Lompoc expands in North Portland

| Print |  Email
The Latest
Wednesday, January 26, 2011

By Corey Paul

Beer enthusiasts, construction workers and a few North Williams Avenue residents stood in the cold this morning to watch an enormous crane hoist a 30-foot-tall grain silo atop Lompoc's Fifth Quarter brewery in North Portland. Among them was giddy Lompoc owner Jerry Fechter, who said the $65,000 silo will reduce his brewing costs by 25%.

Once a week, a truck carrying up to 45,000 pounds of grain will park in an alley behind the pub and use an air pump to shoot malted barley up the silo, automating the grain work. That won't translate into fewer workers, just fewer back pains caused by lifting more than 30 bags of that base grain a day. Each bag weighs 50 pounds.

"This should allow us to brew a lot more at lower cost, which should help everybody," Fechter said.

Yes, he meant cheaper beer. But the silo is significant for reasons apart from the expansion of Lompoc and reduced overhead.

Lompoc towerThink of the silo (pictured to the left) as an advertisement not just for Lompoc — which it certainly is, you can see it for blocks — but for continued development in the Boise neighborhood. Like the adjacent King neighborhood, Boise's minority population has diminished in the past decades from gentrification, but nobody protested at the silo-raising, and a neighborhood association said it had no issue with the new structure.

Fechter said Lompoc was one of the first businesses to begin the redevelopment of the N Williams neighborhood when the Fifth Quadrant opened in 2005, leading the way for artisans, restaurants and bicycle shops. The brewery has expanded to five locations in Portland, growing in step with Oregon's thriving craft beer industry.

Thad Fisco, who co-owns the Lompoc building and runs the Adaptive Construction company that installed a frame inside to support the silo, used the phrase "beacon of light" to describe Lompoc's impact on the neighborhood. When Fisco and a partner began developing in the neighborhood, a wall covered in graffiti stretched hundreds of feet, and crime was higher.

"This was a rough area," Fisco said. 

Now Fisco and his business partner, Jon Kellogg of Adaptive Development, own about 55 thousand square feet of property in the area. A newer, still vacant addition is remarkable as it used to be the sales office for a downtown condominium project until Fisco and Kellogg bought it for a dollar and moved it a few blocks from the brewery.

Flecher said he's eyeing a location for another pub in Portland, but he declined to say where, just that he hopes to open two new Lompoc breweries in the next three years.

"We want to keep it local, and to me local means kind of small neighborhood-y. We don't want too get to big or ship all over the country (Doesn't mean we won't though at some point)," Fechter said, adding that Lompoc ships some beer to Massachusetts. "But our hops, our grain, they are all grown in the Northwest and there's great brewing water here. We are happy to stay in Oregon and Washington."

Corey Paul is an associate writer with Oregon Business.

 

More Articles

Oregon needs a Grand Bargain energy plan

Linda Baker
Monday, June 22, 2015
0622-gastaxblogthumbBY LINDA BAKER

The Clean Fuels/gas tax trade off will go down in history as another disjointed, on-again off-again approach to city and state lawmaking.


Read more...

Eco Zoned

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY HANNAH WALLACE

Travelers have always come to Oregon for its natural beauty. But will the increasing popularity of agritourism, European-style hiking getaways and forest resorts relax Oregon's notoriously strict land-use laws?


Read more...

6 key things to know about summer baseball in Oregon

The Latest
Friday, June 05, 2015
basedthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

As temperatures in Oregon creep into the 90s this weekend, Oregonians' thoughts are turning to — summer baseball.


Read more...

The 5 highest revenue-generating parks in Oregon

The Latest
Thursday, June 11, 2015
parksthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

In 2014, total revenue for camping and day use in Oregon State Parks was a little more than $17 million. That figure may even higher this year "because we've had exceptionally nice weather," Hughes says.


Read more...

Nine lives

Linda Baker
Friday, May 22, 2015
0f4f7bfBY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR

Roy Kaufmann always lands on his feet.


Read more...

An uncertain future

Guest Blog
Thursday, May 21, 2015
norristhumbBY JASON NORRIS | GUEST BLOGGER

Uncertainty is a part of doing business, whether in through the lens of investment opportunities and risks or the business of running an enterprise.


Read more...

Credit Unions Perspective

June 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Gene Pelham, CEO of Rogue Credit Union.


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