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The Most Anticipated New Oregon Breweries of 2018

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It’s 2018 and time to take a look at our most anticipated new Oregon breweries of the year. Consider this the candy after 2017’s bitter pill that featured ten + Oregon breweries that closed, transitioned, or sold. 2018 is looking up, especially if you are in the Portland-area, aka Beervana. There are fourteen breweries on our list that we cannot wait to open, with one we snuck in from across the Columbia River. Check out last years 2017 most anticipated breweries to see a few repeats and other that have become new hits.

Assembly Brewing – SE Portland

The mysterious Assembly Brewing has been in the works for quite some time. You may have seen its owner, George Johnson, around the scene. Johnson has been networking in industry groups for years while looking for a space and funding to open his own brewery, and in 2017 he finally found the right space in his own Foster-Powell neighborhood of Southeast Portland. The old and now shuttered Paldo Market at the corner of SE 61st and Foster will become Assembly Brewing, hopefully by the end of the year. Johnson is hoping to obtain building permits for what will be a substantial remodel of the old Asian grocery store, and his brewhouse from Portland Kettle Works has at least a seven month lead time. Assembly Brewing will feature a full restaurant and bar and will not be kid-friendly. Johnson is cautious about expectations, warning that the earliest the place could open is October 2018, and that’s in a perfect world without any delays in construction and permitting, so we must acknowledge the inclusion on this list is wishful thinking and hopefully a bit of good luck. George says, “I have no assurance that we will be open in 2018.” Still, we are excited to have a new brewery in that neighborhood just a few blocks from NWIPA. 6112 SE Foster Rd, Portland, OR 97206

 

Grains of Wrath Brewing – Camas, WA

Mike Hunsaker’s much anticipated and delayed Grains of Wrath Brewing is technically not in Oregon–it’s across the river in Camas–but we are throwing out a bone here to include it (not that they need it). Hunsaker was the acclaimed GABF award-winning brewer at Fat Head’s Portland and has been brewing up collaborations with regional brewers under the Grains of Wrath name for the past year. Known for his west coast-style IPAs, Hunsaker and his partners will bring punk rock and metal inspired beers and decor to a full restaurant with outdoor patio in downtown Camas. The new 10bbl customized JVNW brewhouse is nearly installed and GOW hopes to be open by mid-February, or at least by the end of March. 425 NE Birch St.  Camas, WA 98607

 

 

Great Notion Brewing – NW Portland

Along with Modern Times Fermentorium, the new and second location of Great Notion Brewing is arguably the most highly anticipated opening on this list. Coming from only two-year-old brewpub Great Notion, which instantly made a splash in the NW by introducing hazy New England-style IPAs to Oregon, as well as wild sour ales and pastry stouts and dessert beers, the brewery has a lot to prove with its expansion. Unsurprisingly, co-owner Paul Reiter reveals, “Like most big construction projects, we have been significantly delayed and over-budgeted.” The production brewery and canning line are on track for January or February, with the taproom/restaurant slated for summer of 2018. The kitchen may or may not be ready to open at that time. For the full story on the expansion, check out our original article here2448 NW 28th Ave. Portland, OR 97210 http://greatnotionpdx.com

 

Migration Brewing – Gresham

The northeast Portland brewpub built a reputation for self-distribution and hard work by building its brand by hand and as a popular taproom for Blazers games and patio drinking. Now, after nearly eight years, Migration has released beer in bottles, signed with a distributor, and is finally expanding brewery operations into a new production space and restaurant in underserved Gresham. Co-owner McKean Banzer-Lausberg tells me the new location is still planned to open in the summer of 2018 with a new 20bbl brewery and production facility. The kitchen will feature hand-tossed pizza and northwest-inspired pub favorites from a 20,000 sq. ft. space. The expansion and new location will greatly grow Migration’s production with more draft and a canning line, more lagers, and more room for barrel-aging. Read the full story on the expansion here. 18188 NE Wilkes Rd Portland, OR 97230

 

Modern Times The Belmont Fermentorium – SE Portland

No doubt the highest profile new brewery scheduled to open in 2018 is San Diego, CA-based Modern Times Beer Co.’s “Fermentorium.” Occupying the former Commons Brewery space and an adjacent warehouse which was recently purchased, Modern Times will both brew and package most of Oregon’s supply locally. In addition to having a new taproom, Modern Times also plans to open a coffee roaster and cafe similar to its primary location in San Diego. The New School has also learned that there are plans for a full restaurant that will be completely vegan. No opening date has been discussed. 630 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97214

 

Ringside Grill

TBA Ringside Grill Brewery – Outer SE Portland

The most mysterious project on this list is the brewery going into the former Ringside Grill space in Northeast Portland next to the Glendoveer golf course. The as yet unnamed or unrevealed brewery is a new project from Fat Head’s Brewing Portland owner Tom Cook, who plans to install a 7bbl brewhouse. It’s unclear if this brewery will be related to Cook’s other new brewery, the rebranded and reimagined Fat Head’s brewery in the Pearl District that will become Von Ebert Brewing. For now, Cook is tight-lipped about what he is planning. 14021 NE Glisan St Portland, OR 97230

 

Iron Fireman Collective building will be the future home of Ruse Brewing

Ruse Brewing – SE Portland

With beginnings as a gypsy brewery that still brews out of Culmination Brewing, owner/brewer Shaun Kalis has teamed with former Culmination Brewing brewer Devin Benware to open in the Iron Fireman Collective building on SE 17th in Portland. The brewery will be a 10bbl operation from Portland Kettle Works with a small taproom in the mixed-use building. Originally hoping to open by this winter, but slightly delayed because of permits, the crew hopes to begin construction in the next few weeks. Ruse Brewing construction will be done by Keeley O’Brien, of O’Brien and Company LLC who are veterans of Ex-Novo Brewing and are currently working on fellow highly anticipated new brewery Grains Of Wrath. The Ruse teams hopes to be finishing construction and brewery installation this spring. Full story on Ruse Brewing here4784 SE 17th Ave, Portland, OR http://www.rusebrewing.com/

 

Smockville Brewhouse – Sherwood

Technically now open for business in Sherwood, Smockville Brewhouse is founded by Shannon Johnson, the owner/chef of Tree’s Restaurant, also in Sherwood. Smockville is soft-opened and the brewery is nearly functional, and the first pilot brew should be made just in time for the new year. Shannon Johnson has teamed with Keith Laber and his wife Erin Koenig to open Smockville, which was the original name of Sherwood. The building is in the Art Center of town, so when Johnson came upon the building opportunity, she thought it was too good to pass up. Keith Laber is a longtime homebrewer who built his own top-of-the-line basement nano brewery and is now going professional with Smockville Brewhouse on a 200 gallon nanosystem capable of making two 2bbl batches or one 4bbl batch at a time. Once installed and operational, he plans four core beers–a wheat, a citra hopped pale ale, an IPA, and a porter.  Seasonal one-offs in the running include a grapefruit wheat and a coconut brown. The Smockville Brewhouse will be a family-friendly restaurant with an old-world feel, more of the now run-of-the-mill reclaimed wood, and corrugated metal bar front. The food menu will feature items like fried pickles, salisbury steak, smoked salmon, and in-house made pastrami. 22793 SW Pine Street Sherwood, Oregon 97140 http://www.smockvillebrewhouse.com/

 

Stormbreaker Brewing – St. Johns, N Portland

Construction is well underway for the second location of Stormbreaker Brewing in North Portland’s St. Johns neighborhood, taking over the former Plew’s Brews space and the St. John’s Dentistry next door. Orange Design is doing the build-out, which calls for a full kitchen, a 15 or 20bbl brewhouse, and a beer garden. “All of the trenching and plumbing is nearly complete and the electrical is up next. Framing of the walls has just begun and it is finally starting to feel that this space will be our future brew pub,” says co-owner Dan Malech. The big renovation includes pushing back the front of the building about fifteen feet for a heated covered beer garden out front. The crew is also really excited about the kitchen; Stormbreaker’s first pub on Mississippi has very limited space for kitchen equipment, but the St. John’s location will have room for much more. The atmosphere will be similar to the Mississippi Pub and have tons of reclaimed wood from the space, murals by local artists, and a family-friendly spot to gather for dinner or watch a game. Later down the road calls for a phase two of development to add an extensive barrel-aging program and a mezzanine level, and maybe even one day a rooftop patio, but that still might be a pipe dream. Malech reports they are still on schedule for a spring 2018 opening. 8409 N Lombard St. Portland, OR 97203

 

Thirsty Monk – SE Portland

Asheville, North Carolina’s Thirsty Monk pub and b Brewery is coming to Portland after purchasing European-style beer bar Bazi Bierbrasserie. The move is an interesting one because virtually nobody here knows Thirsty Monk and excitement is nil for the beers, and it does not help that the company is closing a well-liked local business. That does not mean it can’t be turned around, though; Bazi was just a beer bar, but Thirsty Monk plans to install a brewery. Thirsty Monk will also likely still serve imports and plenty of Belgian beers in addition to their own. I look forward to seeing what kind of improvements can be made in the space with some funding. 1522 SE 32nd Ave, Portland, OR 97214

 

Threshold Brewing – SE Portland

The up-and-coming Montavilla neighborhood east of Mt. Tabor is certainly looking good lately. In addition to one of the city’s top beer bars in Roscoe’s, it also has the Beer Bunker bottleshop/taproom and Montavilla Brew Works all on the same street, just a few blocks from each other. Soon we can add Threshold Brewing to that lineup, as it will be just around the corner on the very same block as Montavilla Brew Works, just north of Stark on SE 79th Ave. Threshold’s two owner/brewers are both locals in the neighborhood and we wrote about their plans to make barrel-aged, mixed fermentation and hazy IPA’s. Threshold Brewing will have a small tasting room, in-house bottle releases and perhaps a cellar club. The brewery hopes to open by summer of 2018. 403 SE 79th, Portland, OR http://threshold.beer

 

Trouvaille Brewing – Sherwood

Johnny Morgan founded growler fill shop and taproom NW Growlers on SW Macadam in Portland in 2013 and a year later he opened a second location in Sherwood that did well until the building owner recently sold the building. Rather than reopen a new location, Morgan is going to open a brewery instead. Trouvaille Brewing will be built on a 1/2 acre of unoccupied land in Sherwood with a full-service family friendly restaurant. The plan is for a 15bbl brewhouse with an experienced but as yet unnamed brewer and an emphasis on IPAs–including Hazy IPAs–and a sour program. The brewery will keep guest taps from locals like Two Kilts Brewing and a selection of 800 or so bottles. Owner Johnny Morgan wants to keep Trouvaille Brewing as a family and community oriented brewery with a relaxed and inviting atmosphere that will please the fans of NW Growlers, only taking the whole operation up a notch or two. It’s unclear on when Trouvaille will open, though; the schedule is still pending news from the construction team and permits. 20941 SW Olds Place Sherwood, OR 97140

 

Von Ebert Brewing – NW Portland

Rather than continuing to license the Fat Head’s Brewing brand from Cleveland, Portland-based franchise owner Tom Cook will transition Fat Head’s Portland brewpub into his own original brand Von Ebert Brewing in early 2018. Von Ebert will retain the same staff and brewing team headed up by brewer Eric Van Tassel with the recent addition of Sean Burke, the former head brewer from recently closed The Commons Brewery. Von Ebert Brewing combines American west coast beers with some German flavor. Described as elevated pub grub with traditional German pretzels, house-made beer cheese, stone oven baked pizzas, burgers, and Fat Heads’ beloved smoked wings. I am looking forward to the rebrand and getting rid of the tacky cartoon heads and bright colors for hopefully some German refinement. Fat Head’s Portland’s beers have been great since the beginning and the food hearty if not over-the-top and all over the place, so a more focused menu with the greatest hits will be a welcome update too. 131 NW 13th Ave, Portland, OR 97209 www.vonebertbrewing.com

 

Bodega Beer  West Coast Grocery Company – SE Portland

This inner southeast Portland brewery also made last year’s most anticipated list, as it does here thanks to nearly a year delay in the rebuilding of the space at the corner of 14th and Stark St. across from Beer and Meat Cheese Bread. In the year since we last talked about this project, the name has been changed from Bodega Beer to West Coast Grocery. If you think that’s an odd name, it’s because owner Charlie Hyde’s family comes from the grocery business. Dating back 100 years, the Hydes worked in that industry and founded a company called West Coast Grocery, which was sold a while back and the name went unused. “It’s all I have ever known,” says Hyde, who decided to abandon the Bodega name because of blowback due to the unrelated Bodega tech startup from two ex-Google employees. Though they have nothing to do with each other, people sensitive about the use of the term bodega as it relates to some Latino immigrant ties started complaining, so Hyde adopted the family company’s name, West Coast Grocery, instead. Now with the brewhouse and tanks in the building, Hyde and brewer Steve Balzer are playing Tetris with the layout before plumbing everything. They hope for a February opening in-time for the Oregon Beer Awards, which are held just a block away from the brewery at Revolution Hall. Another aspect has changed since the previous report–the brewery will now have an actual glass bodega-style display built into the bar, with food for there or to-go. It will not be a full-service operation but patrons can order at the bar, similar to how The Commons Brewery did it. The beer will be hop focused but also explore a range of pub styles from lagers to farmhouse ales. 1403 SE Stark Portland, Oregon http://www.instagram.com/westcoastgrocerycompany/

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: [email protected]

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