Big brewery changes

The Source reports on some significant changes to the local brewing scene today, revolving around 10 Barrel Brewing: they are planning a brewery expansion to bring their production up from 10 barrels to 50 barrels (a significant investment/increase), and as part of that expansion they’ve hired Jimmy Seifert from Deschutes Brewery and—surprisingly—Tonya Cornett from Bend Brewing.

10 Barrel partner Garret Wales confirmed that the Bend brewery… has hired Tonya Cornett from Bend Brewing Company (BBC). Cornett, who was recognized as the small brewpub brew master of the year for 2008 by the World Beer Cup, has been with BBC for almost a decade helping to solidify the small brewery’s reputation as one of the premier craft breweries in Oregon. Wales said Cornett won’t formally move to 10 Barrel until midsummer at the earliest and perhaps not before the end of the year, depending on when 10 Barrel gets its planned brewhouse expansion up and running… In the meantime, Cornett will continue to brew for BBC, he said.

“She plays an integral role in Bend Brewing and we want to be really sensitive about that…and give her the opportunity to make a smooth transition,” Wales said.

Wales said Cornett isn’t the only significant hire as of late for 10 Barrel. Wales said 10 Barrel hired longtime Deschutes brewer Jimmy Seifert to assume the brew master duties at 10 Barrel. Wales said Seifert, who started this month, has years of valuable brewing experience serving as Deschutes brew master Larry Sidor’s right-hand man, as Wales put it. He added that Seifert also has helped oversee Deschutes multiple production expansions and is comfortable working with a larger scale production line like the one that 10 Barrel is preparing to install.

For anyone whose a beer geek like myself this will be surprising news, with interesting implications. I’ve long credited Cornett with turning the beer situation around at Bend Brewing, and Seifert was the #2 brewer at Deschutes; now that they’ll both be brewing for 10 Barrel, I imagine we’ll be seeing some very interesting things on tap down at the 10 Barrel Pub.

And, unrelated to any of the three above-mentioned breweries, The Source also reported today that Noble Brewing, which had planned to open around the first of the year, has pushed back their opening to March (they’re still waiting on infrastructure).

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