The Oregon Beer Growler crew and I had a chance to meet up with Ken Brown from 1188 Brewing Company in December. One of the first questions we asked about was the name 1188. Well it turns out, it’s a combination of two of the brewery founders fathers’ bib numbers from racing snowmobiles in the 1970s and 80s! But of course we would have known that if we visited their brew pub in John Day, which recently opened its doors (August 30, 2013) after taking six months to convert a former office supply store to a brewery.
Besides snowmobiling there was another inspiration behind the start-up, a pint of beer, or maybe two or three. Ken tells us he and his partner (Jeremy Adair) were looking around as they enjoyed a pint over at 10 Barrel one fine Indian Summer day and decided they too wanted to have a brewery of their own. So with little to no experience in the industry they decided to start with a little home brewing, and quickly jumped right into a SABCO Brew Magic system. And before you know it, they too were brewers! After brewing about twenty or so different batches, with a little hiccup along the way with a water filtration system (which they no longer use), they were good to go. But as Ken mentioned, it was all “Time well spent.” That phrase adorns the pub walls and is something Ken holds close. As he mentioned “Whether your brewing, drinking or serving beer - it’s time well spent.” I agree!
Ken’s schedule as a fireman allows for ample time at the brew pub where he helps any way he can – from brewing on their 2 bbl system named Mork & Mindy (which nets about 55 gallons regularly), to occasionally driving to Redmond and back to pick up some brewing essentials.
According to Ken, they have 7 solid beers. Ken was kind enough to bring by a couple of growlers, the one I tried was an IPA “Leaf Dropper.” He also mentioned a Habenero infused Red Ale, an Orange Honey Hefeweizen, and a planned Lemongrass Lager for the summer.
Currently the only place to get a 1188 brew is at their Brewpub in John Day. But Ken says they have plans in store over the next few years with a larger and possibly a 10-barrel system that would allow for some distribution.
I hope to make it out to his brewery sooner than later, it sounds like a nice place for a pint. Cheers!
1188 Brewing Co.
( a ) 141 E. Main Street, John Day
( p ) 541-575-1188
(h) 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Weds - Sat.
Owners: Ken and Jennifer Brown and Shannon and Jeremy Adair