Better know a New Brewery: Solstice Brewing Co.

While perusing the internets and stalking Hopworks head brewer Ben Love I came upon a facebook page for Solstice Brewing. They had a stark web page up with just a logo and an email address and stating they were coming to woodstock in 2010.

I recently met up with owner/brewer Joseph Barker and his partner Timothy Czuk at the Alameda Brewpub to discuss the plan for the new brewery.

Joseph Barker has been a homebrewer for atleast a few years now and has decided the days of catering parties with his brews should become a full time endeavour. Though he is not quitting his day job as a manufacturing/woodworker just yet.
We spent a good deal of time talking about other breweries and unique beers being brewed. It was great to talk to someone with the same enthusiasm for creation.

Asked about his favorite beers he stated: Northwest styles and the classic phrase whatever beer I am holding at the time.
Talking about his vision for the brewpub Joseph believes in the community aspect of beer and bringing people together. How it almost would not matter what beer you are drinking as long as your having a good time with friends.

Solstice Brewing is planning to open by the end of this summer with a location yet to be announced on Woodstock. I was able to get get that the location would be somewhere in the mid range of woodstock probably between 45th and 60th.

Joseph was excited by the neighborhood and has been talking with local families that share his enthusiasm.
I could not agree more. I grew up in the Woodstock neighborhood and its desperately in need of a brewpub. I used to frequent a so called brewpub (not really) named Mickey Finn’s which is a great place to dip your toes into craft beer. They have a large amount of draft lines but nothing too carefully chosen.
The super family friendly atmosphere and spotty food leave something to be desired for many but is probably the best offering for draft beers in the neighborhood.

Partner in the business Tim Czuk is a manager of the cancer floor at Providence hospital.
His experience comes in the form of growing his own hops, making his own Pinot Noir and helping out Joseph in all of his projects. You could tell these guys were life long buddies and family men.

They are currently looking at having a 7 barrel system and have already hired a chef they are developing a menu with. It sounds to be in line with the current trends in Portland of local fresh ingredients only with an emphasis on platters for bigger parties which is in line with Joseph’s philosophy of the brewpub as a communal social environment.

The pub will be relatively small at around a 100 capacity with a bar section and family friendly area. Hops most likely coming from Hop Union and 3-4 regular taps and a few more rotating beers that allow them to play with different styles such as a Kolsch.

The current planned beers are:

Imperial IPA
An assertive ale coming in around 8.25%ABV and 120IBU’s. A heavily hopped beer complimented by a balance of malty sweetness that coalesces to a dry finish
Copper Ale
A beer brewed from 6 distinct malts to create a deep copper colored ale that has a balance of fruit and citrusy hop flavors to blend into one small piece of Nirvana
TAT Brown
Named for the local Portland Band Tango Alpha Tango, this brown is as smooth as they come with just the right amount of hops to balance the malt while letting the nuttier flavors remain unhindered
Pale Ale 15
A very light beer brewed to drink ice cold and by the stein full! At only 3.2% ABV everyone will want a pitcher of this light and balanced beer

At this point everything these guys had talked about was very portland and much in the line of other Portland favorites like Laurelwood and HUB. Not that their is anything wrong with that.
But then we broke into some talk about what might make the place unique and stand out and I could tell that this place might be a bit different…

Joseph and Tim are big outdoors guys and this will be communicated through the design of the pub. They were very hush hush about this but what I devined is that they will be following an Outside In/inside out philosphy. Asked if that means they would have a patio they said definitely.

In addition they plan to experiment with gluten-free beers and possibly higher quality non-alcoholic beers. Joseph has even spent some time making brandy and cheese though it remains to be seen weather those skills will be seen at the brewpub.

I cant wait to hear more from these guys and we will be chatting more in the future when their is more concrete news to announce.
You can follow them for yourselves at their new website, twitter and facebook pages.


Samurai Artist
Samurai Artist

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:


  • Norman
    Tue Jan 5, 2010 7:43 PM

    Now we need a bakery in Woodstock and we’re set.

    • Angelo De Ieso II
      Angelo De Ieso II
      Tue Jan 5, 2010 9:15 PM

      Oncw these guys and Alchemy open, the street will have it going on…

      • Ken
        Wed Jan 6, 2010 6:25 PM

        Solid info, thanks for the notes, Ezra. But man, you need a copy editor! Lots of “their/they’re/there” errors, “its/it’s” confusion, etc. These sorts of errors that really detract from the impact of your writing.

        You’re getting good coverage from the major beer blogs in town, so clean up your writing and you’ll be golden!

        • Samurai Artist
          Samurai Artist
          Wed Jan 6, 2010 11:52 PM

          your tellin me man. It can only get better from here though.

          • Ken
            Sat Jan 9, 2010 5:42 PM

            Cheers, man, I love the stories and the scoop you’re getting!