Our Top 10 Stories of 2017

Each year we countdown or top ten most popular stories of the year by pageviews, humorously a number of our year-end posts from this time last year make the top ten at the same time we are writing the new annual updates on them coming out this week and next. Also interesting is how many stories from previous years are still very popular and amongst the top ten but are left off of this list since they were published as far back as 2014 when our Kettle Souring intro and how-to still consistently ranks highly as our most popular story of all time.

rendering of the upcoming Bodega Beer


#10 Ten Best New Oregon Taphouses & Beer Bars

Our now annual-ish look at the best and brightest new non-brewery affiliated beer bars and taprooms from across the great state of Oregon has proved very popular. An article that takes months of research in finding interesting and worthy new beer bars not just in the big metro areas but everywhere around the state. The story shines a light on many of what could be the next beer institutions and new must-stops for locals and those traveling through the state and looking for a place to have a great beer. Published 9/22/2017, read the full story here.

#9 First Look: Breakside Brewery NW Slabtown

The New School featured the first look inside Breakside Brewery’s highly anticipated 3rd location, a new restaurant, pub and 10bbl hop focused brewery in northwest Portland’s slabtown neighborhood. The sharp new two floor space was an immediate hit and is full most days of the week with tourists and locals looking for the latest and greatest. It’s a worthwhile destination even if you live near another Breakside location because Slabtown has many of their own exclusive in-house beers and a different food menu. Original story published 3/6/2017, read it here.

Amnesia Brewing photo from camaspostrecord.com

#8 Amnesia Brewing Officially Closing Down

The long anticipated news that Amnesia Brewing would close in Washougal finally came this Fall when they unceremoniously announced the news via their facebook page. The New School had first reported they were looking to sell all the way back in winter of 2016, even though staff and owners at Amnesia denied the report. As first reported 11/9/2017, read the full story here.

#7 Great Notion Brewing’s New Brewery & Restaurant Coming to NW Portland

We broke the news that Great Notion Brewing – the hottest new brewery opening of the last few years, would open a second location with a larger brewery and pub in northwest Portland. The expansion which will include more brewing capacity, barrel storage and a canning line as well as a full restaurant is still in the works, not surprisingly delayed until Spring-Summer 2018. Construction is well underway at the new Great Notion and anticipation is high, look for an update on their progress next week in our annual list of the most anticipated new breweries of the year. As first reported 1/18/2017, full story here.

Metalcraft Fabrication’s Charlie Frye

#6 Portland’s Metalcraft Fabrication Closed: What Happened?

Perhaps the saddest and most controversial story of the year was that success story turned epic failure Metalcraft Fabrication was suddenly closing leaving employees and brewers who had ordered brewhouses and tanks from them high and dry. First reported 3/22/217, full story available here.

#5 2017 Best of Craft Beer Awards Winners Announced

The annual winners of the Best of Craft Beer Awards held each year in Bend, Oregon were published here. Last year I was also lucky enough to be a judge at this competition so I had some extra insight and photos to go along with the breakdown of the winners. This is still the largest professional beer competition in Oregon and getting more competitive each year. Read the story here, that was originally published on 2/1/2017.

#4 The Commons Brewery Shutters to Make Room for Modern Times Beer

Along with the other news of Metalcraft Fabrication closing, this was probably the biggest and most disappointing news of 2017. It was a shock to most to hear that one of Portland’s most beloved and award-winning breweries was closing and leasing their building to incoming Modern Times Beer of San Diego. Read the full story both from Commons founder Mike Wright and Modern Times owner Jacob McKean about the transition. Story originally reported 9/1/2017.

Hazy New England-style IPA from Reuben’s Brews Crush series

#3 Haze Craze: Pacific Northwest Breweries Take on the New England-style IPA

As the New England-style hazy IPA trend began to blow up in the Pacific Northwest we covered the trend and some new takes on the style. Up until this point mostly Great Notion Brewing was the only Oregon brewery producing them but others were beginning to dip their toes into the sub-style. We took a look at some of the early breweries and beers to be made locally in the NE-style IPA from Widmer, Claim 52, Ruse, 10 Barrel, Reuben’s Brews and the latest from Great Notion Brewing. Read the original story published 1/27/2017 here.

rendering of the upcoming Bodega Beer

#2 The 15 Most Anticipated New Oregon Breweries of 2017

One of our most popular annual stories over the last few years is unsurprisingly well within our wheel house of covering the latest in new breweries, this time with a rundown of the most anticipated ones of the coming year. Each year we profile ten or more of our most anticipated new Oregon breweries and they always include high profile and hyped ones to others that no one has heard anything about, maybe even some that were never even written about before. Also interesting is the ones that didnt make it to opening even in the coming year, in fact five of them on this years list are still not open and another is just soft opened without their own beer yet. Look forward to our Most Anticipated of 2018 list coming out next week. Read the original 2017 article published 1/10/2017 right here.

abandoned brewery, photo by ani-falcon

#1 RIP SIX Oregon/Washington Breweries that Closed in 2016 and 6 More For Sale

In our most popular article of 2017 we discussed the state of the industry and how many and what breweries had closed in the last year and why. Not only did we discuss the sad reality of a more competitive market and those who closed for business or family reasons but we also named six breweries that were up for sale. A few of those named are still open such as Bunsenbrewer in Sandy but others eventually closed when they could not sell like Amnesia Brewing while others transitioned to new owners like BTU Brasserie. I think this story shined a light on just how cuthroat it’s getting out there, to see all the breweries struggling or closed listed in one place and 2017 was not much better. Read the full story from 1/5/17 here.

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