The Prineville-based brewery now formerly known as Solstice has never been shy about its roots. When it released its first beer back in 2012, the brewery reclaimed a not-uncommon slur for the city, calling it Prinetucky Pale. So it’s only fitting that the new name—Ochoco Brewing Company—honors the operation’s Crook County origins.
The name also harkens back to the first known brewery in Central Oregon. No, not Deschutes. According to local beer historian Jon Abernathy, the short-lived Ochoco Brewery, founded in Prineville in 1882, holds the honor of being first.
“My wife and I grew up in rural Eastern Oregon and we’ve made Prineville our permanent home, and we believe a name like Ochoco Brewing will cement us in the DNA of Crook County,” owner and brewmaster Joseph Barker explains in a release.
Yep, I got name checked, which is always fun. And it’s true: the original Ochoco Brewery—the first in Central Oregon—was established in Prineville in 1882 and lasted until 1890 (it even burned down once). That original brewery was located at Fourth and Main Street, in fact only about a block and a half from Solstice’s current location. So it’s an interesting and apt pivot on the name, though I wonder a bit about branding and having had the “Solstice” name established for the past four years or so, if that will cause any confusion. Time will tell, but it is a good name.
And this Friday, May 22, they are holding a “logo release party” starting at 5:30pm at their brewery:
This Friday we’ll be celebrating a new logo/brand launch. The Chamber of commerce will be here at 5:30pm to do a ribbon cutting and we’ll have Road Altars here playing some live music. We’ll also be releasing a new Dry Hopped Golden Ale to commemorate the occasion. We hope you can all join us!