Months before Hopworks Urban Brewery opened its doors in March of 2008 I was chomping at the bit. I'd been drinking HUB beers -- along with many other lucky Portlanders -- since fall 2007 at various pubs and restaurants around town and they were good. Very good -- especially the IPA.
Hopworks owner Christian Ettinger didn't plan to open the doors to his extreme green Southeast Powell Boulevard brewpub several months after he'd started wholesaling kegs to local establishments but that's just the way it worked out. According to Christian the production facility took a lot less time to build out than the upstairs brewpub. It's a good thing it did because it was genius marketing. Folks drank delicious local mystery brew at top Portland pubs and the buzz about it and its home built and built.
I met up with Christian recently at the brewpub and talked with him about what it's like when everyone tells you you shouldn't do something and you do it anyway (open a brewpub on a busy arterial lacking in foot traffic), his architect dad Roy Ettinger who was HUB's contractor, Christian's plans for another Hopworks (probably within the next two years), and 3,440 barrels of organic beer on the wall. That's the number of beer barrels HUB brewed from its opening in March 2008 until March 2009 -- a lot more than the 1,500 Christian anticipated for HUB's first year. He's been maniacally busy since retail and wholesale is booming and on the home front Christian's wife gave birth to their second child two months after HUB opened.
At HUB there are always 10 beers on tap and two cask beers. The six standards include HUB Lager, Crosstown Pale Ale, Velvet ESB, Hopworks IPA, Survival Stout and Deluxe Organic Ale. There are also always four seasonals on tap which keeps the brewers and customers happy.
Hopworks Urban Brewery 2944 SE Powell Blvd. 503.232.4677 www.hopworksbeer.com