I wrote the other day about a possible 10 breweries in Bend (12 in Central Oregon overall) but I may need to amend that number to 11. This potential 11th brewery revolves around a new way of thinking about beer and building a brewery around it. It’s a hugely interesting idea, but there’s some backstory.
Paul Arney was a long-time brewer for Deschutes Brewery—he ran the (Bend) pub brewhouse and the R&D brewing program for Deschutes. Last month he left Deschutes to pursue his brewing dream: an artisan concept beer he’s calling “Sahalie,” for which he’s going to develop first, and then build a brewery around the process. It’s a little different, but here are the key points from his site where’s he beginning to chronicle the process:
My plan is to utilize a very small home-built brewery to develop a beer that has existed in my mind only. Develop a process that produces the desired flavor profile, and then, build a brewery around the process. This brewery will combine age-old techniques alongside modern ones, and we will not be brewing to satisfy bulk consumption. There are plenty of great brewers out there already doing that (check out our links!). Our product will be fermented at least 3 times with multiple yeast strains and available in bottle form only.
Our mission statement is ‘The Orval of America’. Not because I want to replicate Orval with a me-too Belgian knock-off, but because I cannot think of another brewery with as much integrity and focus instilled into their beer. Orval is incredibly unique, available only in bottled form, and includes wild yeast. I intend to borrow these three distinctions and add American creativity and ingredients to develop a distinctly NW beer with the subtlety of a world classic (such as Orval).
Those statements give you the gist of his vision, but you really should go read the full posts (there are four so far) to get the big picture. “Sahalie” is the name he’s giving both this beer and the concept, I think—which is a concept that I don’t believe anyone else in the U.S. is pursuing commercially (correct me if I’m wrong!).
MountainBrewery.org is his site; there’s no brewery yet (just a lot of what is essentially homebrewing). But it’s going to be extremely interesting to watch this unfold.