Bend, Oregon’s Riverbend Brewing is the latest brewpub closure, following Portland Brewing, Alameda Brewing, and Lompoc Tavern as of late. Riverbend Brewing is NOT ceasing operations and will continue to brew and package its beers, but the on-site sports bar/brewpub and de facto taproom will close on Monday, November 19th, with reports that a weed shop/dispensary will rent the space. A facebook announcement broke the news about the closure yesterday, citing health reasons. We reached out to sales manager Chasen Schultz for more info.
“Our owner, Gary Sobala, finds that operating a brewpub is more than he wants to take on, as he is almost 70 years old,” said Schultz. The health issues stem from Sobala’s wife Linda, who has had some serious problems recently, including more than one back surgery.
Riverbend Brewing has become known for Milkshake IPAs and features a whole line of them with different fruits and spices. The brewers plan to continue making them and even add some new limited releases and new hot styles into 16oz cans.
“We are actively searching for another location with hopes to open a smaller tasting room/brewpub that the brew staff could manage themselves,” notes Schultz. The brewpub was a sports and poker bar called Rivals originally, before management removed the poker tables, added more TVs and food and a brewery to reopen as Riverbend Brewing. The space remained more of a sports bar with their own beers for the most part, so hopefully a new location will be a better showcase for Riverbend Brewing anyway.
Riverbend Brewing is distributed through Point Blank Distributing in the Portland area and is available throughout Oregon and Washington, with possibly expanded distribution in 2019.
Schultz adds, “While we are deeply saddened about the closure of our pub, we are excited for what the future holds for our brewery.”