Suddenly there’s ANOTHER brewery opening up in Bend: Old Mill Brew Werks

The Bend Bulletin today ran an article (behind their paywall, so I won’t link it) about yet another brewery that is opening up in Bend, right on the heels of my writeup about Noble Brewing: Old Mill Brew Werks. I’m a little gobsmacked, honestly, because Noble Brewing hasn’t even opened yet and I’m already thinking Bend is at capacity/saturation for local breweries.

Here’s some pulls from the article (I had a real paper handy, thus bypassing the paywall), but one thing Portland beer aficionados in particular will find interesting is that the brewmaster of this new OMBW is Lorren Lancaster: aka LoLo, who founded the Green Dragon:

A 10th Central Oregon brewery—the eighth in Bend—has plans to open a restaurant and pub in October and begin brewing at the start of 2011, the owners said Tuesday.

The Old Mill Brew Werks is tentatively scheduled to open a pub on Oct. 1, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a bevy of brews that can’t necessarily be found elsewhere in Bend, said co-owner David Love. The pub will be located at 384 S.W. Upper Terrace Drive, in the space formerly occupied by the Phoenix Cafe, which moved to east Bend in January.

Brewmaster and co-owner Lorren Lancaster said the group is working with federal authorities to get approval for the brewery, and is looking at a possible brewing site off Northeast First Street.

Brew Werks plans to serve uncommon beers, many of which could be from out of state. It also plans to make beers that may not be brewed elsewhere in Bend. That includes a few Belgian-style beers, like lambics, and multiple lagers, Lancaster said.

But they will still be beers people are accustomed to drinking, Lancaster said.

“I’m not trying to overeducate them and turn them to what I want to drink,” he said.

Love said he and Lancaster plan to brew with a 15-barrel system, with each barrel producing 450 gallons. The brewery will sell beer in Central Oregon first, and then begin canning beer and distributing elsewhere.

For now, the owners plan to keep the pub open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 8 a.m. to close (around midnight) on Friday and Saturday. The pub will be closed on Sundays.

Love is the former executive director of Habitat for Humanity in Bend. Lancaster, nicknamed LoLo, is a founder of a well-liked Portland bar and brewery, the Green Dragon.

Some thoughts:

  • If they plan on making beers like lambics and lagers, that’s a pretty long brewing lifecycle that could work against a fledgling brewery; hopefully they’ll have a line-up of quicker-to-produce beers as well.
  • Curious as to what “uncommon” beers and beers that “can’t necessarily be found elsewhere in Bend” will consist of; there’s quite a lot of unusual stuff you can get in Bend (though not necessarily at restaurants, of course).
  • First thing I thought when I read the article was, “there’s no way the second floor of shopping at the Old Mill can handle brewing tanks”; I’m a bit relieved to know they’ll be brewing offsite.
  • The bit about canning beer caught my attention; Boneyard Beer announced plans to can their beer, as well. Is that the new trend for Bend’s young breweries? Is there canning equipment now that is cheaper than a bottling line?
  • Regarding the possible brewing location on NE First Street: Bendistillery has a presence in the First Street industrial space, but they’re having a Grand Opening this weekend to celebrate the opening of their new farm/distillery/tasting room out northwest of Bend; I wonder if that means they’re vacating the First Street space and if so, is that a possible location for the OMBW brewery?

2 Responses to Suddenly there’s ANOTHER brewery opening up in Bend: Old Mill Brew Werks

  1. Best Beer says:

    Opening a brewing company seems not that easy because you need much effort in putting some improvements in the products.

  2. Jennah says:

    Sorry, been out of touch for awhile had haven’t read your blog.
    I work for Bendistillery and yes, we have completely vacated our First Street warehouses for our new location on Pinehurst Road.