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Saturday, July 30, 2016

Ready-to-Sell Brewery Bought, Surprising None

Note: Post cleaned up for some egregious (Hop Valley is two hours from Portland, not two miles) and small-and-sloppy mistakes ("big" for "bit," etc). 


The consummately generic Oregon brewery Hop Valley was the latest to join MillerCoors' growing portfolio. I swear to all that is holy that I'll quit posting every time this happens, but in this case I'll make an exception--since it's a local brewery, I'll tell you a bit about its reputation on background. It's original location was in Springfield, which is fused St. Paul-style onto Eugene, two miles hours south of Portland. You could pop into the brewery in a strip mall just off I-5 if you're headed south.

If that makes it sound like a bit of a generic place, you're on the right track. They made one stand-out beer some time ago, Czech Your Head, a really credible Czechish lager. Mostly, though, they fall into that anonymous middle band of breweries you see at the grocery store but which fail to register. The beer is perfectly serviceable, but forgettable.  I described it yesterday on Facebook as the kind of brand, with the kind of name, you'd see as the supermarket brand for a chain like Safeway. Aside from a scandal about a beer named "Mouth Raper" a few years back, they have maintained a low profile in the state. Here in Oregon, no one is gnashing her teeth and lamenting the loss of an important node of unique local culture.

If ever there was a brewery purpose-built to be acquired, Hop Valley is that brewery. You may safely ignore the sale and the brand henceforth.

By coincidence, I am headed down that way today, but I'll be going to Agrarian Ales, which is as close to the perfect opposite of Hop Valley as you can find.


  1. "The beer is perfectly serviceable, but forgettable." Exactly. Few seem to care about this sell-out. I'm of a similar mind...we can stop posting when this happens.

  2. Jeff -

    I'm reading a piece noting that the brewery is going from 38,500 barrels in 2015 to a projected 60,000 this year. When did the expansion begin? I'm always curious about where money is going in terms of these deals, as it often comes after a brewery has taken out a large chunk of money to do such a thing, and, as you point out, for a relatively young(ish) brewery, seems to cater to the idea of a sale.

  3. Bryan, they're are far enough below my radar that I was unaware of the expansion. Apparently they moved from the strip mall to someplace in Eugene.

  4. Now it makes sense that they also dropped the beer name "Double-D Blonde" from their portfolio.

  5. Now it makes sense that they also dropped the beer name "Double-D Blonde" from their portfolio.

  6. Mmmm, Hop Valley! Great stuff.

  7. Mmmm, Hop Valley! Great stuff.