Okay, that headline is a bit misleading: technically, as of this writing Bend’s newest brewery is still Boneyard Beer, which officially opened earlier this year. But there is yet another one that is slated to open within the next few months which will push Bend’s count of breweries to seven (that’s one brewery for about every 11,500 people), and nine total for the Central Oregon region: Noble Brewing.
There’s not much yet known about the fledgling brewery other than a couple of local news articles—although they do have a Facebook page. The news first broke on the Portland-based Brewpublic blog back in June:
The Bend area can also see two other new breweries coming its way. Also in early development stages, Bend can expect Noble Brewing and Copper Mountain Brewing to open facilities some time in the next year.
[The "Copper Mountain Brewing" rumor seems to have gone nowhere.]
This was followed by the next day by a detailed article in the local newspaper, the Bend Bulletin:
Three Bend residents have applied to open a brewery in a northeast business park, bringing the region its ninth beermaker, if approved, and adding to the city’s beer-town reputation.
Noble Brewing Co. has applied to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission for a license to operate a brewery and public house in a building on High Desert Court where BMC Choppers has been located.
The owners — Ty Barnett, 26, Pratt Rather, 44, and Curt Plants, 26 — hope to be making beer by the end of the year, they said Tuesday.
Noble will concentrate on production, at least at first, they said. The owners do not plan a full-scale restaurant, but want to sell pints and appetizers at the brewery.
The east side location apparently fell through, however, and instead the new company will be opening over on Bend’s west side, joining the ranks of most of the other brewers in town. At the beginning of this month Bend’s alternate weekly newspaper, The Source Weekly, had an update:
Maybe we should rename this newspaper the Source Weekly Drinking Gazette because there’s been enough beer news in the last few months to almost fill these pages. But hey, we’re not complaining and we didn’t complain when Noble Brewing Company co-owner Ty Barnett sat down within our brick walls to tell us about his operation, which will soon be the region’s ninth brewery. He also confirmed that Noble is taking over the West Bend Tennis Center in the constantly expanding (and increasingly awesome) Century Center. This is a bummer for indoor tennis fans, but a boon for beer nuts, who will enjoy hanging in the spacious tasting room Noble is planning to open by the beginning of January. The 30-tank facility should pump out some 3,500 barrels in its first year, Barnett says. As for what sort of beer we can expect, Barnett says they’re looking at American-style beers, including a pale ale, an IPA, a Northwest wheat and other creations.
It’s unclear what a “30-tank facility” means exactly, perhaps that’s supposed to mean “30-barrel facility”—if so, that would put them larger at the start than several of the region’s other microbreweries.
So here’s what we know:
- Noble Brewing, address 1355 SW Commerce, Bend, OR 97702
- Opening the beginning of January 2011
- Planning at least a Pale Ale, IPA, Northwest Wheat
All of this begs the question of how much is too much—Bend, after all, is only a city of 80,000 people. Even though we have a lively beer culture, will there be a (over)saturation of breweries? Honestly, I would have thought so when Boneyard—and perhaps even 10 Barrel before that—opened up; it seems the local market thus far will support the beer.
But I’m not complaining! All the variety is one of the things that makes Bend a great beer town and that’s good for all of us.
And I have to say, I think Noble’s logo is pretty sweet.
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