Broken Top Bottle Shop & Ale Café changing (some) hands

Wednesday, March 16, via the Facebook group Broken Top Bottle Shop Friends, I learned that two of the original four partners in BTBS will be shortly selling their share to the other two.

Diana Fischetti and Andy Polanchek are moving on and leaving the beloved bottle shop and restaurant in the capable hands of Jason and Jennifer Powell. We love all four of these folks and this is kind of bittersweet for us.

Photo of the four original partners in Broken Top Bottle Shop & Ale Café

Picture of Broken Top Bottle Shop & Ale Café owners & partners shortly after they opened. L-R: Jennifer Powell, Andy Polanchek, Jason Powell, and Diana Fischetti. Picture credit believed to belong to Gina Schauland.

We first went to BTBS in May 2012 just three plus months after they opened when we were here for Sara’s interview. We moved just up the College Way hill from them in August 2012 and commenced to being regulars. Let me just put it this way: On Untappd I have 455 checkins at BTBS. Our good friend Ryan has 302 and my lovely wife (who started using Untappd way after me) has 116. We are the top three. [At our own home location I have 714, she has 142, and Ryan has 100.]

We used to live at the other end of the street which was just over 1 mile, with a fairly significant hill. The way down was easy. One earned their beer and food with the walk back home. Almost entirely uphill. We have since moved somewhat across town but nowhere else is close for either of us on checkins. The next two would be Platypus Pub and Deschutes Bend Public House, which both around 160 checkins for me [versus 455].

This is our place. I wrote about them in the Oregon Beer Growler. [PDF: November, 2013, p. 18] I talk and write about them frequently. I even have a TextExpander shortcut for “Broken Top Bottle Shop & Ale Café.” Most of my browsers, at home or work, “know” that “b” typed in the address bar means “http://btbsbend.com/“ so I can check either or both of the tap list and specials menu.

I stopped by there Thursday on the way home from work to do some business with a local brewer friend. Got myself a converted half barrel to use as a mash tun and boil kettle. Stoked! But I saw both Jason and Jennifer (separately) and they are stoked to move on to this new phase. “Team Powell” is on the way and looking forward to maintaining their place and the community, along with bringing us new things. We are excited.

Friday evening was also the “Sail Away Party” for Andy and Diana during the Stone tasting. We went down for dinner and beers after I closed up the Barber Library at 5 pm. Thankfully we got a few minutes to chat with both of them. They aren’t leaving us right away and have some irons in the fire, so to speak, so we’ll be looking forward to seeing where this next phase goes for all of them and the shop.

We want to extend our heartfelt good wishes to Diana and Andy in whatever comes next in their lives. Cheers, friends!

Bend Beer (book) official launch party

I already mentioned the book, Bend Beer, on my blog a couple weeks ago, and I want to mention it again as the official launch party is this Friday night at the Des Chutes Historical Museum.

Bend Beer official launch party at Des Chutes Historical Museum Fri Nov 7

Bend Beer official launch party at Des Chutes Historical Museum Fri Nov 7

It starts at 6:30 pm. According to Jon Abernathy, the author:

It will be an open format event, where I’ll be signing books and answering questions and will have a short, informal talk around 7 to 7:30. The Museum is generously opening up their doors for us for the evening to allow folks to explore the exhibits and the history of the region.

Deschutes Brewery has graciously agreed to join us for the evening, which I’m very excited about because it’s a great combination of Bend’s history with Bend’s first brewery! They will be pouring a keg of their pub specialty Botanical Ale. And Chef Rudy of Smokin’ Dan Brew & Q will be there as well serving up delicious food to pair with the beer.

Here’s the Facebook event page for the evening.

Jon says there is also a signing party event this Thursday at 5pm at Silver Moon Brewing as well.

I can attest that the Deschutes beer they are graciously providing is quite tasty. This is Veronica Vega’s Beers Made By Walking beer.

I have also heard rumor of an informal pub crawl after Friday’s signing event but you’ll have to be “present to win” on that one.

Cover of Bend Beer by Jon Abernathy. Photo by Gina Schauland.

Cover of Bend Beer by Jon Abernathy. Photo by Gina Schauland.

Disclaimer: Both my wife and I provided some proofreading of the manuscript and are mentioned in the Acknowledgments. I might not be unbiased.

Bend Beer: A History of Brewing in Central Oregon. Get it!

Bend Beer: A History of Brewing in Central Oregon by Jon Abernathy is out today and if you have any interest in Bend and Central Oregon history and, in particular, the region’s history of brewing then you need this book.

It is currently “the definitive” book on brewing in Central Oregon, but I know even Jon wants more answers to some things. There is more he could not fit due to space constraints. Such is book authorship.

I heartily and fully recommend this book.

Cover of Bend Beer by Jon Abernathy. Photo by Gina Schauland.

Cover of Bend Beer by Jon Abernathy. Photo by Gina Schauland.

That said, and with hopefully more to come, some caveats are in order (whether required by the man or not): Jon Abernathy is my friend. I read the book ~1.5 times while it was being written and finalized. I read the first half through and then, when given the whole, read it over again from the start. Sara read the whole thing also. In fact, for part of our editing sessions I read it out loud and I made notes as either caught something.

This reading was in editing mode. Nonetheless, I saw so many (informationally) juicy bits that answer questions I’ve had and/or provide another angle into several other seriously “itchy” unanswered ones. I am really looking forward to sitting down with our copy and making notes for me instead of for the author. 😉 Jon has seriously extended my knowledge. But often better knowledge only leads to better/different questions. [Do not mistake that “juicy” for ‘the book contains “the dirt”‘ on anyone’s favorite brewery. That is not the case; Jon is not a mudslinger.] Also, our copy was given to us. OK, I think that’s all the disclosure needed.

Media and such:

The book’s website which includes author signing events.

Jon’s announcement at his beer blog, The Brew Site, which lists 8 locations in Bend to buy a physical copy, one in Portland, and several online links.

An interview with the author at #pdxbeergeeks.

If Facebook is your thing.

I hope to have more to say/review the book once I have re-read it on my own terms. Seems only fair.

The first couple of chapters give us good insight into the history of the region, including alcohol and Prohibition, and bring us up to Deschutes Brewery’s founding in 1988. There was brewing in Central Oregon well before 1988. It just wasn’t in Bend. Or for long.

I, personally, still have questions, in particular, about beer in Bend (and Central Oregon, generally) prior to Prohibition in 1916 [Even more particularly, before 1907-ish]. Jon has chased down an awful lot of history and done us great service, but I hope to infect him with my questions and perhaps we can both work at chasing down more answers and more interesting questions. 😀

Throughout these chapters we learn about the various industries that have driven Bend and its frequent, rapid growth.

In the next few chapters, we learn about Deschutes, the second wave of breweries, and the explosion of breweries and beer tourism. It truly is a heady ride.

Sara and I have only been here in Bend a bit over 2 years but the number of breweries in Central Oregon has more than doubled since we arrived; a good percentage of them in Bend.

Contents:

Foreword, by Gary Fish
Preface
Acknowledgments

1. Beer on the Frontier: Saloons, Isolation and Homesteads on the High Desert
2. Prohibition on the High Desert
3. Timber Town: The Boom Years
4. Recreation and Tourism
5. Laying Foundations: Deschutes Brewery and Other Pioneers
6. The Second Wave
7. The Brewery Explosion and the Rise of Beer Tourism
8. Beer Town, USA

Appendix. Timeline
Bibliography
Index
About the Author

The foreword is by Gary Fish, founder of Deschutes Brewery, and the gorgeous cover photo is by Gina Schauland, of Deschutes Brewery and Central Oregon Beer Angels.

I encourage you to buy a copy but the local libraries ought have copies fairly quickly. I asked our collection development librarian at COCC Barber Library to order a copy or two this morning. I also poked Deschutes Public Library via Twitter. Others should feel free to request their local libraries acquire it. In the meantime, there are lots of places to grab a copy locally and several online.

DB CO-OP Firkin-A

Last night Deschutes Brewery put on another outstanding event, Firkin’-A: Traditional Ales, at their Bend Public House.

Flyer for the DB CO-OP Firkin'-A event

Flyer for the DB CO-OP Firkin’-A event

This was the 2nd in their DB CO-OP series so far, which focuses on educating the community on local beer and local food, and which benefits assorted local causes via rallycause. The first two quarterly events were part of the Brewer Cooperative, while the last two will be part of the Central Oregon Culinary Cooperative.

Firkin’-A: Traditional Ales featured brewers from McMenamins, 10 Barrel, Brewers Union Local 180 and Deschutes. They all brought cask ales to share and Deschutes provided great traditional English bites to accompany them. Worthy was advertised as being there but I either missed them entirely somehow or they didn’t make it.

I began with McMenamins Note Taker IPA, followed by Brewers Union Local 180 Wotcha a la Challenger Bitter. Deschutes Pub Bitter came next and then I had 10 Barrels S1nist0r Black Ale which had been krausened with their Berliner Weisse (which I am assuming was German Sparkle Party). All of the beers were quite tasty and I had second sample of all of them.

Brewers Union Local 180 Wotcha ala Challenger Bitter

Brewers Union Local 180 Wotcha ala Challenger Bitter (Sorry about the bad photo)

The food, which consisted of an assortment of cheeses and sausages, bread and crackers, and some pickled vegetables, was quite tasty also.

Firkin tools and implements on display

Firkin tools and implements on display

Deschutes Brewer Veronica Vega, and others, put on an excellent party. Did I mention it was FREE? Big thanks to Deschutes and all of the other breweries and brewers in attendance for bringing their beers and spending their time with us. An especially big thanks goes to Brewers Union Local 180 for making the trek from Oakridge. I am really looking forward to visiting them someday soon. They come highly recommended from some serious beer drinkers that I trust.

The gentleman from Brewers Union Local 180 pouring traditional cask ale

The gentleman from Brewers Union Local 180 pouring traditional cask ale

The next two DB CO-OP events are:

By the way, I think the wristband idea is dead in the water and that you can just show up. It wasn’t needed for yesterday’s event. Feel free to ask on Facebook or via Twitter nearer these events as Deschutes social media folks are amazingly responsive.