RIP SIX Oregon/Washington Breweries that Closed in 2016 and 6 More For Sale
The explosion of craft breweries opening since 2010 has made it seem like you could do no wrong, more opening every year and very few closing. 2016 marked the first soft year in Oregon with some breweries struggling to make it. (For more on the industry slowdown check out our recent Oregon Craft Beer Market Report.) In 2016 atleast six breweries closed in Oregon and the southeastern Washington region and we know of another six that are for sale.
It’s hard not to sound hyperbolic about Hard Knocks Brewing. There was so much potential greatness. The location was cool, right next to a park on the edge of downtown Cottage Grove. It had a pizza oven. It had an experienced brewer. It was the only brewery in town, which really should have brought in business.
Twisted Snout Brewing
Opened by the owners of Pig Feathers BBQ, the neighboring Twisted Snout Brewing attracted a solid following with locals and was a nice stop for out of towners. I never made it in but supposedly the BBQ was good and the spot had it’s charm. Though Toledo is not known for modernization or booming growth, the building owner has decided to renovate and update the building and thus kicked all the tenants out for a major upgrade. They closed only one day after suddenly making the announcement on Facebook on December 17th, 2016. “We’ve enjoyed our ten years in Toledo getting to know all of you” they posted to their fans on facebook. According to the Pig Feathers BBQ page, they will be relocating but the brewery will be no more.
On the Block and For Sale:
BTU Brasserie & Brewery
BTU came out of the gates pretty hot and not just for their spicy Chinese food. Opened by Burnside Brewing chef alum’s from Vermont with a family bred Szechuan restaurant heritage they quickly won fans of vegetarians and vegans while capturing some press for the refreshing combination of craft brewery and Chinese food. They earned some good reviews and even earned a silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival this year. However, most people were not impressed by their beer and the small space didn’t lend to a busy bar that turned over drafts quickly while other bars weren’t leaping to carry BTU’s beers either. Now more than two years in business, the buzz has died down and apparently the owners are entertaining offers to purchase the brewery.
I am sad to report that Amnesia Brewing in Washougal, WA is up for sale. The have been struggling since pulling up roots on N. Mississippi in Portland at their original location that became Stormbreaker Brewing. The ill fated move has seen declining sales and a rumored loss of distribution though according to their for sale listing they still have three distributors bottles and cans. Cant recall the last time I saw this product available anywhere outside of the brewery, though. Not sure what happened but while the taproom is still open and they have beer as well as brewing contractually for Everybody’s Brewing (according to a source) on their 15bbl brewhouse. This is another turn-key operation for sale including the pub and five 30bbl fermenters and two 30bbl brite tanks. Not sure what the asking price is but I hear it’s high.
UPDATE: A commenter on this post as well as Brewpublic from their twitter feed has accused us of spreading false info about Amnesia. They must not have done their research as we have done ours, Amnesia owner Kevin King has twice listed Amnesia for sale on probrewer.com right here. We also emailed him about it and he first denied it but then admitted it was for sale after we highlighted the probrewer post and even asked if I was interested in purchasing.
In fact, here is a screenshot of a recent email to me by owner Kevin King.
Columbia River Brewing
I’ll be clear, ou can put this one into the rumor category but I wouldnt mention it if I hadn’t heard from numerous industry sources that Columbia River Brewing was for sale or atleast exploring sale options. UPDATE: Columbia River Brewing has denied they are for sale via a facebook post so perhaps the rumors are not true.
They opened June 14th, 2014 in Dundee, Oregon, an area without much competition except for the winemakers. They are now looking for potential suitors, not sure if the wino competition was too high or another business or personal reason because our email to them was not returned.
Deception’s listing says it’s a turn-key operation that includes a busy taproom, direct fire 4 bbl brew house, two 7 bbl fermenters, two 7 bbl brite tanks, and one 3.5 bbl fermenter. Basicall everthing is included from the grain mill to taproom tv’s, glassware and growlers. They want 150k for the whole Deception Brewing operation, sounds like a decent deal.
Bunsenbrewer – Sandy, OR
This is sad but also a good opportunity, I believe Bunsenbrewer is the only brewery in Sandy, Oregon and it’s centrally located too. Owner/brewer Aaron Hanson said “We had a baby this year. My wife is a doctor, so that makes me the primary caregiver during the week. Newton is 10 months old now, and its pretty much impossible to get any work done with him around. I’m pushing through, but it’s just not working.” He is selling the whole operation turn-key if anyone is interested.
Oregon Trail Brewing – Corvallis, OR
Dave Wills has been trying to sell his Oregon Trail Brewing in Corvallis, Oregon since atleast May of 2014. These guys have been around quite awhile, predating all the other Corvallis breweries, and their Bourbon Barrel Porter used to be a bottle release people lined up for.
From Dave Wills listing on probrewer.com:
Oregon Trail Brewery is seeking a brewer/owner that want to invest in their own future. We are a 7 bbl. copper gravity feed brewhouse open since in 1987. We hold the federal trademark for the name Oregon Trail under fermented malt beverages. It is only 28 years until the 200th anniversary of the actual Oregon Trail. Get on the ox and roll into the future with plenty of room for growth in craft beer capital Oregon. $10,000 minimum investment.