Brian Koch is the owner of North Portland’s Lombard House pub, and like many others he is grappling with a pandemic, a pivot to delivery, and worldwide protests of an unjust system that have implications far more important than beer and bars.
Oregon City has another brewery: Hillock Brewing Company. For now, the nanobrewery, founded by Damon Holt and Nik Robinson, will be brewing beers at the Hive Taphouse (also the home of Shattered Oak Brewing). “That’s the main base and they’ll always have at least three of our beers on tap,” says Robinson. He says they’ve already branched out in Oregon City, including a sour on tap at Arch Bridge Taphouse. They’re currently self distributing and are looking for more places to carry their beers in Oregon City and beyond.
Ironically, they got their start at Arch Bridge Taphouse, having met at its homebrewer’s club, then started brewing beers together, then decided to do it professionally.
Originally, the partners were exploring options and were going to try and open their own place right off the bat. But the opportunity to contract brew at Shattered Oak Brewing came up and it “just worked out perfect for where we were at the planning stage, and so we jumped on it,” says Robinson.
The brewery, they say, is named after a road out by Colton and Estacada. “It goes up into the mountains, and that’s where I’ve spent pretty much all my life doing outdoor recreation kind of things,” says Holt. Robinson’s parents grew up in Colton, too, so the name really resonates with the brewers.
They just got rolling in late December, after the paperwork was approved, with a selection of beers that run the gamut from Blue Current, a fruited sour (first place at the Oregon State Fair); hazy and session IPAs, (“Shattered Oak focuses more on German style beers, so they fill out the tap list,” says Robinson); and a Vienna lager on the way.
Once they do eventually open their brewery, they’d like to tackle barrel-aged beers and will be on the hunt for a spot that’s big enough to do a barrel project right from the get go. “Opening like this, and starting small, and just kind of getting a customer base will help us find the right spot at the right time,” says Holt.
Hillock Brewing Company is located at Shattered Oak Brewing, 13851 Beavercreek Rd, Oregon City. You can also find them on Facebook. They’ll be at the Tualatin Winter Brew Fest, Saturday 1/25 serving their Blue Currant (fruited sour) and Blurred Theory (hazy IPA) beers.
John Chilson writes about Portland history and architecture at Lost Oregon. He's also written for Neighborhood Notes, Travel Oregon, Portland Architecture, Askmen.org, San Diego Reader, and Portland Food and Drink. Follow him on twitter at @LostOregon for local history nerdism; for beer tweets he's at @Hopfrenzy. Shoot him an email at email@example.com if you want to get in touch.