Yesterday (Friday the 24th of February) was a perfect day for the official groundbreaking ceremony for one of Bend’s newest brewery ventures, Worthy Brewing Company—nearly 60 degrees, clear and sunny (contrasted with this morning as I write this, it’s snowing somewhat heavily).
Principals Chad Kennedy and Roger Worthington had arranged a nice setup to welcome guests to the groundbreaking: an outdoor event tent with tables and chairs for guests, a keg of Boneyard Beer‘s RPM IPA, and food provided by Stephanie Schultz (wood-fired pizza, a red cabbage salad, and chocolate stout cake). The event started at 3pm with speeches and the actual groundbreaking taking place closer to 4.
Overall there was a great turnout with guests including Bend’s Mayor and Mayor Pro-tem Jeff Eager and Jodie Barram, respectively; Ty Barnett and Curt Plants from GoodLife Brewing; Larry Sidor and Paul Evers of “Yet to be Named” Brewing; Diana and Jason from the Broken Top Bottle Shop; Carlos Perez, mastermind behind Beer me Bend!; relatively new-to-town freelance brewers Cory McGuinness and Kyle (don’t-remember-his-last-name-sorry); and many more that I’m sure I’m forgetting.
Beer was flowing, food was delicious, and starting around 3:40 or so speeches were made: Worthington, Mayor Eager and Mayor Pro-tem Barram (hint to other would-be breweries, and wineries and distilleries, who are looking at Bend: the City of Bend is very interested in growing the economy in this segment!), and Kennedy, who spoke a bit about a supposed “River of Beer” that flows beneath the Worthy Brewing land.
The official groundbreaking was held shortly thereafter, with Kennedy taking a pickaxe to the ground and indeed breaking through to the “River of Beer”: the resulting geyser showered Worthington and Kennedy and the official brewery venture is begun.
Great event, and I’m really looking forward to watching construction progress over the next year; a rough estimate for completion and opening of Worthy Brewing is January 2013.
I took a number of pictures of course, which you can view here: