Barley’s brews of Baker City beat out beer’s big boys

| Print |  Email
Monday, October 01, 2007

TylerBrown1007.jpg Tyler Brown

PHOTO BY BRYAN BLOEBAUM

BAKER CITY Once the work of an after-hours home-brew hobbyist, Tyler Brown’s beers are now winning national honors. At this year’s North American Beer Awards, Barley Brown’s Brew Pub pulled in five medals, three gold and two silver. Up against more than 1,000 entries from industry powerhouses, the tiny Baker City brewery was one of only five to take home three gold medals.

Ten years ago, it was just an idea. In 1997 when Brown’s parents were considering whether to remodel the family restaurant or sell off the building, Brown thought, “Shoot, I seek out brew pubs when I travel; we could use one in town.” At first there wasn’t a lot of support for the project. Equipment manufacturers questioned the size of Baker City’s market, and some wouldn’t even give Brown a quote. Undeterred, he found a company to build a small four-barrel brewery, spent five months remodeling and opened in the summer of 1998.

Despite the popularity of microbreweries in the western part of the state, there wasn’t much interest in Barley Brown’s when it first opened. To survive, the brewpub also served hard alcohol, wine and domestic beers such as Bud Lite and Miller. Free samples to customers who ordered more familiar drinks helped cultivate an appreciation and appetite for Brown’s original brews.

The perseverance paid off. In addition to the national attention, Barley Brown’s is now a local favorite. So popular, in fact, that Brown can barely produce enough beer to keep up with demand and is looking for an additional brewing site.

Beer competition medals are nice, says Brown, but he’s more enthusiastic about giving Baker something to brag about. “People who live here love to say, ‘Our brewery is better than the ones in Portland.’”

BROOKE MATSCHEK


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Powerbook Perspective

January-Powerbook 2015
Friday, December 12, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

A conversation with Oregon state economist Josh Lehner.


Read more...

Editor's Letter: Tortoise and the Hare

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015

The day after this issue goes to press, the city of Medford will host its annual business conference. The event features Minoli Ratnatunga, co-author of the Milken Institute’s annual “Best-Performing Cities” report. Preliminary data suggests that Medford is likely to retain its No. 1 ranking among best-performing small cities for having a higher concentration of high-tech firms than the national average. 


Read more...

Corner Office: Sheree Arntson

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

Checking in with the managing director of Arnerich Massena.


Read more...

Carbon Power

February 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Researchers in a multitude of disciplines are searching for ways to soak up excess carbon dioxide, the compound that contributes to global warming.


Read more...

The Carbon Calculus

February 2015
Friday, January 23, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

Carbon pricing is gaining momentum in Oregon, sparking concern for energy-intensive businesses — but also opportunity to expand a homespun green economy.


Read more...

Behind the curtain: What students should know about accreditation and rankings

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, December 04, 2014
120414-edurating-thumbBY DEBRA RINGOLD | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

How important are institutional and/or program evaluations provided by third parties in selecting a college or university program?


Read more...

Dan and Louis Oyster Bar opens up to a changing neighborhood

The Latest
Thursday, December 11, 2014
121114-oystervidBy MEGHAN NOLT

VIDEO: Revamping a Classic — an iconic eatery stays relevant in a changing marketplace.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS