What is your Brewery name and where did it come from?
The brewery is attached to a public house, and goes by the name of Brewers Union Local 180. This is a union of people, not a labor union. The â€œLocal 180â€ part plays off the labor union thing, but also represents the idea of a community local and a 180 – a complete change in direction.
What is your brewery capacity?
2 UK BBL. 2 Fermenters.
What is different about your brewery?
A brewery that focuses almost exclusively on real ale is different not only in Oregon, but across the country as well.
How long have you been brewing for?
Homebrewer since I was 21. I’m now 46, I hate to admit. The Brewers Union has now been open for two years.
How did you get into brewing?
The homebrewer bit just happened as a result of helping some friends homebrew back after the college years. My change of profession came as a result of walking around the UK, after I quit my job as a Chief Software Architect at the end of 2004, and visiting as many pubs as possible. The night that I â€œsnappedâ€ was a night spent at the Woolpack Inn in Cumbria, formerly run by Dave Bailey who is now the owner of the Hardknott Brewery in Millom. Subsequent trips to Cumbria to learn the arts resulted in the purchase and reconstruction of a building in my current home of Oakridge, Oregon.
What beers do you brew regularly?
I rotate my beers around. I have six beer engines and 47 casks at the moment. I try to represent some of the general families of ales, such as a bitter or best bitter, an IPA, and something dark like a porter or stout. Some of my regular brews are:
Union Dew, IPA, 6.1% ABV
Cumbrian Moor, Porter, 4.6% ABV
Wotcha, Best Bitter, 4.4% ABV
Baba O’Rye’ly, ESB, 5.9% ABV
This TIme For Sure, Hoppy Pale, 5.7% ABV
Quid Hoc Sibi Vult?, Malty Special Bitter, 4.6% ABV
Chuckle Springs, Brown, 4.6% ABV
What special/seasonal beers do you brew?
Black Wooly Jumper, Dry Irish Summer Session Stout, ABV 3.7%
Frost on the Bumpkin, 7-Grain Winter Stout, ABV 6.8%
Tanninbomb, Oak-Aged Old Ale, ABV 6.8%
Whisky in a Jar, Whisky Oak ESB, ABV 5.9%
Where do you think the future of brewing lies?
More pubs with small breweries. You can’t have enough pubs.
What is you proudest moment in brewing?
The second and third batches of commercial real ale that I brewed happened on the occasion of my second visit to the Woolpack Inn. Dave, the owner, had broken his leg skiing and couldn’t be there to educate me, so he handed me two recipes and went off the hospital. Despite my confusion and a couple of really long brew days, I managed to deliver two batches of drinkable ale.
Oh, and getting a cask of Union Dew to the GBBF this year was rather nice.
Do you have any brewing regrets?
Not that I can think of at the moment.
What is your brewing ambition?
To help others open more real ale community pubs in Oregon, and hopefully someday to get myself over to England and work in the brewery and pub trade.
What was last beer you drank?
Currently drinking a pint of Wotcha, brewed about 50 feet away from where I’m lounging with my laptop.
What is your favourite hop?
Generally speaking I don’t really like to pick favorites, but I use a lot of E.K. Goldings. Also working a lot with Centennial and Cascade.
Do you have a Brewing hero/inspiration?
I’ve already mentioned Dave Bailey, but am still also inspired by Stuart Johnson at Foxfield Brewery at the Prince of Wales Pub in Foxfield, who taught me that you can brew a decent beer out of whatever you happen to have leftover in the grain storage room.
If you could brew one collaboration beer with someone who would it be with and what would it be?
The most flavorful and drinkable oak-aged session bitter ever devised by the mind of man at the Hardknott Brewery.
Which beer do you wish you had brewed?
Not sure I can answer this one.
How do you spend your time when you aren’t brewing?
I’m usually dealing with one or another aspect of running a pub. I work the bar, clean, repair and do paperwork. I don’t really have regular time off, but am working on that. On those rare occasions when I can escape I try to spend some time walking or riding the Harley, or just sitting by the river for a couple of hours with a good book.
If you could have one superhero superpower what would it be?
The Mirth Ray (â„¢).
Anything else you want to tell us?
I’m warning ya – I’m coming over there, and when I do I’m gonna be powerful thirsty.