It's been 6+ months since I left my role as Brewmaster at Oakshire Brewing. During that time I feel like Brian, Doug and I have constantly had our nose to the grindstone jumping through hoop after hoop and cutting through forests of red tape. Who knew opening a brewery was so hard? (Well, I did actually, but I was in a state of denial).
Sure, it appeared that we had time for several road trips, friend collaborations, and a game or two of ping pong, but that table is now collecting dust as we get ever so close to selling beer. There are several more hoops lining up, but a light is slowly beckoning on the horizon. The end of the tunnel is near! I hope.
Throughout the last several months, the main two questions I receive are 1) Where are you located? and 2) When can I buy your beer. I hope I can answer those for you now.
First of all, we are currently a production brewery. There is no tasting room to come visit us and hang out on a sunny June afternoon. Remember those hoops? We are in process with the county on developing a property outside of Eugene and we are still in a holding pattern. If we get county approval and find the right builder, we aim to have a killer tasting room and brewery amongst the rolling hills of SW Eugene. We'll keep giving updates on that as it gets closer, but assume the rest of 2016 will be consumed with that. In the meantime, we continue to fill barrels and experiment with blends in our small warehouse in west Eugene. We do have the ability to open up a warehouse tasting room, but for now, due to space constrictions (and time) we are holding off on that idea. So, for now, join us at the great taprooms and bottle shops around town.
Secondly, people want to know when they can enjoy our creative endeavors. We're rolling things out starting on the last day of May for what we have dubbed the Alesong 'soft opening'. We started this brewery as an exploration of wood aging, focusing on Farmhouse and other Belgian inspired beers. While we're excited to bring you everything we are working on, we have constantly been reminded of the one true virtue we need to practice: patience. It takes time to develop the flavors from that fifth element, wood. Whether we are coaxing out beautiful notes of vanilla, cinnamon, and bourbon from a Heaven Hill barrel, or waiting on the souring process of a Flanders Red, these things take time. You see most breweries open and in 2-3 weeks they are on the street selling beers, or rolling up the door on their tap room. We, however have to wait several months and even then won't have the fully developed house cultures that you find at some more mature breweries doing similar work as us (i.e Crooked Stave, DeGarde, Logsdon, and Casey Brewing and Blending). And most importantly, we can't wait all summer to drink our own beer! Building a brewery is thirsty work. So we've made three beers so far, NOT aged in oak, that are set to be released starting May 31st at a great event at the Bier Stein in Eugene.
Running short on time now, but will get another post out early next week talking about those beers and all the events we've got lined up. Stay tuned!