Monthly Archives: February 2012

Officially Official!

Oregon's first steam-punk brewery!

 The Ale Apothecary has been approved, licensed, granted, sanctioned, decreed, and authorized to manufacture malt beverages by numerous Big Brothers.  If it hadn’t been so difficult and costly, I’d think we were getting away with something.  The brewery was fired up for the first time last week and produced wort for yeast propagation…our first fermentations are on track for next week.  After spending the last 8 months envisioning and designing this brewery, it was pretty dang cool to finally see and smell mash in an oak barrel, to feel the familiar weight of responsibility that all brewers share on a brew day.  The best part was realizing that everything actually worked, that I don’t have to go back to the drawing board with my unconventional ideas…I just need to trust them.

I can trust you, too, right?  You’ve signed on to this adventure, and we’ve reached the first major goal: a functioning legal brewery.  What’s next?

In past posts, I’ve compared this brewery to a old-school sailing ship.  A galleon, perhaps.  We’ve officially set sail.  The water laps at the hull, the hemp ropes creak as the ship follows the rise and fall of the sea.  The sails are ready, but there is no wind.  We are all standing on the top deck looking in different directions for it.  Which direction will it come from?  The direction the wind will determine how we set our sails, will determine how we move forward.  In brewery terms, the wind represents how we will sell our beer and how we can share the brewery with you.  The sails and how we set them represent the physical brewery and our family; our methods for guiding us to our destination.  Regardless of how much wind is out there, we have limited ourselves in our ability to catch it.  This is on purpose, mind you…and not for financial gain.  Stability, hopefully, and sanity.  I’d digress here and delve into ‘tortured artist syndrome’, but we’ll leave that for a personal visit to the brewery.  Where was I???

ITEMS OF PARTICULAR INTEREST

2 Flagship Ales to be in year-round production, targeting June for initial release(s):
SAHALIE. One of the most unique beers in the world.  There.  I said it.
THE SAHALIEN. The bizarro version of Sahalie, similar in appearance yet very different in flavor.

 3 Specialty Ales in limited production, available to our yet-to-be-defined beer club members:
*UNNAMED ALE #1* Blended test batches, aged in a pinot barrel on wild black currants for over a year with wild yeast.  Fermented with 11 yeast strains.
*UNNAMED ALE #2* Unhopped crystal malt ale aged in brandy barrels for over a year with wild yeast.  Fermented with 5 yeast strains.
*SAHATI*  Inspired from the ancient Finnish ale, we will cut down an 85 foot tall spruce tree and turn the trunk into a traditional mash tun.  The boughs will be used as the mash filter, and the fresh tips for aroma.
Other specialty ales may be produced, but dependent upon brewery capacity and consumer consumption.

Beer Club:
Mixed case to include all of the above ales at a discount from retail price as well as a few knick-knacks.  Pre-ordered and probably delivered at 3 bottles per quarter.  State laws on shipping beer are strange, so be prepared if you live outside of Oregon.

We are investigating 3 ways to make available our flagship ales:
Selected specialty bottle shops, selected specialty restaurants, direct sales from brewery.  Due to not knowing which way the wind blows, we’ll see about this.  Our existing relationships (yes, you qualify) will get first chance at our beer.  Initially, we’ll focus on our local (Bend) market, but are willing to go further afield for the customer with initiative.  We will make every effort to get our beer to you if you want it…some states allow direct shipment to individuals, some allow direct shipment to retail outlets.

Brewery Kick-Off & Beer Release(s):
Investigating a few different options for these…one up at The Ale Apothecary in the next month or so, and another at a local establishment.  Info will be made available here and on facebook.

Brewery Visits:
Will be by appointment only…we’re limited by Deschutes County on this one, but we’ll make them worthwhile.  Barrel tastings, multiple vintage sampling, as well as a rotating tap dispensing beer from Central Oregon breweries.  Our flagship ales will be made available for purchase at the brewery.

Label and official website forthcoming.  All the details for the beer club and specifics about locations where you can obtain our beer will be made clear at that point (I think).  I intend to offer anything and everything to you folks following the blog and to our facebook friends first, so stay in touch.

“Everything possible to be believed is an image of truth” -William Blake


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