Oregon’s hottest new brewery of 2016, Great Notion Brewing, is opening a second location with a restaurant and production brewery on Northwest 28th Ave by summer 2017. Known for hazy New England-style IPAs, Great Notion has a new, 20,000 sq. ft. facility with just shy of 2,000 of that space going taken up by a new taproom and restaurant. The new brewery will be a 30 bbl 2-vessel brewhouse built by Pinnacle Stainless with a new 5-head canning line.
Great Notion Brewing is coming off a red hot 2016, in which the brewery took a failing NE brewpub called The Mash Tun and make it one of the top beer tourist destinations in town and also managed to capture a silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival and obtain national trade-worthy status thanks to plugs in publications like Beer Advocate and Draft Magazine. 2017 is also starting with a bang for Great Notion. The brewery has been selected to attend the Rate Beer Invitational in Santa Rosa and is collaborating along with Reuben’s Brews on Fort George’s annual 3-Way IPA release.
It would be hard not to intertwine Great Notion’s success with the rise of juicy hazy-cloudy New England-style IPAs, but the brewery has also proven with its GABF medal to be accomplished with wild American sours and fruit-focused and conceptual dessert beers, all of which are styles the beer geeks are currently clamoring for. This made Great Notion a shoe-in for our Most Anticipated Openings of 2017, and a multi-award winner on The New School’s Best of the Year 2016.
It’s a safe bet with a new 30bbl production facility, restaurant, and canning line that the public will still be lining up for Great Notion’s beers. While the 30 barrel brewhouse is more than five times larger than the current 7bbl brewhouse, the brewery is being careful on tank size, opting with just 6 30bbl fermenters rather than double batch size. After all, the main drawback of the milky, aroma- and hop flavor-forward beers is that they degrade even quicker than most beers, so it’s all about freshness. A five head Cask canning line will allow the brew team to put out more beers into better quality 16oz cans and 4-packs, but ideally still won’t distribute those beers if they do not have to.
Co-founder Paul Reiter says, “We’ve been overwhelmed by the demand for our Crowlers at Great Notion, so with the addition of a canning line, we’re excited for the opportunity to sell more beer directly to customers in a high-quality packaged product.”
Great Notion does an astounding 20-25% of its total operational sales from 32oz crowler sales. A lot of these are going to beer traders shipping the beers across the world, helping to build the buzz. New 16oz cans will be more manageable and with better shelf-life, less oxygen, etc.
Co-brewer James Dugan adds, “This expansion will also provide us the opportunity to significantly build upon our existing barrel program. We plan to greatly expand our sour beer production and create a clean room for bourbon barrel aged beers like Double Stack.”
Some of those additions to the barrel program include acquiring some 5-year old Heaven Hills Bourbon barrels, a partnership with Bull Run Distilling for various barrels, new tequila barrels for an upcoming Key Lime beer, and perhaps even some from Pappy Van Winkle.
Hops are still at the forefront of what Great Notion Brewing does best, and the brewery is not sitting on its laurels when it comes to hop varieties. Preferring to press finished beer with a sample of new test varietals rather than the rub and sniff technique has done the brew team of Andy Miller and James Dugan well. Some of the hops they are currently excited about come from abroad, like African Queen and Southern Passion. The Jester hop is a favorite, like a Euro-version of Mosaic. Rakau, Motueka, and Vic’s Secret are all in-play.
Not forgetting its brewpub roots, Great Notion Brewing’s new taproom and restaurant will be headed up by current chef and new Director of Restaurant Operations, Ryan O’Connor. Located only a handful of blocks from Portland Brewing, this new location will put Great Notion directly in competition for the industrial district lunch crowd. Outdoor covered patio seating will help grow the customer base.
Phase 1 of the build-out and opening of the new NW facility begins with the brewhouse, with tanks coming in the spring, beer hopefully being produced by early summer, and the taproom/restaurant open by late fall. Umpqua Bank is slated to finance a new SBA loan for tenant improvements and purchase of the 30 barrel brewhouse from Pinnacle. Cushman and Wakefield and Apex facilitated the lease. Great Notion expects to create about 15-20 new jobs in the Portland area once the facility is fully up and running late 2017.
Great Notion Brewing’s 2nd location will be located at 2448 NW 28th Ave. Portland, OR 97210