Amidst high-profile brewery closings in other parts of the U.S., here in Oregon craft beer is still going strong, as the decision by five breweries to open a second location illustrates. What that new site will look like depends on need: some are planning to increase brewing capacity while others will keep making beer at their home base and provide beer to an underserved area.
Ex Novo Brewing Co.
North Flint Avenue, Portland
Southwest Watson Avenue, Beaverton
Ex Novo is taking its popular Detroit-style pizza and heading west. Shooting for an October opening, founder Joel Gregory said the idea, “has been beneath the surface for a couple years, the desire to open a second location and reach a new group of people who may not get a chance to come into the Flint Avenue location often.” When the search for a space intensified toward the end of 2017, they connected with the City of Beaverton and signed a lease on one of the three spaces in the historic, 100-plus-year-old Cady Building in Old Town.
According to Joel, the response from residents has been very positive. “It means so much that they are excited that we’re coming, and hopefully we’ll be able to fill some sort of void and really help improve the quality of the food and drink scene closer to home for folks on the west side. We’re going to keep focusing on making enjoyable beers and we’re stoked that a new area will get to experience Ex Novo at a much deeper level, and we’re looking forward to finding ways to be great community partners.” The new location will be open for lunch and provide counter-service ordering. Expect Ex Novo beer to be flowing, but there are no current plans to install brewing equipment.
Northeast Glisan Street, Portland
Northeast Wilkes Road, Gresham
Migration is going big with the opening of its second location. The 20,000-square-foot facility will contain a 20-barrel brewhouse, dwarfing the original 5,000-square-foot, 7-barrel setup. There’s also space to house more than 100 barrels for aging as well as canning capabilities — look for six-packs starting this summer. Co-owner McKean Banzer-Lausberg said, “In 2016 we started planning towards opening a production facility and second pub. The decision was driven by needing more brewing capacity as the Glisan Street location has been maxed out since 2015. Demand for our product has far outpaced our supply and this move was coordinated with the sale of our distribution rights to Columbia Distributing.”
McKean expects to see plenty of Gresham-area locals in the new space, but also hopes the “stone’s throw” location off of I-84 will entice tourists to stop in for their 20 taps, pizzas, calzones and hot sandwiches on their way to and from the Gorge.
Mt. Hood Brewing Co.
Government Camp Loop,
Southeast Caruthers Street, Portland
For 26 years Mt. Hood Brewing has been doing its thing in Government Camp, connecting with Portland through the winter sports/summer hiking crowds. A little more than a year ago they felt that the demand for their beer and food justified a second location in Portland. They weren’t looking long before they came upon a space on the east end of the Tilikum Crossing that’s also home to OMSI and Oregon Heritage Rail Center.
The exterior, with a historical caboose and boxcar, acknowledges the area’s railroad tracks and transportation connection while the interior will reflect a mountain feel similar to the original location. Anticipating a late June opening, patrons can order from the counter and sit inside or head out to the train cars. The food menu will be anchored by wood-fired pizzas from the Italian oven they purchased, but due to space limitations brewing operations will remain in Government Camp.
North Beech Street, Portland
North Lombard Street, Portland
StormBreaker opened its second operation in mid-May, a project that has been on the minds of owners Dan Malech and Rob Lutz since their second year in business. As they grew and added more tanks, it became clear they would need another location. Additionally Dan said, “When we open our front door and look around at all of the construction going on around us, it hit us that our brewery could be the next spot that could become condos. We knew that we had to control our own fate and the only way to do that was to buy our own building. We knew we wanted to keep our same model by being a neighborhood brewpub where people could go to enjoy great beer and food, so we started to seek those type of areas.”
They were specifically interested in St. Johns. A year after they began looking, the owner of a building that formerly held iconic bar Plew’s Brews (and one of the first spaces they looked into) contacted them. She was ready to sell with one condition: they couldn’t tear it down. It was a deal and they moved forward with the purchase and seven-month renovation, which included the installation of a patio created by pushing the front wall back 20 feet into the structure. That modification resulted in a large, all-weather outdoor space complete with a mural. Inside there’s a full kitchen and room for a brewing system that’ll come in the next few years.
Von Ebert Brewing
Northwest 13th Avenue, Portland
Northeast Glisan Street, Portland
Von Ebert opened in the former Fat Head’s space earlier this year after the mutual end to the franchise contract between owner Tom Cook and Fat Head’s. The announcement that they’d be adding a second location might have seemed rather quick, then, but planning was well underway. “I have been looking into doing another location for about three years,” Tom said. “Lots of deals didn’t fall into place and timing just wasn’t right on others. This particular site was something that we had our eye on for about one-and-a-half years.”
The second operation is part of Tom’s vision “to become a world-class, all-around brewery. The coolship and souring at Glendoveer [Golf Course] will help us be able to make a number of styles that we are just not set up for in the Pearl.” They’ll also set up an extensive bottle-conditioning program. Meanwhile, the patios are sure to be a focus for east side customers given there are just a few sidewalk tables at the original. With plans to open this summer, there should be ample time to take advantage. •