The small town of Sandy, Oregon, just got a lot more Boring. After operating out of its tiny namesake town–known to many as a nice place to hydrate after a bike ride on the Springwater Corridor – since 2012, Boring Brewing Co. made the move down the road to Sandy this past October. The main reason for this, according to brewmaster and owner Bill Schwartz, was due to the lease being up at the old location and finding something more suitable in Sandy. Bill started brewing over thirty years ago and in 2016 decided to take his hobby commercial. While he was in the process of figuring out just that, fate and fandom pushed him to purchase Boring Brewing from original owner John Griffith, who had moved the brewery from its original location to the Boring Winery in May of 2017.
“John decided he was interested in selling, so we could’ve started from scratch or I could buy a perfectly good brewery where I loved their beers and had a great reputation and was already in Boring,” says Bill, who took the reins from John soon after it moved to the winery in July 17.
His business partner Kurt owned the winery and after buying him out in October 2018, Bill found the new home in Sandy.
“We had to move and there wasn’t anything in Boring available, so we looked from Gresham to Sandy and really decided that our community we created since 2017, and that John [Griffin] had created since 2012, were more in the Sandy area,” says Bill. “So we came up and found this building that had been sitting empty for two and a half years. It was a pub before, so the bones were kind of in there. It was the right place at the right time.”
One of the most unique aspects of Boring is how it truly is a family operation, starting with Bill and his wife Kelly. They can often be found tending bar together in the taproom. But it goes deeper than that; Bill’s son Tom creates many of the recipes, having caught the brewing bug at a young age helping his dad brew in the backyard. He also works in HVAC and refrigeration, which obviously comes in handy. His oldest daughter is a factory planner at Danner Boots, and his youngest is the director of SEO and web development for City Ranked Media, so they both have skills that fit perfectly with managing and marketing a brewery. Boring is a family operation through and through, and one that Bill is passionate about.
“My happy place is behind the bar talking to customers, but I really enjoy brewing, I always have. [My son and I] went from the five gallon batches at home to the thirty gallon batches you see here. It became a sickness.”
All of the family connections translate to the welcoming vibe in the taproom. Despite being in what appears to be a converted garage, Boring’s Sandy taproom is welcoming, with spacious booths lining the perimeter and plenty of seating elsewhere. On this writer’s visit there was a large birthday party taking place and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. They don’t serve food but they welcome you to bring in outside food.
When it comes to the beer, Boring plays it pretty straightforward with the occasional twist thrown in for more adventurous drinkers. Bill personally loves the brown ale, which is the beer that originally had him smitten with the brewery. The flagship is the Big Yawn IPA, but on a recent visit it was replaced by a guest tap of Bent Shovel’s Skidsteer IPA. The cream ale also stood out for its spot on, wonderfully smooth body, while the Hot Scotch was sweeter and boozy with a touch of heat that comes from the addition of Scotch Bonnet pepper, making it an ideal winter beer. For seasonals, they will brew Belgian and German styles, as evidenced by the Dark Saison and the Rauchbier currently on tap. They are also going to start brewing more sours and plan to add more barrel-aging and even open fermentation as they settle in to the new space.
Boring Brewing may have moved, but the new location is well worth a visit. Bill insists that he has no intention of changing the name, and part of the appeal is the easygoing, no frills atmosphere. As most people in the Portland area can attest, the location is actually much more convenient than the old one, especially for those heading to or from Mt. Hood or traveling through to Bend. Beyond that, it is a little more than 20 minutes from Portland, so maybe you should just make it a destination next time you have a free afternoon.
Boring Brewing Co. is located 38250 Pioneer Blvd, Sandy, OR 97055