ball of confusion

is what the world is today…
Hey, hey.

So I begun my downward spiral into the legal matters that surround breweries and our various levels of government.
How painful!  The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), Oregon State Department of Agriculture, Oregon Secretary of State, Deschutes County, Bend City.  Forms, forms and more forms.  How do others do this?  Hire people?  Ugh.
Thankfully, I met a fellow who has already walked this line.  Dean Wise here in Bend is licensed to brew and sell beer out of his house.  He’s had to modify his basement with an exterior door, but Below Grade Brewing is going to be at NWX farmers’ market and he plans on delivering growlers to his customers in the fashion of our old school milkmen.  So, all of this ‘pretending to know what I’m reading and agreeing to it’ must be worth it.  Is it too much to ask for my pinch before they take theirs??!
Regardless, as before, this ship is leaning forward, the hemp rope is strung taut and creaking.  They can’t stop me.  I’ve already started to clean out my garage!   I’ve also scheduled a trip over to the McMinnville area to grab a couple (more) barrels and ‘network’.  A while back, when the idea of leaving my brewing job at Deschutes was still new, I mentioned what I was doing to a neighbor.  He mentioned that a neighbor of ours has been in the Oregon wine world for a while, that I ought to contact him.  Well, I did.  I like this networking thing.  John Davidson is the winemaker for Walnut City Wineworks ( and has been active in the Oregon wine scene for over 25 years.  He’s getting a couple barrels for me and helping me to make inroads into another one of  Oregon’s celebratory beverages: wine.  I’m excited to bring methods from their trade over to beer.  Perhaps it will go both ways.

Wading through this red sea of sticky tape, it’s hard to imagine that my last day at Deschutes was at the beginning of the month.  (Yes, I posted photos on facebook).  Getting used to this new life is interesting because it seems to change underfoot so quickly.  And, yes, I’m the one that is ultimately responsible.  Heh.  Heh heh.   Along with all of the legal matters, I’m designing the space for this new brewery and lining up subcontractors to turn our garage into an old world cellar.  With a modern-day lab, of course.  We’re streamlining.  What this means is that our little cabin down by the river is getting another influx of crap…I mean, keepsakes.  Our home is perhaps 700 square feet on a good day.  Two kids, two dogs, two ‘self-employed’ parents.  The garage in the winter was not only our storage of ‘keepsakes’, but the shelter for Staci to get her jumping beans into a vehicle prior to entering the Blizzard of Ozz.  It has a swing for the kids and a kegerator.
Anyway, relax.  Sit back.  Enjoy the story.  You know that I’ve got all of your email addresses?!  When this thing pans out, you’ll at least have to purchase one bottle of Sahalie for the fact that my wife gave up the garage completely for a brewery…or for the sympathy of our ridiculous struggles.  I can’t deny this story.  My goal is to show you that you can’t, either.  Hopefully by the time the beer is ready, I’ll have told you enough to get you for one bottle.  Then, once it’s consumed, we’ll be preparing to receive your visit up here in the woods to show you something we never knew was possible.

ps-I’ve registered with the State of Oregon as an LLC known as ‘The Ale Apothecary’.  This is the name of our brewery.  We have reserved our domain as ‘’.  The beer itself is known as ‘Sahalie’.  ‘mountainbrewery’ will soon disappear once we have our webpage going.  Apologies if confusion arises, but it’s a plastic apology.  Stay in touch.


About paul

3 responses to “ball of confusion

  • Jenny

    Marc and I are definitely in for two bottles!! Can’t wait to see how things go. When can I expect my first shipment?

    Lot of love and luck!! Jenny and Marc Leger

  • Jeff Schauland

    As I said, if you need help, please let me know. My modest skills are at your disposal. Best of luck. We are all looking forward to the finished product and the updates along the way.

  • Ben Shirley

    paul arney!!!!!!!! sahalie the great!!!!!!!!

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