Gorges Beer Co. Breaks Ground on Cascade Locks Facility

Pandemic or not, Gorges Beer Co. broke ground on their highly anticipated and ambitious new project in the Columbia River Gorge on Wednesday. The startup operation was announced last fall and began production earlier this year in the former Coalition Brewing space in southeast Portland but with their sights set on Cascade Locks.

Gorges Beer was founded by Tap & Table owner Travis Preece, former Lompoc head brewer Bryan Keilty, former Goodlife Brewing sales manager Steve Denio and general contractor Willis Boyer. From their PDX location the Gorges Trailhead they have been producing a wide range of new and old school beers from IPA’s, Golden Ale and Porter to barrel-aged mixed culture wild ales. The Gorges Trailhead had just opened on March 6th before the Oregon governor shutdown taprooms, since then they have been doing to-go crowler fills and beer delivery.

Gorges Beer Co. Cascade Locks building rendering

But the Cascade Locks facility is the true heart of the company, a nearly 2-acre space located right on the main drive and with a view of the mountains and the Bridge of the Gods. The two building, multi-level project will have a barrel and blending room, a restaurant and bar, a grassy dog park and patio that includes a pavilion for music events and weddings, and some kind of guest lodging accommodations. The on-site parking and main building aims to be open in June of 2021 and the concert/events area coming online by summer 2022.

“The hotel is still up in the air,” says co-owner Travis Preece. “We are examining options of a B&B or possibly a tiny home village, but we still have some decisions to make. That will likely open in 2023.”

Gorges Beer Co. Cascade Locks overhead

In the meantime, the Gorges Trailhead Taproom hopes to open for on-premise pints when Multnomah County is approved for a phase 1 reopening possibly on June 12th. The Gorges team is working with their landlord to get approval to use the parking lot for outdoor seating.  If that happens, they will be able to seat 100+ people while still maintaining sufficient social distancing.  When they reopen, Gorges will be using the Porter app that allows customers to place orders and pay for beers, and food from Tap & Table and the upcoming “Taco-ish” from their own mobile devices.

Samurai Artist
Samurai Artist

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. Contact: SamuraiArtist@NewSchoolBeer.com