Drinking Horse Brewing to Open in Clackamas, Oregon

Drinking Horse Brewing Company

It’s increasingly rare for a new production brewery to open without big money/names and no restaurant or tasting room, but that’s what the upcoming Drinking Horse Brewing will do in Clackamas, a Portland suburb. Three founders and longtime friends Emerson Lenon, his wife Jammie Taylor, and Timothy Schaaf have founded Drinking Horse as a 7bbl brewery with equipment from Global Stainless, beginning as a draft-only operation on Highway 212 to Estacada.

The trio of founders has scored a pretty ripe for brewing warehouse space at 11517 SE Highway 212, Clackamas, OR 97015 with 5,700 sq. ft. to play in, with a loading dock and trench drains already in place. Very little building improvement will need to be done before the planned April-ish opening. Co-owners and couple Emerson Lenon will operate as General Manager and Jammie Taylor will serve as head of marketing. The trio has spent time traveling the country and the world, from Montana to Vermont and even to New Zealand. Tim Schaaf and Emerson met when they both attended Lewis & Clark College and began homebrewing in 2009. Add two more names to the growing roster of Portland based pro brewers who have graduated from Lewis & Clark, from Irena Bierzynski (previously at Lompoc and now at Victory Brewing) to Sam Barber of Breakside and Mayme Berman of 10 Barrel.

I like the name Drinking Horse Brewing, as it reminds of an old timey saloon or perhaps the other historic horse-based drinking establishments, from Big Horse Brewing in Hood River to Dark Horse Brewing in Michigan and, of course, Portland’s legendary Horse Brass Pub. The logo type has a much more modern letterpress feel to it, though, and I am awaiting a look at the not-yet-finished original graphic art that will accompany it.

Interestingly, Drinking Horse Brewing starts off with just two 15bbl fermenters and one brite tank, along with 100 new keg shells. That means the brewery will take up a pretty small portion of its 5,700 sq. ft. space with plenty of room to grow, but it will only able to release one beer at a given time initially. No plans for a tasting room exist either, though the brewery is luckily right next to the popular Wichita Pub which will certainly have some of its beers on tap. The Drinking Horse styles will start with an IPA (naturally), a Kolsch, a Saison, and eventually Dunkelweizen and India Session Ale are on the table.

The Drinking Horse location on Highway 212 will be in a spot pretty bereft of breweries and it’s just over the hill to Happy Valley, which has some growler fill stations but no breweries that I know of. It’s also on the way to Mt. Hood, if you’re heading on a ski or snowboard trip. Follow Drinking Horse’s progress on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/drinkinghorsebeer or at http://www.drinkinghorsebeer.com/

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: SamuraiArtist@NewSchoolBeer.com