by brothers Steve and Dave Gazeley in 1994 in a nondescript 5,000-square-foot building in an industrial park west of the Redmond Airport. Known mainly for its Rooster Tail Ale, Monkey Face Porter and Angus MacDougal amber ale, the company for years has been distributing kegs and bottled beer throughout Central Oregon and in Portland.” In fact when they started in ’94 they were strictly a production brewery, and you could initially only find their beers in the bottle at grocery stores or on tap at various bars and restaurants around the region. It wasn’t until 1996 when, to meet the demand of their fans anxious for a pub, they opened their Seventh Street Brew House in Redmond which soon became a popular spot in the small town.

At the time (the late ’90s) they had quite a number of beers in their portfolio: Angus MacDougal’s Dagger & Dirk Scots Ale, Monkey Face Porter, Rooster Tail Ale, Rimrock Bock, 20 Inch Brown, Weissbier, India Pale Ale, Grizzly Mountain Stout (I remember drink this at the Brew House and quite liking it, along with the Angus MacDougal’s), and Fat Fish Pale Ale. Later years would see the introduction of their Pine Marten Pale Ale and their Christmas seasonal, Santa’s Little Helper (one of my favorites that they produced), among others. Of course you can’t forget their Blonde Bombshell, which was introduced in the early 2000’s, and was consistently a local favorite among all the beers produced in the region.

In 2002 Cascade Lakes was purchased by Doug Kutella and Rick Orazetti, who were joined by Chris Justema soon after, and they began the “expansion era” of acquiring properties like Cascade West Alehouse in Bend, the Tumalo Tavern, and Red Dog Depot in Redmond (now closed). And in 2004 they opened up their Cascade Lakes Lodge on Bend’s westside (on the way to Mt. Bachelor) which became a hugely popular Bend pub and restaurant spot.

After 20 years they are still going strong, and have the distinction of being Redmond’s first brewery, and are the second-oldest brewery in Central Oregon (after Deschutes).

Make sure to stop by one (or more) of their anniversary parties in the next couple of weeks, and drink some of that 20th Anniversary IPA—I’ve tried it and it’s a tasty beer. And cheers to Cascade Lakes to 20 years, and 20 more!