Where is Awesome Ales? In the wind, so to speak. David Lederfine, a long-time brewer/entrepreneur, is among the state’s first self-proclaimed “gypsy” or “tenant” brewers.
Gone are the days when using another brewery’s equipment to produce your separate beer was a source of embarrassment. On the contrary, Lederfine makes a big deal of it.
Making use of equipment already in place makes sense, environmentally and economically, Lederfine said. “It allows us to work independently of certain financial pressures while working collectively with breweries that have capacity, giving them a welcome revenue stream.”
And what could be greener than sharing expense and equipment with fellow brewers? “Through cooperation and maximization we create a smaller carbon foot print than we would in operating a separate facility; from heating water and running lights to shipments of grain and hops.”
Lederfine has been a fan of craft beers since the 1980s. He began brewing at home, and in 1995, joined McMenamin’s brewing staff. Three years later, he opened the popular ale house Snake & Weasel, which he later closed to get back to his love: brewing. Astoria Brewing, Oregon Trail, Three Creeks and a stint with a distributor behind him, Lederfine is ready to brew his own beer. To make it happen, he is collaborating with breweries that have not yet filled their capacity.
“In a few years, when we start approaching the sixteen hundred barrel mark, I would like to build a brewery, one that will have excess capacity that I can offer to somebody else so they can get their start,” Lederfine said.
According to Awesome Ale’s Facebook page, Lederfine’s home office is in 205 SW 5th Ave., Portland, in the same building that houses Portland City Grill.
Among the Awesome Ales you might find on taps in Oregon:
Awesome Ale, “Southern Sky” – French Pale Ale; Totally Awesome IPA, “The 4:19” – Northwest IPA; and Absolutely Awesome Ale, “Spike Driver” – American Strong Ale.
Stories from the print edition of the Oregon Beer Growler.