The word is out. Logsdon Farmhouse Ales will be moving into a new location in Washougal, Wash., formerly occupied by Amnesia Brewing. The announcement also comes as founder Dave Logsdon is beginning his retirement.
Though they will continue to produce spontaneous ales and small specialty projects, majority owner John Plutshack says he’s excited about the larger brewing system at the new site and additional capacity that comes with it. In their previous location, a quaint farm just outside Hood River, they were only capable of brewing 700 to 1000 barrels per year, but will now upgrade from a 10-barrel brewhouse to a 15-barrel system.
When asked about the reception he thinks Logsdon will receive in the area, Plutshack says that although they’re definitely known for brewing beers that differ stylistically from the local fare, he hopes that “excites the locals that are eager to branch out from what they may be used to when they think about craft beer.”
Aside from the increase in size, both Plutshack and award-winning head brewer Shilpi Halemane are beyond thrilled about having full climate control over their barrel house, something that they struggled with at the rural property in Oregon. Previously, they had approximately 100 barrels of stainless, non-temperature controlled fermentation, but will now upgrade to 210 barrels. Plutshack adds, “This will allow us to increase production of seasonals and one-offs much more easily as well as branch out making other styles of beer we couldn’t in the past, like lagers and even some hoppy offerings.”
Halemane shares that sentiment, saying, “I’m perhaps most excited about expanding stylistically. Our passion for wild ales and Belgian styles hasn’t diminished at all, but they’re not the only styles we enjoy. The increased size and temp control of our new fermenters will allow us to allocate tank time and other resources towards clean ales and lagers, offering more diversity in our tap list and complementing the food at a fair price.”
Halemane continues on to detail some of the logistical issues they plan to tackle as they consolidate their resources: “One of the hurdles we are planning around right now is exactly what we can bring with us and what needs to stay at the farm to keep it operational. Because of existing equipment in the new location, it could be a tight squeeze fitting the additional vessels and production equipment we plan on bringing, but I’m excited about the increase in capacity and capability. I’ll have to get used to brewing near taproom customers again instead of cattle and horses, but I’m looking forward to getting that direct feedback.”
That is something that has been missing from the Logsdon beer experience since the downtown Hood River taproom closed in 2016. All that considered, there are also some major upsides to moving to a new location with much easier access, which Halemane highlights: “Brewing in a remote location has other challenges like inclement weather affecting delivery of raw materials and pickups of outgoing beer. Highway access and a loading dock are going to save us lots of headaches.” •