By Holly Amlin
For the Oregon Beer Growler
After opening their brewery at Southeast 10th Avenue and Hawthorne Boulevard last fall, the idea of adding a second tap house wasn’t even a blip on the horizon for Scout Beer owners Joe St. Martin and Sean Oeding.
When an opportunity presented itself, though, they decided to take over an old insurance agency at the corner of Southeast 50th Avenue and Division Street. The new venture, to be called The Lot at Scout Tap House, will preserve part of the existing neighborhood.
“The new location includes space for food cart vendors and is focused on collaborative partnerships,” St. Martin said. “The ability to sell beer and provide a home to five vendors allows us to grow, but it also sets up a long-term home for at least five other businesses.”
That area of Southeast Division Street has changed dramatically during the last couple years. Empty lots that included food carts, businesses and homes have been scooped up by developers who put multi-story apartments in their place.
One of the few buildings left standing was part residence, part insurance office. When it came up for sale, St. Martin and Oeding saw the potential right away. They quickly developed plans for The Lot. Improvements to the 80-year-old structure started in June and will be complete soon.
Not unlike their brewery location, the interior of the tap house will include a bar, seating and a gateway garage door to an outdoor patio. They’re even planning ahead for the cool nights to come, adding a fire pit space to complement the outdoorsy, camping theme.
“Ultimately, it comes down to creating a welcoming space,” St. Martin explained. “We know how important it is to be able to take your family out to enjoy a quality meal and a beer in a good atmosphere at a reasonable price. That’s the big idea with The Lot.”
Scout started brewing its own beer on a 5-barrel system in May of this year. Not having had the ability to produce a lot of their own product in the past, the founders shared their taps with other breweries in town. That’s changing.
“The new tap house will be different,” says St. Martin, “We envision The Lot to be a satellite brewpub that will focus almost exclusively on Scout beers, including new recipes that will complement the styles of food being offered.”
They’ve been consistent at making creative, food-centric beers from the beginning. Two of their most popular brews are Anaphylactic, a peanut butter porter, and Porridge, an oatmeal pale featuring cinnamon, raisins and vanilla.
“I once owned a small bakery and have a passion for cooking,” St. Martin explains of the beer style origins. “I enjoy the science of things like baking and brewing, but love the ability to manipulate the details into flavors people might not be expecting in a beer.”
St. Martin and Oeding arrived in Portland from the Bay Area in 2014. They launched their business selling beer through a food cart in the established Tidbit pod off Southeast 28th Place and Division Street. Even though they’ve only lived in Portland for a few years, they understand the importance of building community and creating good relationships with those around them.
1516 SE 10th Ave., Portland
Scout Beer Garden
2880 SE Division St., Portland
Stories from the print edition of the Oregon Beer Growler.