Oregon Beer News – Summer Break!

I’m sure there are folks out there waiting with baited breath for my Oregon Beer News posts (hah!), but it’s time to go on hiatus and take summer break off from the daily posts. I’ll still be blogging, just not the ongoing-during-the-day news. Plus I’ll be prepping for the Beer Bloggers Conference coming up next month, and the calendar in general is filling up throughout the summer that will keep me away from the computer.

And there’s plenty going on this week, with Medford Beer Week continuing, and Portland Beer Week kicking off this Thursday filling the calendar out by themselves. I’ll post about the big stuff happening, as they come up.

On to the summer!

Public Coast Brewing is now open in Cannon Beach

Public Coast Brewing logoOne of the state’s newest breweries is now open on the Oregon Coast: Public Coast Brewing in Cannon Beach. They are joining the lontime Bill’s Tavern and the recently-opened Pelican Brewing pub. Cannon Beach (population 1,690) is becoming quite the brewery town!

Seems like a pretty organized affair, based on the press release they sent out:

Ryan Snyder, president of Martin Hospitality, announced the opening of Public Coast Brewing Co. today in Cannon Beach. Construction started in October 2015 on the former Lumberyard restaurant space, transforming it into a 10-barrel craft brewery and family-friendly pub. The brewery pays homage to the Oregon Beach Bill, signed into law in 1967 by then Oregon Governor Tom McCall, declaring all of state’s 363 miles of coastline free and open to the public. Opening in time for the summer season, and just steps from the beach, it’s the ideal place to relax and enjoy a delicious beer made onsite after a day exploring all Cannon Beach has to offer.

Public Coast Brewing fulfills a lifelong dream for Snyder, who always planned on opening a brewery at the downtown Cannon Beach spot. He and his wife Stephanie purchased the restaurant over 10 years ago. “Cannon Beach has been our home for over 20 years,” says Snyder. “I wanted visitors and locals to have a place that celebrates the free and open spirit of the Oregon Coast, where they can kick back after a beautiful hike along the cliffs of Ecola State Park or tide pooling at Haystack Rock. When people think of craft beer in Oregon, we want them to think of the North Coast.”

The brewpub, designed by Seattle architect Mike Skidmore and with branding concepts by Central Office, Lookout Co. and Sokoloff Creative, seats 110 inside and 42 outside on the patio. Interior décor reflects the northern Oregon coastline with heavy use of exposed timber and salvaged wood, and the signature Public Coast red throughout. Guests will dine and drink under a large-scale mural painted by Portland-area artist Zach Yarrington, a playful take on the brewery’s high and low tide inspired logo, and its motto, “Beaches forever. Beer for everyone.”

Public Coast Brewer Will Leroux, former Martin Hospitality corporate chef, spent time at Big Dogs Brewing in Las Vegas to prepare for his new role. A longtime beekeeper, farmer and forager, Leroux uses his extensive knowledge of locally-sourced foods to include Northwest flavors in the brews. The initial beers are a Blonde Ale, Pale Ale, Northwest Amber Ale and Stout. Public Coast will also be brewing Stephen’s Ankle Breaker Root Beer, named by Snyder’s 13-year-old son after his favorite soccer move. Stephen worked with Brewer Will to create the signature root beer. Fred Bowman, co-founder of Portland Brewing Company and Portland craft beer legend, is on board as a consultant.

Food options feature pub fare and locally-sourced coastal cuisine. The menu includes housemade brats, seven specialty burgers made with Harris Ranch beef, chicken wings, caramel sundaes, the Wayfarer Restaurant’s famous clam chowder recipe and fish ‘n’ chips prepared with the seasonal catch. Public Coast Brewing is committed to supporting local and regional businesses. Guests will enjoy food prepared with ingredients from Rogue Creamery, Tillamook Cheese, Jacobsen Salt Co. and Petaluma Poultry, among other local suppliers. Public Coast Brewing will also donate $1 from each “Save our Beaches Burger” sold to the Haystack Rock Awareness Program, which has provided an onsite education and preservation program for over 30 years to teach children and adults about the unique ecology of Haystack Rock.

Public Coast joins the world-famous Stephanie Inn, Surfsand Resort and Wayfarer Restaurant under the Martin Hospitality masthead. The brewery is located at 264 E Third St., and will be open daily from noon to 9 p.m. for the summer, with beer service continuing later in the evening.

Sounds like a very tourism-oriented operation, which makes sense considering the tourist traffic the town gets in the high season.

It’s been ages since I’ve been to Cannon Beach, but will keep Public Coast in mind next time I’m over there.

The Session #112: The Other Beer Economy

The SessionThis month’s edition of The Session is hosted by Carla Jean Lauter, The Beer Babe, who wants us to write about The Other Beer Economy:

Growing alongside of the boom of breweries are many small businesses that are supporting, or supported by the craft beer industry.

Yet, we rarely give these businesses a second thought. They are the second beer economy, often operating behind-the-scenes. I think we could give them a bit more credit for keeping things growing, sharing the products of our local breweries with more people, and sometimes even literally keeping the beer flowing.

For this month’s session, let’s talk about those businesses in the beer world that aren’t breweries. What are the roles that they can play? What opportunities still exist for new niche roles to be developed? What can local/state/regional governments do to encourage this kind of diversity of businesses around an industry?

Much of the final chapter in my book Bend Beer: A History of Brewing in Central Oregon is in fact on this secondary economy (I titled that chapter “Beer Town, USA”). I finished writing that up about two years ago and since then the local “beer economy” has grown even stronger. Here’s a bit of what I wrote:

Beer tourism is the primary and most visible of these ancillary activities, a natural evolution of the region’s history and dependence on tourism and recreation. Of course beer has long accompanied enthusiasts on their outdoor excursions, be they camping, fishing, skiing on the mountain, trips to the lake, and so on; and… the outdoor guide company Wanderlust Tours was among the first to explicitly link craft beer with the regional tourist industry, offering specialty beer tasting as a feature of several excursions. With the creation of the Bend Ale Trail by Visit Bend in 2010, several companies began offering customized “beer tours” that supplemented the Ale Trail and highlighted the region’s melding of craft beer culture with the local lifestyle.

For the summer of 2013, a Bend visitor survey revealed that 45% of respondents included brewery visits and/or the Bend Ale Trail among their activities (54% reported simply visiting a brewery), with 6% reported brewery tourism specifically as the main purpose of travel to Bend. To help put these percentages in perspective, Dean Runyon Associates reported the annual tourist spending for Deschutes County to be nearly $500 million that same year.

It’s not just in tourist dollars that beer feeds the local economy. In 2013, the brewing companies in Central Oregon employed approximately 870 people (1.32% of private-sector employment), up from approximately 450 in 2010. Hundreds if not thousands more were employed by businesses in some way impacted by the brewing industry, such as beverage distributors, construction, beer bars, growler fill stations, Silipints, and even hop growers.

Bend Cycle PubOff the top of my head, this is a quick list of the beer-related economic categories that we have here in Central Oregon now:

  • Beer bars
  • Growler fill stations
  • Growler manufacturers
  • Beer/brewery tourism, which can be further subcategorized:
    • Beer tours (guided tours in a van or vehicle)
    • Outdoor recreation (rafting, hiking, snowshoeing trips that incorporate beer)
    • The Cycle Pub — touring breweries on a group-pedal-powered “party bike”
    • The Bend Ale Trail — self-guided tour for stamps and prizes among over a dozen local breweries
  • Hop farms
  • Barley farm and maltster (one!)
  • Beer soaps
  • Silipints — recreation-friendly, silicone pint “glasses” that are flexible and nigh unbreakable
  • Beer festivals and similar events
  • Homebrew shops
  • Niche-y artists and crafters, producing everything from paintings using only beer, to handcrafted bottle openers, to coasters, to custom bottle and growler carriers and more
  • And of course, beer writing(!)

Silipints from the Bend Ale Trail

Farther out, coming out of the Portland area for instance, the growth and spread of mobile canning and bottling companies are servicing smaller breweries across the state that don’t have the finances or space to install their own packaging lines.

I didn’t even get into the distributors and related services like tap line cleaners because they’ve become common in many sizable cities and beer regions, but they certainly add to the list. The fact of the matter is, beer has become one of the tentpoles of the local economy here, along with tourism/recreation and (some would say) real estate.

I certainly think there’s room for more, though I’m not going to try to predict what, exactly; the range of beer-incidental business we have now is already much more varied than I would have thought even five years ago. I suspect we’ll continue to see more beer tourism and beer recreation type business ideas develop, based on this region, which is definitely something the City of Bend and Visit Bend (the official visitor center and tourism development agency) both encourage.

The good news is, there’s plenty of opportunity for anyone who wants to open a beer-related business in Central Oregon!

Oregon Beer News, 06/03/2016

Oregon BeerToday is National Donut Day, so I hope you’ve planned your beer and doughnut pairing accordingly! In the meantime, here’s the news in beer for the first weekend in June. As usual, I’ll be periodically updating this post throughout the day with the latest news, so check back often. And if you have news to share, please let me know and I can get that updated as well.

Eugene Beer Week concludes this weekend, on Sunday the 5th, and one of the main events is taking place today (Friday) at The Bier Stein: the “Tower of Sour” event taking place all day, celebrating (of course) sour beers. “Please join us Friday June 3rd for some of the best crazy beers around! BFM, Crooked Stave, De Garde, Logsdon, Oakshire, Oud Beersel, pFriem, Russian River, and more… Prepare to get cultured with some of the best wild and sour beers ever! Our already epic taplist gets even more epic when we tap up to a dozen beers from the vaults, the barrels, the cellars. Pucker up!”

Medford Beer Week rolls on through the weekend as well, with too many events to list here—view them online and plan accordingly. However this Friday’s marquee event is the “All Jacked Up” IPA Release & Block Party with Opposition Brewing and Wild Ride Brewing: “Come and experience our newest creation, made in collaboration with the very talented folks from Wild Ride Brewing Company in Redmond Oregon – A Jackfruit IPA!! We’re calling this one All Jacked Up, and with its heavy citrus influence, it’s certain to please the West Coast IPA lovers far and wide. We’re honored to have Wild Ride on site with their sweet beer trailer to party with us! We’re taking the party outside for this one, and will have Peruvian Point here slinging their amazing grub and a DJ rocking tunes for all night long! It’s a block party you won’t want to miss!” It runs from 4 to 9pm.

Continue reading →

5,000-year-old Chinese brewery, and beer recipe

By Elema (Flickr: Beer making) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

I’m a bit behind blogging about this, but I thought it was pretty interesting: evidence of a 5,000 year old brewery was recently uncovered in China. What seems to be significant about this find is that barley had not been known to be in China this early; researchers suggest the possibility of barley arriving with the knowledge of its use in brewing, which could have interesting implications.

Archaeologists uncovered ancient “beer-making tool kits” in underground rooms built between 3400 and 2900 B.C. Discovered at a dig site in the Central Plain of China, the kits included funnels, pots and specialized jugs. The shapes of the objects suggest they could be used for brewing, filtration and storage.

It’s the oldest beer-making facility ever discovered in China — and the evidence indicates that these early brewers were already using specialized tools and advanced beer-making techniques.

The research group inspected the pots and jugs and found ancient grains that had lingered inside. The grains showed evidence that they had been damaged by malting and mashing, two key steps in beer-making. Residue from inside the uncovered pots and funnels was tested with ion chromatography to find out what the ancient beer was made of. The 5,000-year-old beer “recipe” was published on Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The recipe included a mix of fermented grains: broomcorn millet, barley and Job’s tears, a chewy Asian grain also known as Chinese pearl barley. The recipe also called for tubers, the starchy and sugary parts of plants, which were added to sweeten and flavor the beer, the researchers write.

Unfortunately I can’t see the full article (I was hoping to see if they had any additional recipe details, such as a rough idea of ingredient proportions). It might be interesting to try to recreate it (of course everyone expects Dogfish Head to do so, I’m sure); also knowing what kind of “tubers” you’d find in China circa 3000 BC would be helpful.

Speaking of Dogfish Head—any bets on when they will attempt a recreation? Or will another brewery beat them to it?