Lebanon, Oregon has a new brewery called Barsideous. Oregon City High School music teacher turned brewery founder Bill Bartman has assembled an all-in-the-family team that includes his brother Joel Bartman, a software engineer at Hewlett Packard; their nephews, Aaron and Brian Franks of Franks Construction; and Joel’s son Jeremy Kramer, who is a web designer and graphic artist. Together they have restored a historic 100+ year old building previously known as the Lebanon Gem Theater into Barsideous Brewing, a small brewpub that joins Conversion Brewing, which opened in 2015 as the only other brewery in the town of sixteen thousand or so people.
Barsideous is the nickname that fellow school employees gave founder Bill Bartman who explains, “The moniker comes from Bart Simpson’s alter-ego Bartman, and Darth Sidious, Dark Lord of the Sith, in one of those endless Star Wars shoot-em-up space operas.”
Bartman is fulfilling the promise behind his homebrewing career that started in the 90s, when his family moved to the Oregon Coast to find there was not much for good beer. “My kids thought I should give homebrewing a try, and gave me a kit for my birthday. It seemed a bit intimidating, so I put it off until Father’s Day, when my son pulled out the gear and said, ‘OK dad, we’re going to spend the day together brewing.’ As in the oft-told tale, I’ve has been hooked ever since.”
Like music, homebrewing quickly became a passionate obsession for Bartman who went from kits to all-grain and development of his own recipes that lead to kegging and studying the art and science of beer while also fulfilling a do-it-yourself approach. When Bartman decided it was time to take his hobby pro he began scouting locations in Salem, but eventually decided on the space in Lebanon, home of the original Kuhn Theater built around 1910 that hosted vaudeville acts and silent films. It became the Gem Theater around 1936 and the Kuhn moved next door, where it is still open. Conversion Brewing, the other Lebanon brewery, is just two blocks away on Main Street, and the owners have been full of support for Barsideous.
Barsideous Brewing obtained a 2.5 bbl nano system by Psycho Brew from Mason Jar Brewing in Southern California after they scaled up to a 20bbl system in less than two years. I get the feeling that Bartman and crew are hoping to do the same. The passionate love of creativity and the schoolteacher in Barman comes out when asked what inspires him.
“As a brewer, I likes to take an intuitive approach, bringing a holistic sense of how the individual parts will add up and interact to form a beautiful and balanced beer. I like to brew beers for the enjoyment of drinking; that push the boundaries of flavor, ingredients and alcohol! Beers that are brewed with attitude and the poetry of the moment. Brewing is not engineering, in the sense that there are no equations for flavor. You have to grope your way through every brew with rhythm, harmony and contrast, and then get the parts to transcend their individuality and add up to something sublime. We brew for the love of trying creative things… with seriousness, but never forgetting FUN! We pour our heart and head into our brewing so that something wonderful will always appear in the glass.”
Barsideous Brewing’s beers range between Scotch ales, Belgian and double IPAs to stouts and imperial stouts, blonde ales and pale ales. Barsideous is a full service pub and restaurant, with a menu that also includes wine, hard cider, and other guest taps and a full food menu. Days and hours: Thursday-Monday, 3-9; Friday/Saturday 3-10. Closed for brewing Tuesday/Wednesday. Barsideous Brewing, 644 S Main St. Lebanon, Oregon 97355.
Follow Barsideous Brewing on Facebook for news on their Grand Opening which is expected to be announced soon after Thanksgiving weekend.