For those who love traditional English-style cask ales and the old real ale way of production, Redmond, Oregon, has a soon-to-open brewery for you called Porter Brewing Co. Founded by the husband and wife team of Deven and Avara Roberts, Porter Brewing is a modestly-sized 3 barrel nano brewery operation that will have a taproom serving a variety of styles via hand pumps on traditional cask engines and a BBQ food cart parked outside.
Deven Roberts is a 34-year-old homebrewer with about a dozen years of homebrewing experience. He was inspired by Oakridge, Oregon’s cult favorite brewery, the very traditional, all-cask conditioned Brewers Union 180. Porter Brewing will be in a new 2,280 sf space at 611 NE Jackpine Court in the Jackpine Industrial Complex in Redmond, with a small 600ft. tasting room, not including an outdoor seating area. Bad Boys BBQ out of Bend will have their food truck parked outside Porter Brewing Co. where they are excited about less competition and to pay around with recipes for a continuously changing menu.
Porter Brewing Co. is not totally old school, though; owner Deven Roberts tells me he wants to play within the cask ale traditions on untraditional styles and ingredients. He says his repertoire of styles include “Beer ranging from traditional English, to English/American fusion, to…we may not have a name yet. No limit on what can be crafted.” The brewery’s website proclaims the pub will serve 100% cask-conditioned ales from imported firkins via hand pumped beer engines. The brewery is not yet open or in production, but the website hints at what the lineup will look like with a beer list of Blonde Ale, Best Bitter, IPA, Irish Red Ale, 1772 Porter, Oatmeal Chocolate Stout, ESB and Barleywine offered in half pint 10oz pours or traditional 20oz Imperial Pints.
Knowing how loosely some bar owners and brewers play with cask ales and how strict and traditional many of their fans are, I asked Deven about his beers serving conditions. “They will be blanketed with CO2” and have a breather valve Roberts says, admitting “It is not approved by CAMERA or some purists, even though it does not increase pressure in the cask or add carbonation to the beer. It is necessary to help keep the beer from oxidizing too quickly. Once casks are turning over quickly, the breathers will no longer need to be used.”
Roberts does plan to serve his beers at proper cellar temperatures between 50-55 degrees fahrenheit, saying “The bouquet of flavor is truly amazing when it is served at cellar temperature. Malt and hops balance, allowing all the different flavors in the beer to come out.”
Porter Brewing Co. is on track for a September 2018 opening at 611 NE Jackpine Court Redmond, OR.