Like the Rodgers and Hammerstein song about June, “Silver Moon is bustin’ out all over.” The Bend brewpub looks all grown up after its facelift, the new production brewery in Redmond keeps increasing its output, and a large, multi-level patio is set to open at the pub this summer.
Bend’s third-oldest brewery, founded by Tyler Reichert, started as a homebrew store and quickly became the go-to spot for supplies and ingredients. The business moved to its current location in 2004 and a 10-barrel brewhouse was installed a year later. Even though the pub was dark and somewhat seedy, it became a favorite hangout — loved for its beer, pool tables and live music. Reichert eventually grew tired of the constant demands of running his own business and was happy to hand off ownership in 2013.
“The building was never intended as a brewery,” said pub general manager Dustin Riley. “Before this it was an auto supply parts store. It’s been patchworked together over time.”
New owners Matt Barrett and James Watts immediately began looking at what needed to change. Both have solid business experience but hadn’t operated a brewery. When they bought it, Silver Moon was only producing 2,000 barrels a year. “They realized they couldn’t make money off this size brewery,” said Riley, who also owns a small share of the company. The first step was to expand by building a production facility and maximize efficiencies.
They located a 1,500-square-foot facility in Redmond, revamped it to meet brewery specs and opened in February 2016. The 30-barrel brewhouse is a four-vessel system with an annual production of 8,000 barrels last year, up from 4,000 the previous year. Head brewer Jacob Zuchowski said when they add a couple more brite tanks, the expansion will be complete. “Build-out capacity for us will be around 50,000 to 55,000 barrels.” In addition to a canning line, the brewery recently installed a labeler. “We can stock blank cans and easily change labels, affording us flexibility,” said Zuchowski.
A graduate of the UC Davis Master Brewers Program and former head brewer at Worthy, Zuchowski is interested in ramping up Silver Moon’s barrel-aged offerings. He mentioned last year’s Boysen the Wood, a Baltic porter with boysenberry aged in Oregon Spirit Distillers rye and bourbon barrels. The beer was sold in a two-pack to highlight the flavor differences imparted by the wood. This year they will release a twin pack of Brett beer to contrast the batch aged in white wine oak with that aged in red wine barrels. Zuchowski said the pub brewhouse is ideal for small batches. “We can be responsive to the market and have fun while doing it.”
One major change the new owners considered was finding a new home for Silver Moon. When they abandoned that idea, a major renovation was inevitable. Last year at this time the pub was closed. During a five-month shutdown, the old dropped ceiling was torn out to make way for a soaring arc composed of exposed beams and industrial pendant lights. A new bar, kitchen, tables and chairs were added and a mural highlighting Central Oregon was refreshed. The stage is in the same corner and live music is still a standard weekend event.
“We have a long history of live music here,” said pub manager Riley. “We treat our musicians like part of the family. The first Friday of every month we host a burlesque show and this is home base for the troupe.”
The terraced patio is projected to open next to the pub’s grain silo this June. It will feature fire pits and plenty of room to spread out. •