The new Portland-area Super Brewing Co. is a not-so supersized new operation with an outsized presence. Founded by Brad Wignall, you may have seen the mysterious Super Brewing company van around town and their first few beers on tap at places like Imperial Bottle Shop & Taproom and Baerlic Brewing’s new Barley Pod location.
Wignall brewed for a time at Baerlic Brewing so their tapping of Super Brewing Co. is not so surprising. Wignall has a design and advertising background so when you check out their website and look, you might imagine it’s bigger than a 1.5bbl barrel nano brewery in a 1,500 sq. ft. space in Wood Village near McMenamins Edgefield. With that tiny brewhouse, Wignall is blending his brews into 5-BBL Uni-tanks, he has four total that brings him to a capacity of 20-bbls of production. Like most nano brewers, Wignall has much larger aspirations for Super Brewing Co. including plans to move into a location in Portland with a full taproom. But, what’s really unusual for a nano brewer like Super Brewing Co. is their focus on craft lagers. A style that’s gaining in popularity but is more difficult and time draining to produce, especially on slim nano brewer margins.
Oregon’s secret weapon is craft lagers though, even that won’t be enough to get Super Brewing Co. to stand out, so Wignall is turning to his other skills and interests. Super Brewing hopes to partner with other creatives and small lifestyle brands on co-branded products, where small batch brewing may actually be helpful.
“Yes, there are a lot of breweries out there and “succeeding” is a relative term in regards to what success looks like,” says Wignall. “I am looking to create a small sustainable product and brand that is not ALL about beer but the connections created between people, what they do (art, music, sport, etc.), and their celebrations (beer).”
Art, music, sports are major interests and Wignall is himself an avid cyclist. He hopes to attach Super Brewing to design series, pop-up art installagtions, small concerts and cycling events and lifestyle apparel and outdoor equipment. Going even further, Wignall hopes to develop a bi-yearly publication (both printed and online) of the brewing “tribe” of like minded people and products.
Wignall’s design work is similar to his brewing philosophy, proclaiming on the website “we believe in the simple and straightforward. This sort of mantra is our take-off point to craft a connection between our beer and our tribe. A connection between basic ingredients and no-frills brewing.” His flagship Pilsner is already set for cans as the brewery ramps up their production. Its a no frills 4.7% ABV classic German-style Pils with a hoppy 43 IBU’s. It’s the only one of Super Brewing’s beers available right now in the market, for the time being packaged only in 1/6bbls with a Helles lager and more Pils in the tanks.
Wignall studied brewing at the Siebel Institute in Chicago in 2016 and counts breweries like Austin Beer Works, pFriem and Heater Allen among his influences. Wignall more recently completed a 1+ year internship at Baerlic Brewing, so he has done his homework and that’s why you may see some of his beers on at Baerlic’s Barley Pod from time to time.
For now, you can find Super Brewing’s American Pilsner on draft at Spirit of 77, Fillmore Trattoria, Horse Brass Pub, The Quality Bar and soon Loyal Legion, Imperial Bottle Shop & Taproom at Baerlic’s Barley Pod. You will also get a great introduction to Wignall and Super Brewing at the Nano Beer Fest in the Spring and The New School’s New Oregon Breweries Showcase at Bailey’s Taproom during Portland Beer Week.
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