The Bulletin ran an article yesterday (behind the paywall, alas) detailing the five(!) new breweries coming to Central Oregon this year, as well as expansion plans among existing ones. The news ones coming are:
- Oblivion Brewing Company
- North Rim Brewing
- Bridge 99 Brewery
- Juniper Brewing Company
- River Bend Brewing
Most of these names I’d already heard, and in Oblivion’s case fellow beer blogger Mark Lindner broke the news about them before anyone else, but Juniper Brewing Company was one I hadn’t heard about yet. The articles fleshes these out a bit:
“I’m inspired by all the other small breweries that have popped up,” said Darin Butschy, owner of Oblivion Brewing Co. “I feel there’s still room for other breweries to come.”
Butschy, who was formerly a head brewer for what is now Firestone Walker Brewing Co., in Paso Robles, Calif., said he’s been working on his Bend brewery for the past 18 months and has a release party scheduled at Broken Top Bottle Shop on Aug. 24. His niche is a traditional style of beer, following the recipe of an old German beer from the 1500s that calls for only four ingredients: barley, hops, water and yeast.
Shane Neilsen, co-owner of North Rim Brewing — another Bend brewery that plans to start brewing for distribution this month — agreed.
“I don’t look at them as competition. I look at them more as mentors, because they’ve proven to be successful,” he said, referring to the established breweries. “There’s plenty of room. All the stores can’t wait for more breweries in town so they can have a bigger selection.”
He has plans for a 10-barrel system to produce standards like IPAs and stouts, and hopes to leave his current general contracting job behind to brew full time. All he needs is the rest of his equipment to come in and government approvals, he said.
[Bridge 99 Brewery owner Trever] Hawman, who has been a homebrewer for the past six years, is also waiting for OLCC approval for Bridge 99. He expects to have a 1.5-barrel system within his Bend home and have beer distributed at Wubba’s BBQ Shack off Layton Avenue.
Another former homebrewer, Curtis Endicott, has bought his building off Southwest Badger Avenue in Redmond and is hoping for a January start for his two-barrel brewery, Juniper Brewing Co.
The Bulletin article also touches on the “how many is too many?” question [the answer is a bit of a dodge—nobody knows—but “the city has no cap on how many breweries Bend can have”], as well as some of the expansion plans from existing (newer) breweries like Smith Rock, Sunriver, and Rat Hole.
The only one not detailed in the article, River Bend will I believe be a part of Rivals Sports Bar on northeast Division (right across from Riverview Park at a bend in the river).
And, there are still a few names I’ve come across that didn’t make this list, so one has to wonder, if we’ll have 25 by the end of this year, how many breweries will be have by the end of 2014?