And it will have a tasting room:
Testing the theory that it's not what you know but who you know, Hammond, 43, set out to find the right person to handle his brew. That happened to be Anders Johansen, 48, whose resume includes both stints with Pyramid and Deschutes breweries as well as a couple of start-ups.
"I surround myself with people smarter than me," Hammond says. "I hired someone with experience and ability who knew exactly what equipment we needed...."
Rather than piece together a new brewery from discarded and used parts, Hammond bit the bullet and invested $1 million into equipment.
"We could've started with a lot less and basically pulled ourselves up by the bootstraps," he says. "But we wanted mostly new stuff that's reliable and we wouldn't have to fix. We're starting small, but I bought enough equipment to where we can grow without more capital expense in the early years."Southern Oregon Brewing Co., located at 1922 United Way in Medford, will debut with a 20-barrel brewhouse, capable of producing 620 gallons in an eight-hour period. Hammond anticipates brewing once per week in the beginning.
Looks like it might be time for a road trip.
Tasting room hours will initially run from 4 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Occupants at the 24-foot bar and tables can view brewery activity through two large plate-glass windows.
"We'll see how business is going and then probably expand," Hammond says. "Our primary focus is going to be on manufacturing and wholesale distribution."
PHOTO: Mail Tribune