Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Cascade Brewing Expansion Coming Soon!

Portland's House of Sour is going LARGE
I get contacted by folks from all over the country planning beercations to this wonderful city in which I reside, Portland, Oregon. One of the top three brewing destinations those tourists are most interesting in visiting is Cascade Brewing Barrel House. It's no surprise to me that Cascade Brewing has such a far reaching reputation. They brew some world class beer! Their specialty is sour beer, a style that is growing rapidly in popularity and an appreciation among craft beer aficionados that's approaching fanaticism. People love that sour beer! I do, too!

I was very grateful to receive an invitation to a media event at Cascade Brewing Barrel House this past Monday. Hey, they had me at beer, but in addition to tasting some delicious brews straight from the zwickle, I also got to meet founder Art Larrance, brewmaster Ron Gansberg, and many other members of the Cascade Brewing team. What a great bunch of people. It's always a treat to listen to brewers talk about their craft and personal brewing philosophies. There is usually some serious genius going around in most brew houses and Cascade seems to have just a bit more than their fair share. They are genuinely excited about their beer, with big, anticipatory smiles as they hand you a glass.

Cascade has several exciting beer releases coming soon, and I was more than excited to get a sip (or two...or three) last night:

Blackberry 2014
Release date: Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Description: This NW style sour ale is a blend of Wheat ales that were aged in oak wine barrels with blackberries for up to 12 months.
7.0% ABV | $20

Kriek 2014
Projected release date: Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Description: This NW style sour ale is a blend of Red ales that were aged in oak wine barrel with cherries for up to 14 months.
8.5% ABV | $20

Sang Rouge 2013
Projected release date: May 20, 2015
Description: This NW style sour ale is a blend of Red ales that were aged in oak wine barrels and oak foudre tanks for up to two years.
8.4% ABV | $22

I also had the privilege to taste an their amazing Almond Amaretto. A blend of sour blond and an apricot base.  Excellent stuff!

The fine folks at Cascade also had some big news to share with us; news that will thrill both tourists and the Portland residents who frequent the Barrel House. They are EXPANDING! Here are the awesome details:

Cascade Brewing is in the process of moving all barrel aging, blending and packaging to a new facility located at 6770 SW 111th Ave., Beaverton, OR 97008. This 23,000 sq. ft. building will also be our new distribution center from which all regional, national and international sales will be shipped.

The bulk of this facility has been committed to a climate-controlled hall wherein all packaging, blending and aging will occur. The hall will house nine oak foudres ranging from 50 to 65 hectoliters, as well as up to 2,000 oak barrels and puncheons. A secondary expansion is under permit review to extend the building to include a non-conditioned hall for barrel and keg cleaning, as well as fruit processing and storage. The transition will be complete by July in time for the start of this year’s fruit season. The Blending House will not have a taproom, nor will it be open to the public.

The move will leave an empty space at the existing Barrel House, but not for long. SUM Design Studio + architecture is excited to continue a partnership with Cascade Barrel House that has been ongoing since the two companies came together for the initial design of the Barrel House in 2009. Since that time, Cascade’s growing brand, in conjunction with a burgeoning beer scene in the inner SE area, have placed a growing demand on the Barrel House that the owners and SUM seek to satisfy through a comprehensive expansion and redesign of the building in late 2015 and early 2016.

In the re-envisioned building, the entirety of the 7,100 SF space will be dedicated to the serving of Cascade’s extensive selection of sours and other beers, alongside an expanded food menu made possible by a full-production kitchen. According to Executive Chef Troy Harris, “We are all excited to embark on an adventure that will enable us to bring even more local and international flavors to our culinary program. Our mission to pair our cuisine with the complexities of our Northwest style barrel aged sour beer projects will continue to grow as we explore flavors from our region and the world.”

Existing production facilities will move off-site in order to make way for amenities like a central 40’ bar with the brewery’s signature “Barrel Taps” – creating room for more than double the taps currently on hand. A “Barrel Room” will bring the unique barrel aging processes behind the beers into full view, and house small-scale gatherings and private events such as Brewer’s Dinners and food/beer pairings. In all, interior seating for the space will be more than doubled, satisfying the growing demand and making it possible to host large-scale festivals.

Outside, plans are in place to create a generous raised outdoor patio with an overhead cover and heaters throughout to facilitate year-round enjoyment of the brewery’s offerings. Integrated landscaping, a variety of seating options, and expanded outdoor bar service are all designed to providing an inviting street appeal for the re-vamped building, while making every season “patio drinking season” for the brewery’s loyal following.

Congratulations to Cascade for their continuing growth and success! I can't wait to see the new pub!

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