A First Look at Beachcrest Brewing

Nestled in the Salishan resort near Gleneden Beach, 20 minutes north of Newport, with a view over Hole 10 to the Siletz Bay, Beachcrest Brewing held its grand opening this New Year’s Eve. The 3.5-barrel brewery and taproom is the brainchild of former music teachers Amy and Matt White and is poised to serve the local community and passers-through with good beer.

Matt and Amy moved out from Denver, Colorado, where they moonlighted at breweries and homebrewed in addition to performing and teaching music. They took on two other partners to help start the business who still live in Colorado and help run the financial end of the operation.

“My first ‘internship’ of sorts was an informal stint at a nano brewery we really loved called De Steeg brewing,” says Matt, “The owner and brewers have since changed, but they were my first in the door and really helped me understand the do-it-yourself attitude of brewers and were really inspiring in how they brewed out-of-the-box styles.” He also credits Colorado Boy Brewing north of Telluride, Cerebral Brewing in Denver, Kobold Brewing in Bend, and the homebrewing community for mentorship and consultation.

The Salishan area seemed to them to be the perfect spot to open a brewery. It wasn’t until construction was underway that they discovered a law that would have prevented them from operating. “We were calling the county inspector with some permit related questions,” says Matt, “and they informed us about the line in the code forbidding fermentation in commercially zoned areas of the county. That was back in early June.” Local officials did their research and found that, indeed, the law was quite antiquated; the law was amended on October 31. Relieved, the Whites were able to open without more ado.

The setback also proved to be an opportunity to engage with local legislators. Matt explains, “Despite the rather lengthy turnaround time, we had nothing but positive and encouraging experiences with the planning commission (Onno Husing and Hui Rodomski in particular) and with the County Commissioners. It was really just a matter of jumping through the hoops.”

Beachcrest’s taproom is simple; the entrance, tucked among the resort buildings on the west side of Highway 101, is modestly adorned with a sign. There is a large sign on the highway to let you know you’re there, and ample parking whether you’re there for a spa day or a beer day. Amy, who runs the taproom and PR, said they were going for a vibe where people could come in and work on their laptops or socialize without feeling an obligation to buy food, as in some brewpubs.

Indeed, the spacious room has many tables, and a wide enough bar to work without interfering with the bartender or your neighbor. My visit on a chilly early February day saw a handful of locals coming in for some samples and pints, chatting amiably with Amy at the bar.

The taplist has decent span, with *only* two IPAs, a hazy and a brut; Matt said he loves West Coast-style IPA, but felt that nearby breweries had those down pat and wanted to keep the variety up.

“Local brewers are hugely supportive, there’s a lot of camaraderie in this industry, which is something I love about it. So far we’ve had people from Pelican, Rogue, Rusty Truck, Deschutes, Depoe Bay and the upcoming Newport Brewing in and everyone’s been awesome…we’re all interested in making the Central coast more of a destination for beer seekers.”

There were also two Belgian-style beers on tap, with some more on the way. A traditional Dubbel gave off ripe pear esters with a little clove, and a clean, Munich-like toasted malt flavor. The other Belgian on tap was a honey saison, which clearly used plenty of honey but was neither sweet nor overly earthy. A cherry-infused version of the Dubbel was getting a test pour when I visited, and a Tripel is on the way.

There were a few other standards―a pale ale (with a distinct strawberry aroma), amber, stout, and a lone gose―and a molé-spiced strong stout that was pleasantly dry with cinnamon and cocoa in relative harmony with the roastiness, and just a hint of chili flavor.

Wine, cider, a couple guest taps, kombucha, and Italian soda are also available, as well as a small selection of snacks.

Due to the weather, nobody was on the patio that day except for a local “taking in the view” with some of Oregon’s finest greenery. When it’s warm and sunny, though, the patio will be where it’s at. It sits right over a nice creek that runs into the Siletz Bay about a quarter mile off, visible through some trees. The golf course provides pleasant greenery to look at; maybe the brewery will be a pitstop for those headed into the bottom 9. At the very least it’s a great spot to heckle.

As one friendly patron put it: living on the coast simplifies everything. That vibe definitely carries into the space, which still has a brand-new feel. Beachcrest hosts musicians regularly, with some jazz in the lineup. As a small brewery, the Whites plan to serve their locals and visitors, with very little outside distribution. It is well worth a visit, whichever way you’re going.

Beachcrest Brewing
7755 N Highway 101
Gleneden Beach, Oregon 97388

Aaron Brussat
Aaron Brussat

Aaron Brussat is a complex living organism with an interest in all things fermented. He started writing about and working in the beer industry in 2010. His experience stems primarily from spending six years at The Bier Stein as a beer steward, homebrewing since 2005, and passing the BJCP and Certified Cicerone exams. Highlights along the way include numerous collaborations with local brewers, curating beer dinners at The Bier Stein, and traveling to Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Peru, and New Zealand (as well as many parts of the U.S.) for a chance to drink beer at the source.

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