Industry News

Hi-Wheel Wine & Mead Tasting Room Preview

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Hi-Wheel Wine & Mead owner Ken Bonin Jr.

This Thursday, October 2, Hi-Wheel Wine & Mead is having a soft opening for its Tasting Room, a welcome addition to the Woodlawn neighborhood, which shares a building with Tamale Boy on NE Dekum. Oddly, Hi-Wheel—at least to begin with—does not produce any wine or mead. Say what? The product is nicknamed “Fizzy Wines” by owner Ken Bonin Jr.

Hi-Wheel launched a few months back at Bushwhacker Cidery and The Beermongers with just a handful of 1/6 barrels and hand bottled 500ml bottles that have been mostly snapped up. Though the company will release meads in the future, the main lineup focuses on fermented and carbonated citrus fruit juices. A few kegs of the Habanero Lime flavor have been seen around town and made me take notice of the delicious and refreshing new product.

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We hope to present a more in-depth preview of the final Hi-Wheel tasting room and production space in the next few weeks, but here is what we found on a recent visit to the space while it was still under construction.

  • Currently Ken Bonin Jr. is brewing on a nano scale in 50 gallon increments at his house. He hopes to soon expand and move to the new production space/tasting room.
  • The Tasting Room will have 10 taps with 4-6 of them dedicated to the house brands of fizzy wine and mead, along with 2 guest cider taps and a few local beers as well.
  • The primary lineup of Hi-Wheel flavors are Ruby Grapefruit, Ginger Lemon, Lavender Lemon and Lime Habanero. There is a special peach version of the Lemon for the upcoming Peche Fest on October 11th!

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Tasting Room opens at 5pm today.

Hi-Wheel Wine & Mead
6719 NE 18th Ave
Portland, Ore. 97211

The Tasting Room will be open Noon to 9ish Thursday through Sunday. Food is available from Tamale Boy and they have a big patio.

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: SamuraiArtist@NewSchoolBeer.com

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