Sponsored by Oregon Business

Hood River's craft beer boom

| Print |  Email
Articles - February 2013
Monday, January 28, 2013


0213 Brewing 07
Above: Irene Firmat's former employees are working to advance a market she and her co-founders at Full Sail Brewing helped create in Hood River.
// Photo by Denise Farwell
Below: David Logsdon was the founding brewer at Full Sail in 1987.
// Photo by Joseph Eastburn
0213 Brewing 09

For many of the other breweries, things have not worked as they planned, because the local market is booming. While trying to please hundreds of draft accounts at bars and restaurants throughout the Northwest, Double Mountain, Everybody’s, Solera and Pfriem have all been burdened by the unexpected success in their pubs. It is a combination of local loyalty and proximity to Portland that has filled the restaurants, and the brewers simply cannot make enough beer to meet the demand beyond Hood River’s borders.

When Double Mountain opened their tasting room in 2007, they hoped to be bottling soon after, but owners Matt Swihart and Charlie Devereux had to sell their 1975 bottling machine they dubbed the “boat anchor” because they needed room in the pub. “You don’t really expect it,” Devereux says. “When you start growing at a consistent clip, you have to start thinking about what happens if that continues.” In their case, the growth meant a large expansion of the brewery, a sizable pub expansion, a new bottling line, a new bottle reusing program and a staff of almost 30 year-round employees.

Their story hardly differs from the others, where brewers have had to put off some of their ambitions just to crank out enough beer to supply pub patrons. Ellenberger, Pfriem and Swihart all had trouble meeting beer demand at the end of the 2012 summer season. In most cases, far more staff than was originally intended had to be hired for the restaurant side of their businesses. Everybody’s employs 26 full-timers to keep up with the restaurant demand. Pfriem has already had to purchase 4,000 square feet of additional storage and refrigeration space since their opening last summer.



More Articles

Reader Input: In or Out

October 2015
Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The refugee crisis has put immigration and border issues on the front burner, in Europe and at home. In Oregon, attitudes toward illegal immigration haven’t changed dramatically since 2006.


Roll On

November/December 2015
Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The myth of a freight-dependent economy.


The God complex

Linda Baker
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
093015-zydellren-thumbBY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR

The media coverage about Pope Francis must have put me in a Biblical frame of mind. Because after touring the latest phase of the South Waterfront development, a mind boggling 1.5 million square feet of office and retail space that will spring up north of the aerial tram over the next few years, I couldn’t stop thinking about the massive project as a modern day creation story.


The Cover Story

The Latest
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
100515-cover1015-news-thumbBY CHRIS NOBLE

As we worked on the October cover, it became evident that Nick Symmonds is a hard man to catch — even when he’s not hotfooting it around a track.


Make the business case, governor

Linda Baker
Thursday, November 05, 2015
aoikatebrownthumbBY LINDA BAKER

Gov. Kate Brown delivered the keynote speech at the Associated Oregon Industries annual policy forum yesterday.  Speaking to a Republican-aligned audience of about 100 business and public policy leaders, the governor was out of her comfort zone.


The cover story

Linda Baker
Thursday, November 12, 2015

I walked off the Vigor Industrial shipyard that day with a clear cover line in mind: the Love Boat.


Reader Input: Made in Oregon

November/December 2015
Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Two trends dominate the manufacturing sector: onshoring and the rise of small-scale production manufacturing, known as the "maker economy."

Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02