This year is already looking up, because we have a dozen new Oregon breweries to look forward to in 2020. While we may not be at the highs of the earlier half of the last decade, there is still a lot to be excited about this year. As we do each year, we are pulling back the curtain on our most anticipated new Oregon Breweries scheduled for 2020.
The long gestating project of NW Growlers beer bar owner Johnny Morgan is finally getting off the ground in 2020. Trouvaille Brewing made our most anticipated list for 2018, but, like many breweries, it was held up in permitting.
Trouvaille Brewing is set to finally break ground this January in Sherwood, Oregon, where it will become the second brewery in-town after Smockville Brewhouse. The Trouvaille project will be built from the ground up on a completely undeveloped piece of land. The brewpub will have seating for around 100 inside and another 100 outside.
“It’s going to be one huge open space with more windows than walls that the will create a comfortable inviting atmosphere that everyone will enjoy,” says Morgan.
Trouvaille will focus on IPAs alongside a long list of other classic Northwest styles brewed on a 5-barrel brewhouse from Stout Tanks, with six 5-barrel unitanks. Homebrewer-turned-pro Nate Murray loves experimentation and will add sour beers down the line.
There will be a full kitchen at Trouvaille with dishes influenced by northwest chefs and favorite dishes from Morgan’s travels.
“One of our burgers will be the Nacho Cheese dorito chiliquiles burger…yum! At this point I’m not sure if I’m more excited for the food or the beer, both are going to be an experience that you’re sure to love,” says Morgan as he gets excited about his vision. Trouvaille Brewing plans to open in Summer 2020. 20941 SW Olds Place Sherwood, OR 97140https://trouvaillebrewing.com/
Mecca Grade Estate Malt
Oregon’s beloved micro maltster Mecca Grade is getting into the brewing game, albeit on a very small scale. Owner/maltster Seth Klann has been basically homebrewing batches of beer with his malts for years, but is now going commercial.
Micro malted grain is considered to be the next big thing in craft beer according to many experts, and Mecca Grade is on the ground floor. Similar to a vineyard, Mecca Grade gets its barley within a 2-mile radius of the malthouse on its own property in Madras, Oregon.
“Since opening the malthouse, we’ve been running a small tasting room that serves beer made with our malt,” says Seth Klann. “We’ve been serving complimentary beer as part of the tours we do throughout the week, however, I’ve always wanted the ability to sell the beer I produce (including all the collaboration beers we do) both inside the malthouse and to pubs, tasting rooms, and events outside our location.”
That means a focus on beers that showcase Klann’s malts like gruits or other low hop beers. The extra ingredients can be harvested just as locally as Mecca Grade’s grains – from the 1,000 or so acres on their estate as well as the surrounding high desert.
“I prefer to use yarrow for bittering and aroma, and use little to no hops. Our lineup will consist of seasonal gruits, sahti, big barleywines, Oregon lagers, and other frontier beer,” says Klann.
Klann has already submitted his paperwork for the current half-barrel system he brews on but says he has room to scale up to a 7bbl brewery. If everything goes according to plan, Mecca Grade’s Tasting Room will open in April of 2019. 9619 Northwest Columbia Drive, Madras, OR 97741 https://www.meccagrade.com/
Hammer & Stitch
One of the most anticipated openings of 2020 is a holdover from 2019 when we had originally anticipated Hammer & Stitch to open in NW Portland. Ben Dobler, veteran R & D brewer at Widmer Brothers Brewing will be taking the helm. Hammer & Stitch will be a brewpub that concentrates on proven styles, sessionable beers, family friendly atmosphere, and canned offerings.
For his part, Ben Dobler has been brushing up on styles and trends, what makes for classically delicious ales and lagers as well as culturally relevant ones. Dobler is a fan of sessionable beers, innovation and classics with an increasing interest in the DNA of beer. While much of the talk around beer is split between hops and malt, yeast is an underrated factor in beers flavor profile. The majority of craft beer is made with just a handful of different yeast strains dominated by 1056/Chico ale yeast and English-strains that are popular with both British Ales and hazy IPAs. It provides an opportunity to differentiate Hammer & Stitch beers with a wide variety of yeast strains.
Hammer & Stitch is now under construction after over a year in waiting for city permits. The build-out will feature an open brewery floor plan, clearly visible and open behind the bar. The interior will have seats for around 50, with another 50 on an elevated, covered and heated front deck. The kitchen at Hammer & Stitch will be run by the same pros responsible for Stormbreaker Brewing’s food service, Grand Cru Hospitality. An early look at the menu features a chop salad, baked pretzels, a burger, smoked tuna melt and the signature dish is JoJos with a Queso Chili Cheese. Vegan and vegetarian options will be present.
Hammer & Stitch is targeting a June 2020 opening with lunch service at 11am and open until 9 or 10pm on weekdays and 11pm on weekends. 2377 NW Wilson St, Portland, Oregon 97210 https://www.hsbrew.co/
Kings & Daughters
Kyle Larsen was at Double Mountain Brewing in the early days. He worked his way up to head of production before going off to brew in the UK for three years at Siren Craft Brew. Now he’s back, and he’s launching his own brewing project with his wife Kacie McMackin called Kings & Daughters.
The couple spent months traveling from Slovenia to Sweden, and experienced much of what Europe and the Pacific Northwest has to offer; it will educate their brand. In that time, initial recipes were developed from collaborations with Siren, Hawkshead and Track Brewing.
Kings & Daughters plans to launch its beers through an alternating proprietorship with an Oregon brewery. Larsen and McMackin are scouting locations to open their own dedicated facility in Oregon in the future. But for now, Kings & Daughters will begin production on low alcohol modern pale ales and IPAs with flavor-intense barrel-aged beers going into oak for later down the line. The delicate, light and tasteful palate of Kings & Daughters branding is inspired by the couple’s daughters, with a design by McMackin who is the company’s creative director. Kings & Daughters beer will grace taphouses soon with blush-colored peonies on its tap handles, and elegant white cans of beer for off-site consumption. https://www.kingsanddaughters.com/
Gorges Beer Co.
It’s going to be a gorgeous property in Cascade Locks when it finally opens, but for now we can look forward to the Portland side of Gorges Beer Co. to open in early 2020. Taking over the former home of recently defunct Coalition Brewing, the Gorges Beer Co. team will start off with a varied lineup of classic and new school styles. The man behind the kettle is Bryan Keilty, longtime head brewer at Lompoc Brewing Company, which also closed in 2019. Keilty has already gotten started brewing collaborations with local brewers at Upright Brewing and Lucky Lab, and will showcase them at a Bailey’s Taproom event on January 8th. More collabs are in the works with Ecliptic, Breakside and Von Ebert.
Gorges Beer will produce classic styles like IPA, Bitter, Lager and Porter at its Portland location, with an eye towards doing more barrel-aging, food and wine-inspired beers, and fresh fruited wild ales when the Cascade Locks project is complete. Gorges Beer hopes to open its 1.8-acre dog park, event/wedding venue, amphitheater and hotel in the gorge in 2021. Read the full story behind Gorges Beer from our story that broke the news last October. Look for the Gorges Beer Portland taproom to open in early February at 2705 SE Ankeny St, Portland, OR 97214.
Gratitude Brewing slipped in before the end of 2019, but we’re giving Eugene’s newest brewery a pass. The New School first reported on it here. Founders Tristan Cooley and brewer Josh Cosci have made significant changes to the brewhouse and restaurant, adding amenities to each for efficiency and taste. The beer, right out of the gate, is good enough to go back for more, and ranges from dank and tropical IPA to chocolate porter to fruited kettle sour.
Rather than pub grub, the restaurant is headed up by California and Portland kitchen veteran Raymond Garcia. His menu of Spanish-Asian-Northwestern influence spans the flavor wheel without being too heavy, and is certainly not cliché. There is no deep fryer in the kitchen, so papas bravas it is! 540 E 8th AveEugene, Oregon https://www.facebook.com/gratitudebeer/
Brewery 26 Ankeny
To qualify as a most anticipated new brewery of 2020 you have to actually have a new brewery or be a new operation. Andrew Shaw’s Brewery 26 has been in production since 2017 from his garage nano brewhouse but in 2020 he scales up. Brewery 26 is moving from Shaw’s garage to a commercial building at 818 SE Ankeny where they will install a 7bbl brewhouse and have a taproom and food trucks on-site.
Brewery 26 began to can their popular Oregon Sun IPA in 2019 and signed a distribution agreement with the fledgling High Road Distribution. Shaw’s success will be the first commercial nano brewery to achieve the mainstream success as forbearers like The Commons.
The Ankeny street location of Brewery 26 is in a 2,800 sq. ft. warehouse with a space that will be designed by Koble Creative Architects, the same designers behind Migration Brewing Glisan, West Coast Grocery, Baerlic’s Barley Pod and Victor 23 Brewing. The expanded production and opportunity to sell their beers direct to consumer will open up Shaw’s lineup for 16-20 taps of his own beer pouring at the in-warehouse space that will seat around 50 people. Shaw says he plans to dedicate two draft lines to guest taps and another two for cider. 818 SE Ankeny St, Portland, OR https://www.facebook.com/brewery26/
Covered Bridge Brewing Group
Cottage Grove, were it a sleeping dragon, would be huffing out sparks right now, awakening from its slumber to the smell of malt and hops wafting through the air. Covered Bridge Brewing Group, a combination brewery and coffeeshop, plans to open this spring. Brewer and co-founder Nate Sampson, now entering his second decade of professional brewing, will be performing his stylistic stunts on one of Practical Fusion’s first systems.
The brewery has a maximum output of 10 barrels per batch, as the 7-barrel system with oversized mash tun was upgraded with a kettle extension, water blender (for dialing in temperatures), diverter panel (a one-stop shop for switching liquid destinations), and larger plate chiller (acquired from Arch Rock Brewing). Sampson looks to produce classic styles done well, including a Cottage Grove essential, red ale, along with clear and hazy IPA, Pilsner, and barrel-aged beers.
In addition to the beer, Dave Barclay, owner of Laurel Mountain Coffee, will brew up the morning crowd with his specialty roasts. He works on a small roaster on his property south of Cottage Grove, and utilizes mostly South American beans. The coffeeshop will produce a range of espresso drinks, pour over coffee, iced coffee, and cold brew on nitro.
Barclay and Sampson met while Sampson brewed at Hard Knocks, the first craft brewery in the Grove, which closed several years ago; Sampson needed coffee for a Porter and Barclay had just the thing. A rendition of that beer may make an appearance at Covered Bridge.
The building, a totally renovated auto body shop, is easily accessible from the highway, and lies just across the street from Main Street’s downtown drag. At 5,600 square feet, Covered Bridge will seat just over 90 indoors. But that’s not all: a large back beer garden will feature four food trucks, ample seating, and a game section. The partners hope to entice food trucks by incorporating power, water, gray water disposal, and other amenities into the site; they are already in talks with several mobile food businesses. 926 East Main Street Cottage Grove, Oregon https://coveredbridgebrewinggroup.com
The 3 Legged Crane
When is something old new again? In this case, it’s the transition of Oakridge, Oregon’s Brewers Union Local 180 to The 3 Legged Crane, and the introduction of force-carbonated beer to the brewery’s oeuvre. Until Brewers Union founder Ted Sobel sold the 11-year-old English-style brewpub to John Crane, it had only produced true cask conditioned real ale; other draught items were purchased from distributors.
Even before the name change, Crane had taken over brewing and managerial duties. The pub interior has changed a bit, with a wall knocked out from the music room to the adjacent dining space. Crane plans to make even more indoor and outdoor seating available, as it gets quite crowded on summer weekends, when hikers and mountain bikers convene after their forays.
Real ale will remain, though batches will be split to run concurrently on draught. This is a major concession, and has been welcomed warmly by locals. 48329 E 1st St, Oakridge, Oregon 97463
Homegrown Public House & Brewery
Since buying Homegrown Public House in August 2018, Florence natives Elaine and Scott McMillan, along with brewer Dustin Basurto, have jumped into the world of brewing. The beer, to be debuted at a VIP members club event on January 9 and to the public on January 10, is brewed on a small one-barrel system in the former deli side of the business.
For now, Basurto is sticking to standard styles, and will take over half of the beer list in the pub with his brews. Trained as an HVAC tech, Basurto started working on the packaging line at Rogue before moving into the brewhouse. Homegrown currently operates on a 1-barrel electric system, though there is room in the building for expansion.
The McMillans are diehard supporters of the Florence community, and were supported in turn by locals who invested heavily in their crowdfunding drive. Homegrown has been a popular restaurant since 2012, and has a rotating tap list that represents small coastal breweries and other high quality craft beer from Oregon and Washington. 294 Laurel St. Florence, Oregon https://homegrownpublichouse.com/
Mikkeller Brewing Portland
Danish brewer Mikkeller opened up a long running pop-up location with local restaurant/bar group Chefstable last June in the former home of Burnside Brewing Co. The Mikkeller Portland restaurant/taproom recently ended its run on New Year’s Eve and is now closed for renovations after Chefstable secured the building as a new permanent home. That means a full commitment to building a home and actually brewing on-site in 2020. 701 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214 http://mikkeller.dk/location/mikkeller-pop-up-portland/
Thunder Island Brewing
Though it’s not a new brewing company, Thunder Island Brewing is technically opening a new brewery in 2020 so it’s worth a shout-out. Thunder Island is renowned for its beautiful location on the banks of the Columbia River Gorge in Cascade Locks where they opened in 2013.
Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding.
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.