“Yet To Be Named Brewery” is… Crux Fermentation Project

There’s been a series of temporary names attached to former Deschutes Brewmaster Larry Sidor’s new brewery project—856 Brewing, Yet To Be Named Brewery, and now I see on Facebook “Soon to be named Brewery”—and this morning the official name is out: Crux Fermentation Project.

Crux Fermentation Project silos

Sidor sent me the press release last night, which talks about the new (and a bit unconventional) name:

We’re really excited about how quickly the beer world is evolving. It wasn’t that long ago when IPAs hit the scene and took everyone’s taste buds to a place many of us weren’t sure we were ready for. Today, beers like the Abyss, Pliny the Younger, the Dark Lord, and many others, are unapologetically blowing up taste profiles with their complexity and creativity. Our team will focus primarily on these beers—it’s at the heart of what we do, pursuing the next great beer. To achieve this, we’ve designed the brewery to deliver beers that take us on a journey. From decoction mashing, open fermentation, barrel aging, crazy yeast varieties, and the use of experimental hops we hope our project delivers beers that will take you on a ride!

Crux…what does it mean anyway?
crux: noun, 1. a vital, basic, decisive, or pivotal point. “The crux of the matter.”
2. something that torments by its puzzling nature; a perplexing difficulty.

Our name, Crux, celebrates the moment where tension and conflict meet. It’s that critical do or die moment where everything comes together— striking that perfect balance. Some people perform their best in these moments, and surely the moment inspires innovation and creativity to push through. We’re not pursuing convention— we want to face the “crux of the matter” and push through to the other side. What’s there? We can’t wait to find out.

Fermentation Project also has meaning for us. Fermentation lies at the “crux” or “the pivotal point” of the brewing process. And Project best describes the process we’ve experienced in sharing our dream with friends, families and a wide variety of beer lovers from both inside and outside the industry. With each step, more and more people have joined us and contributed to the vision. We had an ah-ha moment— we realized this will always be a “project”— experimental and collaborative at its core.

Open fermenters, decoction mashing, barrel aging, crazy yeast varieties… there are a lot of interesting things to get excited about and there’s really no one else in Bend with the exception of Paul Arney at The Ale Apothecary doing this type of almost-experimental, artisanal-yet-commercial type of brewing. And the plans that they’ve laid out for the brewery itself are just as open as the fermenters:

"Yet To Be Named" Brewery plans

How will our beers be offered?
Your best bet is to come to our Tasting Room and take in the brewery and a variety of beers first hand. We’re working hard to create an experience that connects beer lovers to the brewing process— when you visit us you’ll get to hang out in an actual operating brewery. You’ll take in the rich aromas of the mash, the waft of warm spent grain and, of course, the fruits of all the labor in all the exciting new brews. Beers will be served in 500ml and 300ml pours. Bring your growler (1,900ml), too.

They are located at 50 SW Division Street in what you could consider the center of Bend: Division Street (and now the Bend Parkway) is the east-west dividing line for the City, while Colorado Avenue (just to their immediate north) is roughly the north-south dividing line. They’ve taken over an old Aamco Transmission building in the northeast corner of the old Willamette Industries industrial park (the looming buildings of the former Willamette/KorPine particle board plant is just across the street) and though close to both downtown and the Old Mill District, there’s no obvious easy access—you have to weave around from the west of the industrial park to find your way in.

Of course that helps the appeal of “discovering” a new brewery. I think it’s a really good location, myself.

Some additional details:

  • They are going all metric for their measurements. You will hear bottles in terms of milliliters and instead of “barrels” for capacity, hectoliters.
  • Pricing (as of what they expect right now, but this could obviously change):
    • $6 for 500ml bottle (lower-end)
    • $16 for 750ml (more complex)
    • $13 for 375ml (high-end, barrel-aged that won’t be available for a year or 2 at the earliest)
  • Finally, their goal is to be pouring beer by June