First look at Wild Ride Brewing

This past Saturday for their official opening, we headed over to Redmond, Oregon’s new Wild Ride Brewing Company to check out the scene and try some beers. They had nine of their first ten beers on tap, and a handsome brewery and tasting room that looks really good. No kitchen, but two food trucks were parked outside. Here’s a first look in pictures, and some notes.

Wild Ride Brewing, Redmond

That barreled-off area is their outdoor seating patio. Incidentally, they do allow minors.

Wild Ride Brewing

It is definitely a nice looking brewery, with a nice big space available to them since they took over the former Parr Lumber building.

Wild Ride

Wild Ride firepit

Cool custom-fabricated firepit on their patio, gas fired.

Wild Ride lit firepit

Wild Ride beer board

Wild Ride beers

Because it is all about the beers, of course. From left to right: Cole’s Trickle Lager, Big Booty Golden Ale, Whoopty Whoop Wheat, Fly.P.A., 3 Sisters Red Ale, Hopperhead IPA, Mount Up Maple Brown, and Stand Up and Shout Stout. I have to say, all of these beers are really well-brewed and excellent first-batch beers—not something you see every day from a brand-new brewery.

The Lager was really well done, super clean and drinkable, both IPAs were nice (I preferred the Hopperhead, which will be a big seller), that particular stout was brewed with coffee and vanilla and was on nitro. Good beers across the board.

Wild Ride label posters

Wild Ride tasting room

Wild Ride beer menu

Wild Ride beer menu

Wild Ride brewery

Wild Ride brewery

It’s a 20-barrel brewhouse, with 40-barrel fermenting tanks. There is a ton of room for expansion and brewer Paul Bergeman has made sure they can do so in a logical manner, and has tried to be as forward-thinking as possible when designing this brewery.

One of the things that impressed me is that they are pre-treating their wastewater from the start, before it even hits the Redmond sewer system.

Wild Ride barrels

Yes, those barrels are filled already, with stout and their Maple Brown.

Wild Ride kegs

Reclaimed wood

I like the reclaimed wood: this is on the wall fronting the restrooms, just outside of the tasting room.

Wild Ride Brewing

One last shot on our way out.

Overall, I was really impressed: well-planned and though-out brewery, plenty of space to expand into, solid, clean beers from the start, head brewer with the history and the chops to crank out good beers, great tasting room and plenty of parking. This is a great addition to the Central Oregon brewing scene, and it’s going to be a huge hit in Redmond in particular. I’ll enjoy visiting when I get the chance.

They are located at 332 SW 5th Street in downtown Redmond, right on the main drag going north once you get off the parkway.

Putting the news on hiatus as deadlines approach

A little while back I switched from blogging daily Oregon beer news posts to weekly in large part because of the book I’m writing. And now I’ve got about two months on the final deadline and I’m finding I need to scale back those posts again to focus on that project even more. I will of course continue to post stuff here—I couldn’t not even if I tried, I think—but the weekly/daily updates need to be dialed back. At least until sometime in July, then I will re-assess.

Wild Ride Brewing, open this Saturday in Redmond

Redmond’s latest brewery, Wild Ride Brewing, is officially opening their doors this Saturday, May 10 at 11am (though I hear they are quietly open now, a sort of soft pre-opening). They are Redmond’s (and Central Oregon’s) newest craft brewery, a 20-barrel production brewery with a tasting room and patio, and are located at 332 SW 5th Street downtown.

Wild Ride Brewing patio

The don’t have a kitchen, but are planning on hosting food trucks for the hungry. And, while I was previously unclear as to how many beers they would have pouring on their first (official) day, it turns out they’ve been brewing up a storm and they might have the most beers (10!) on tap of any newly-opened brewery that I’ve seen:

Wild Ride Brewing beer board

If you’re keeping track at home, the beers are:

  • Cole’s Trickle Lager
  • Big Booty Golden Ale
  • Whoopty Whoop Wheat
  • Fly.P.A.
  • Hopperhead IPA
  • Brain Bucket Imperial IPA
  • 3 Sisters Red Ale
  • Mount Up Maple Brown
  • Bitch Stout
  • Stand Up and Shout Stout

That’s a nice selection, clearly head brewer Paul Bergeman (an alum of Portland’s Laurelwood Brewing and Hawaii’s Kona Brewing) has been busy. No idea yet if any of these are going to be part of their regular line-up or if Bergeman is still getting used to the system to see the beers evolve a bit (which is what I would expect). At any rate it’s nice to get a sneak peek at this taplist, they certainly have a little something for most everybody.

Wild Ride Brewing

From the pictures they’ve been posting on Facebook it’s certainly a nice-looking brewery and it’s interesting to see that they already have some barrel aging going on. All in all I’d say it’s going to be an eventful Saturday for them and plenty of beer will be flowing.

Saturday, 11am, Redmond—be there.

Central Oregon Beer Week 2014 is coming up!

Central Oregon Beer Week 2014This year’s Central Oregon Beer Week is taking place from Friday, May 23rd through Saturday the 31st, and with 26 official breweries in operation it’s bigger than ever! This year’s COBW has a ton of great events lined up, with something going on all week long (the “week” is really nine days), and it kicks off with the SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop) fest hosted by McMenamins Old St. Francis School this year:

You’re invited to the release party for Central Oregon Beer Week’s signature beer style … SMaSH! Fifteen [17?] local brewers will be pouring SMaSH (Single Malt Single Hop) craft beers made specially to celebrate with COBW. Admission to the fest is $20 and includes admission, a punch card for 12 4oz tasters, and a commemorative 2014 COBW glass. Additional punch cards will be available for purchase. Food & non-alcoholic beverages will be served up by McMenamins and available for purchase.

Among the breweries who brewed up a special beer for this event are Below Grade, Bend Brewing, Boneyard, Bridge 99, Cascade Lakes, Crux, Deschutes, Juniper, McMenamins, North Rim, Oblivion, RiverBend, Solstice, Sunriver, Three Creeks, Wild Ride (I think) and Worthy. It runs from 3 to 9pm and you can purchase tickets online here.

Along with the SMaSH kickoff (and you can expect to see the SMaSH beers on tap afterwards as well), there will be the events that have been the hallmarks of COBW: Broken Top Bottle Shop’s beer-week-long pairing of local breweries and bands (this year it’s Beer Geek Week), Mt. Bachelor’s Brewski event on Memorial Day weekend, Deschutes Brewery’s Beer-lesque, and of course the Sunriver Brewfest put on by Sunriver Resort.

And that’s not even getting into the rest of the great events taking place! Tastings, dinners, music, and more—it’s all on the events listing page, and that’s one you’re going to want to bookmark.

You are definitely going to want to come to Central Oregon for this last full week of May! And with so many events going on, if you’re looking for someplace to stay, you can of course check out McMenamins Old St. Francis School, and Sunriver Resort—who has a Brewfest Lodging Package which might be just the thing. So make your plans now!

Oregon Beer News, Week of 05/05/2014

Oregon BeerHappy Drinko Cinco de Mayo! Here’s the news in Oregon beer for the week of May 5. I will be periodically updating this post throughout the week with news as I find it, so if you have news to share please contact me and I can get that posted.

Wild Ride Brewing (Redmond): Redmond’s newest brewery is all set to officially open this Saturday! “We’re opening our doors at the Tap Room at Wild Ride Brewing in downtown Redmond on Saturday, May 10th at 11am! Spread the word, and come enjoy the wild ride!” They will have 10 or more beers on tap (not sure if they will be all their own, or guest taps too) plus food carts on hand for the hungry. They will officially be #26 in the list of Central Oregon breweries!

Widmer Brothers (Portland): The next three beers in their anniversary 30 Beers for 30 Years series are available now: Festbier (from 1987), Mäerzen (1988), and Bockbier (1989). “Collectively, the first six releases showcase Widmer Brothers’ heritage, the German influence that inspired their unique brewing style, and an early tagline for the brewery, “unique interpretations of traditional German beers.” In Portland in the late-eighties, German style lagers and ales were uncommon, especially those brewed by American craft brewers. Kurt and Rob Widmer’s German roots, and Kurt’s time in Germany, inspired the Brothers to brew their interpretations of these classic Bavarian styles. Widmer Brothers became one of the first breweries in the country to focus nearly exclusively on German-inspired beers. The first six beers in the 30 Beers for 30 Years Series were among the first and most memorable beers brewed by the brewery in its early years.” Look for the 22-ounce bombers of these.

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