Three Creeks is brewery No. 7 in Central Oregon. It joins Bend Brewing Co., Cascade Lakes Brewing Co., Deschutes Brewery, McMenamins, Silver Moon Brewing Co. and Wildfire Brewing Co. All are based in Bend except Cascade Lakes, which is based in Redmond...Nothing satisfies curiosity like actually tasting the beer, but this at least gives some hints:
Twenty years [after Deschutes Brewing opened], beer making has grown to a $500 million-a-year industry in Central, Southern and Eastern Oregon, according to the National Beer Wholesalers Association and the Beer Institute. It provides more than $151 million in wages and 5,029 jobs.
The brewery uses a 10-barrel system that will allow it to produce up to 31,000 gallons, or 1,000 barrels, of beer annually...I really gotta make a trip to Central Oregon soon. I've been lax about trying Tonya Cornett's beers, and this ups the ante even further. And as I recall, it's not a half-bad lookin' place, either.
To succeed, the new brewery will need to create “name-making” beers that will attract craft beer lovers, [Wade] Underwood [president of Three Sisters] said.
“We’re still trying to figure out what beers are going to be most popular,” he said. “Deschutes Brewery had Black Butte Porter. Nobody else had it....”
Three Creeks hopes to find similar success with the 8 Second IBA, one of six staple beers on tap. The beer has the bitter taste of an India Pale Ale and the dark look of a porter, Underwood said.
“It’s a bold beer — nobody else is making it,” he said.
Another staple beer, the Knotty Blonde, appeals to the larger population that wants a lighter taste, he said.
The excitement around Bend notwithstanding, there's one comment in the article worth highlighting for its ... its ... well, have a look:
“Clearly, Central Oregon is becoming known as the microbrew epicenter of the state,” Audette said. “It’s great for us because culinary tourism continues to grow nationally and statewide.”I will forgive Alana Audette for this hyperbole--she's the president and CEO of the Central Oregon Visitors Association. But the next time she's in town, I'm happy to take her on a tour of Portland's breweries--all 30 of them. We're not quite ready to cede the title of epicenter just yet.