In subsequent emails, we've both agreed to do a little research and find out what was going on. I consulted the best guide I know to NW brewing history, Brewed in the Pacific Northwest by Gary and Gloria Meier, and discovered a fascinating historical pattern. Westward expansion occured at the same time of mass German immigration. And, as it happens, the earliest breweries were almost uniformly established by young brewers out to make their mark. Henry Weinhard was a just one of those young brewers, but one about which we know the most. His story is typical (from the Meier account):
Like the majority of early American brewers, Henry Weinhard learned his art in the Old Country. Born in Lindenbronn, Wurttemberg, Germany in 1830, young Weinhard completed his schooling and began an apprenticeship to the brewer's trade....In the period between 1852 and the early teens, 240 breweries were founded across Oregon and Washington, from Portland and Seattle to towns as tiny as Island City, near La Grande, and Orting, South of Tacoma. It is amazing how story after story follows an identical narrative. Again, from the Meiers:
The reports he heard about America and its opportunities led Henry to believe he might do well for himself in his chose profession on the other side of the Atlantic. In 1852 the adventurous young Braumeister packed his brewing journals, notes, and recipes and emigrated to the United States.
From 1852 until 1856 Weinhard was employed by a large brewry in Cincinnati, Ohio. But he was intrigued by the far West; spurred by the reports of few breweries out there, he left Cincinnati, made his way to Philadelphia, and boarded a vessel bound for the Pacific Coast by way of the Isthmus of Panama.
CANYONVILLENot every brewer has a detailed history, but the names tell the story: Mehl, Ott, Miller, Braun, Roesch, Wetterer, and on and on. Even when the brewery was owned by a local, they hired a young German to run the brewery. If you were a German in Pioneer Oregon, you were apparently obligated to serve thirsty loggers tasty lagers (oof-sorry!).
Leonard Stenger, a brewer from Bavaria, was one of the earliest pioneer settlers in this historic Douglas County community. He farmed on his Donation Land Claim property from 1854 until 1874. With new growth and settlement in the area, he decided to rever to his training and open a brewery.
Very little information exists about the styles of beer brewed, though there are a couple of references to porter, and one brewery produced weisse beer (but only for five years--after which it died). But it is a safe bet that the Northwest was, stylistically speaking, little Germany in the last decades of the 19th Century. That answers one part of the question--there was never a diversity of styles here beyond what the native Germans brewed. Whether there were multiple styles within this ouvre is not recorded.
However, a second question remains open, and I'll address it subsequently: was consolidation already underway before prohibition in 1916 (the year Oregon and Washington enacted it)? The answer isn't as straightforward as it appears.