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Monday, August 18, 2008

Three Creeks Article

The Bend Bulletin has some information about (ex-Lucky Lab brewer) Dave Fleming's new brewery in Sisters. It situates Three Creeks Brewing in a historical and regional context-- useful for those who don't drive across the Cascades much:
Three Creeks is brewery No. 7 in Central Oregon. It joins Bend Brewing Co., Cascade Lakes Brewing Co., Deschutes Brewery, McMenamins, Silver Moon Brewing Co. and Wildfire Brewing Co. All are based in Bend except Cascade Lakes, which is based in Redmond...

Twenty years [after Deschutes Brewing opened], beer making has grown to a $500 million-a-year industry in Central, Southern and Eastern Oregon, according to the National Beer Wholesalers Association and the Beer Institute. It provides more than $151 million in wages and 5,029 jobs.
Nothing satisfies curiosity like actually tasting the beer, but this at least gives some hints:
The brewery uses a 10-barrel system that will allow it to produce up to 31,000 gallons, or 1,000 barrels, of beer annually...

To succeed, the new brewery will need to create “name-making” beers that will attract craft beer lovers, [Wade] Underwood [president of Three Sisters] said.

“We’re still trying to figure out what beers are going to be most popular,” he said. “Deschutes Brewery had Black Butte Porter. Nobody else had it....”

Three Creeks hopes to find similar success with the 8 Second IBA, one of six staple beers on tap. The beer has the bitter taste of an India Pale Ale and the dark look of a porter, Underwood said.

“It’s a bold beer — nobody else is making it,” he said.

Another staple beer, the Knotty Blonde, appeals to the larger population that wants a lighter taste, he said.

I really gotta make a trip to Central Oregon soon. I've been lax about trying Tonya Cornett's beers, and this ups the ante even further. And as I recall, it's not a half-bad lookin' place, either.

The excitement around Bend notwithstanding, there's one comment in the article worth highlighting for its ... its ... well, have a look:
“Clearly, Central Oregon is becoming known as the microbrew epicenter of the state,” Audette said. “It’s great for us because culinary tourism continues to grow nationally and statewide.”
I will forgive Alana Audette for this hyperbole--she's the president and CEO of the Central Oregon Visitors Association. But the next time she's in town, I'm happy to take her on a tour of Portland's breweries--all 30 of them. We're not quite ready to cede the title of epicenter just yet.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Three Creeks hopes to find similar success with the 8 Second IBA, one of six staple beers on tap. The beer has the bitter taste of an India Pale Ale and the dark look of a porter, Underwood said.

“It’s a bold beer — nobody else is making it,” he said."


Umm, what? Hasn't everyone and their grandma been producing "black IPAs" lately?

Halcyon? said...

This can be taken in the context that no one is producing it as a year round or long running seasonal. All of the 'dark IPAs' that I have experienced seem to be one-off projects with potential to be seasonal or static beers, such as Big Black Homo.

Further, this was an interview highlighting his new brewery, meaning there is a pressure to create some appeal through marketing, often translating into statements as such.

Joe said...

Stopped by for lunch a couple days after they opened and had the IBA. It is an intersting beer...starts like an OK IPA, has a middle like an OK porter and finishes like an OK IPA. I'd perfer something that melded a little better. Bad Santa (Pelican) and Dogzilla (Laughing Dog) are better examples of the style in my opinion, not to mention Stone 11th. There were three beers on tap at the time I was there and didn't hear great things about the other two. I'd like to go back when they have all 10 beers available to get a better feel for the character of the brewery.

Brian said...

I agree that Portland shouldn't cede the brewing epicenter of the state - now or anytime soon. I was in Bend two weeks ago though, and was impressed by the density of breweries. Silver Moon, Deschutes (pub) and Bend Brewing are all within a mile of each other.

I went to Deschutes and Bend Brewing. The Bond St. pub was loud and crowded - standing room only in the bar area at 3 pm on a Saturday afternoon! I tried the Sagebrush Pilsner, which I enjoyed and moved on to Bend Brewing. The atmosphere was completely different. The pub wasn't crowded, although they were doing good business, or loud.

At Bend, I really liked the Outback Old Ale. It's a wonderful combination of maltiness, color and just enough hops to let you know you're in the Northwest.

Unfortunately I didn't have time to go to any of the other breweries. Now I'll have to try Three Creeks next time we're in the area. We saw it driving through...

Jeff Alworth said...

Let's give the brewery a chance to get a few batches under their belt, take the mash tun around the block a few times, before we critique their accomplishment too much. It's promising that they are aiming higher than just brewing regular beer.

As for a rivalry between PDX and (Greater) Bend--couldn't do either city much harm, could it?

DR WORT said...

So much to comment on.. Where do I start??? ;-}

Nice rally of comments on this posting!

*Black IPA's - Whether it finds itself as a standard tap handle or a one-off beer. This has been done over and over again. I think I had my first in 1998 at Toronado in San Francisco. Brain Hunt's one man Moonlight Brewing produced a Black IPA that he called Black Christmas. Very nice, as have other Black IPA's been over the past 10+ years.

As a tap standard, I think it's a nice idea! Anything that gets away from the Blonde, Pale Ale, IPA, Porter, Stout & Wheat repetitive boredom is nice for me.... ;-}

Portland vs. Central Oregon as beer epicenter? WHY, why, why??? Why do we have to take sides and take part in this comparison crap? Portland vs. Denver; Portland vs. Central Oregon... Who cares?! Is Portland's ego so fragile that we must be #1 at something Or is it just an introverts boyish perspective? ;-}

I understand it's just a PR statement, but can't we just be proud of our breweries as a state? Maybe a nation?! Is it that important to be unique? I kind of think of beer as a global selection of goodies. Why would we want to narrow ourselves out of any possible great beers from other places? Guess what? There are great beers brewed all over our country and the world... I wouldn't argue that any ONE PLACE is the epicenter of great brewing.

Wanna argue, 'the most breweries per city?' Fine. What award and kudos does that win in the brewing world? A side note in Cliff Claven's diary?? ;-}

Brian said...

In some sense I'm with Dr. Wort. Any town that has good beer, whether it is one brewery or thirty, is a good thing. The more locally brewed good beer we have, wherever we are, the better off we all are.

Jeff Alworth said...

I understand it's just a PR statement, but can't we just be proud of our breweries as a state?

and

The more locally brewed good beer we have, wherever we are, the better off we all are.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but I have a beer blog about Oregon beer--I think my promotion of non-Portland beer has been pretty full-throated. A wee bit of provocation is surely permitted (D Wort is otherwise a gross offender of his own rule).

Anonymous said...

The interior of Three Creeks felt really sterile to me, not unlike that Bridgeport on Hawthorne. Too clean, I guess.

DR WORT said...

"A wee bit of provocation is surely permitted (D Wort is otherwise a gross offender of his own rule)."

Just like stirring the pot....sometimes even my own...

That's my job... ;-}

Dr Wort (aka Hell Spawn) said...

Full throated?

What do you do in your off time?? Some guys get paid good money for that sort of thing..... ;-}

I know what you meant.... before you start giving me a vocabulary lesson!

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