By Anthony St. Clair
For the Oregon Beer Growler
Longtime friends AJ Tuter, Matt Hill and Bryan Ireland had been homebrewing together in Roseburg for years, and members of their informal beer club kept telling them they should go pro. When they decided to make the leap, their search for a brewery name turned out to be down the street. Tuter’s home — and site of their garage homebrewery — was near Main Street, or “Old 99,” a north-south highway that runs the length of the West Coast. After getting licensed in 2013, Old 99 Brewing Co. has been at the vanguard of Roseburg’s growing craft beer scene, and a receptive public leaves Yelp reviews such as “hidden gem” and “small, friendly and has a whole bunch of passion and character.”
“We’re not on Old 99, but it’s perpendicular to it,” explains Tuter. “We thought Old 99 would be a good way to associate the Northwest for us. It’s been fun, it’s been a good brand to build. People like our shirts, our logo, that story.”
Today Old 99 is keeping a focus on slow growth, good beer and fun times. All three owners share brewery duties while holding other full-time positions: Tuter as a firefighter and paramedic who works in Eugene but lives in Roseburg; Hill as a network engineer in Roseburg; and Ireland, who works in Portland as a replenishment specialist and commutes to Roseburg.
Tuter describes Old 99 as being about “community, gathering, connections and above all, dedication to craft beer.” That focus is paying off. Starting with a 1-barrel system, Old 99 quickly moved to a 3.5-barrel system, on which they would double-batch into 7-barrel fermenters. “We did that for a while. It was hard duty,” says Tuter. “Every time you brewed you had to double-batch, and it made for a long brew day.” Since late 2014, Old 99 has brewed on a 7-barrel system from Portland Kettle Works. Along with a 15-barrel tank, the brewers have made other improvements to streamline the brewing process. While still double-batching, now Old 99 has been doubling capacity during the last seven months and is on pace to increase annual production from 300 barrels a year to, for 2016, an estimated 600-700 barrels.
While the partners share tasks, they also specialize in particular areas while also making sure everyone is communicating about what’s happening in different parts of the business. “It’s all collaborative,” says Tuter. “We all have different jobs, and everybody comes together and gets it done.”
Along with the partners, their wives help with different parts of the business. Old 99 also has four other employees, two in the tasting room and two doing cellar work in the 6,800-square-foot space. Currently Old 99 is sticking to its limited hours, but the partners are looking at expanding hours and adding staff in the future.
Sunday is typically a brew day, with additional brew days during the week as needed. By Thursday, all hands are on deck to prep for Friday and Saturday. Old 99 also recently started opening to the public on Thursdays. “It’s a challenge to balance working in the brewery, getting those tasks done and then doing the tasting room thing,” says Tuter. “But we like being in the brewery, with the equipment, where people can ask questions. The person who served the beer is more than likely the person who made it. That’s what I like about how we did it.”
The beers pouring today are similar to the beers that first poured when Old 99 opened three years ago. For The Win IPA, usually just referred to as FTW, came out of a 10-beer experiment to become their most popular beer. Another flagship, Billy Bad Ass Double IPA, has such a local following that “people refer to that beer almost like a person that they know,” says Tuter, prompting the partners to work up a graphic of what Billy might look like.
Infrared Northwest Red Ale can also be found on a few other taps in Douglas County. Old 99’s Pale Ale has undergone some changes over the years though. The inaugural Yard Sale Pale Ale has since been replaced by Tioga Pale Ale. Named after a section of the North Umpqua Trail, Tioga uses piney hops to make it “feel like a walk in the woods.” Keeping it simple on the dark side of things, year-round Fogline Stout got its start in the homebrew kettle and today remains a four-ingredient stout. “It’s just a Northwest stout, super smooth, a fan favorite.”
Lastly, Infidel Cascadian Dark Ale/Black IPA is a “beer geek beer,” says Tuter, but one that also won Best of Show at a brew fest in Klamath Falls last year. “A lot of people think they don’t like dark beer, but when they try this they’re impressed. They almost think they’re drinking a Guinness-type beer, but the hops are in your face with tropical and citrus notes, and it’s unexpected to have those coming out of a dark beer.”
Earlier this year Old 99 began limited distribution through Bigfoot Beverage, but Old 99’s focus remains “making sure Douglas County is taken care of first.” Tuter expects distribution to continue gradually expanding. In advance of that, Old 99 is starting to appear at more Oregon beer events, such as Lane County brew festivals and the Bend Brewfest in August. Old 99 also has added a crowler machine for filling and sealing 32-oz cans in the tasting room, similar to filling growlers. In August the brewery will celebrate its anniversary.
“We plan on growing, but we want to grow healthy,” says Tuter. “We’re going to do well with what we have, and not have to sacrifice beer quality. It’s beer first, grow later.”
Old 99 Brewing Co.
(a) 3750 Hooker Road, Suite A, Roseburg
By Anthony St. Clair
For the Oregon Beer Growler
Smaller urban areas are seeing a rise of craft beer, often alongside a rise of artisanal local food. Manny and Olivia Anaya, founders and owners of Salud Restaurant and Brewery in downtown Roseburg, wanted to build on their deep roots in the community where they grew up, but they wanted some flare in the food — and craft beer in the glass. So the husband-and-wife team decided to bring Latin-inspired food, paired with house craft beers, to the 22,000 citizens of their small city, located about an hour south of Eugene off I-5.
“When guests enter Salud, they come as strangers and leave as our friends,” says Manny Anaya, which makes sense given the name he chose. Meaning “to your health,” salud is a common toast in many Latin and Hispanic countries, and Anaya describes Salud’s atmosphere as “created for laughter and relaxation.” The small restaurant and brewery offers appetizers, tapas, specialty entrees, tacos and desserts. Beverages include Umpqua Valley wines, craft beers, house margaritas, mojitos and mules. In addition to being family friendly, Salud also features SNL, but not the one you might be expecting. Salud Night Life brings in local musicians, bands and DJs with happy hour specials.
“We consider ourselves Spanish-fusion cuisine,” explains Anaya. “We take fresh ingredients, add some interesting spice, use some old-school-meets-new-school recipes, we take our time and we end up making some really amazing food.”
Ten employees work alongside the Anayas, including brewer Sean Vincent. From a family who owned restaurants, Vincent began as a homebrewer and evolved into professional brewing. Together with the Anayas, Vincent develops beers on Salud’s 1-barrel system with what Anaya describes as “uncommon and unique ingredients.” That could be tamarind in a triple IPA or Mexican chocolate in a stout. “The first beers we made were our Ab-Salud-Ly IPA and our Dusk ‘til Dawn Mexican chocolate stout,” says Anaya. “We literally brewed that beer from dusk ‘til dawn that first batch.”
The recently released spring and summer menu features a large selection of tapas and continues evolving Salud’s offerings: saffron clams cooked in a creamy coconut milk broth, duck tostadas cooked in traditional French confit, lobster ceviche served with handmade chips and lichen skewers dusted with cumin and cinnamon, served with a house-made crema. An imperial red ale is about to be released and fresh mint is being brought in daily for mojito season, which “is in full effect.”
Patrons can also sign up for Salud’s Familia Membership. In addition to receiving a custom 64-ounce growler with name and member number, members of Familia gain access to special events and deals, including tap takeovers, dinner pairings, beer debuts, discounts on merchandise and growler fills, and admission to private parties on holidays like Halloween, New Year’s Eve and Salud’s anniversary.
Anaya came from a restaurant background. “My parents, aunts and uncles have many successful Mexican restaurants here in Oregon,” says Anaya. “I worked for my family for about 12 years helping them manage their restaurants with the goal to one day have a place of my own.”
He and his wife evaluated properties and kept an eye on local opportunities. When the right space came along in downtown, among a growing scene of local shops, eateries, and other small breweries and taphouses, the Anayas jumped on it. After four months of remodeling, Salud opened its doors to the public in 2014.
“My wife has been a great partner in all of this,” says Anaya. “She works full-time as an operating room nurse here in town and has helped me get this dream of mine together. We collaborate on menus and work closely on our wine and beer pairing dinners. We both have always had a passion for handmade delicious food and good craft beer. Our best dates have been exploring cities one bite at a time.”
As Salud gains popularity, the couple are looking ahead for how they might grow the brewery. Beer, though, will remain in-house for now. “We love showcasing and pairing our food and beer together to create the whole dining experience,” explains Anaya.
Salud also reaches out to the broader community and is there for the ups and downs. In the aftermath of the October 2015 shooting at Umpqua Community College, Salud teamed up with four other local breweries (Backside Brewing Co., Draper Brewing, Old 99 Brewing Co. and Two-Shy Brewing), plus Hop Valley Brewing Co. in Eugene/Springfield, to create an ale to raise money for victims and their families.
Despite the UCC shooting being what brought national attention on the area, Roseburg, Douglas County, and the Umpqua Valley have been seeing positive change after years of struggling with the decline of the once-strong timber industry in the self-described “Timber Capital of the Nation.” The Umpqua Valley is known for its wine, but breweries are growing too. “We were the sixth brewery to open here, but the second full restaurant and brewery,” says Anaya.
While optimistic for the future, Anaya also acknowledges that Roseburg and the surrounding area face challenges. “This is a small town with not a lot of disposable income. Roseburg also does not have much of a hospitality industry, which can be a challenge for travelers,” he says. However, “Douglas County has the potential to grow, we just need more local businesses to invest here. We see Roseburg growing and changing in the near future.”
Anaya feels that local support for Salud, and for craft beer, is growing, but no matter what, he and his wife are running their business where they belong.
“This is where we grew up,” says Anaya. “This is home.”
Salud Restaurant and Brewery
[a] 537 SE Jackson St., Roseburg
By Brian Yaeger
The Rogue and Umpqua Valleys are proving that the operative word in Southern Oregon is “Oregon.” A recent spate of brewery openings has literally doubled the number of breweries from ten to twenty in the last two years. Ashland is set to welcome its third brewery, Swing Tree, where owner/brewer Brandon Overstreet and his wife Tanya have lofty plans for spontaneous fermented beers but will debut with the likes of Obligatory IPA. Up in Medford, Apocalypse packs its warehouse space and the newer Portal provides a cozy pub atmosphere. On the northern end of Southern Oregon in Roseburg, Old 99 is brewing clean, top-notch beers and you’ll be stoked to make the acquaintance of Billy (last name: Bad Ass, who’s a Double IPA). Nearby, Two Shy is open for growler fills and is building out its tasting room to enjoy pints of their DIPA, Ignition. And coming soon is Dogbarrel, currently operating as a homebrew supply store but the 1.5 barrel system is already in the back awaiting operation. Way up in White City amid rural ranches there’s Fire Cirkl, a braggot brewery featured elsewhere in these pages. Last but not least, right in the middle, Grants Pass is experiencing a relative boom with three new breweries. There’s the forthcoming Griess Family in brewer Trevor Griess’s backyard called JD’s Sports Pub that added a brewery that makes shockingly decent beers like their pale ale, and, a veritable beer geek destination that you sadly can’t visit, Conner Fields.
Jon Conner moved to Southern Oregon with his buddy Josh Fields to start this 1.5-barrel brewery. Josh has departed, but the name sticks, and sensibly so, since it’s situated in fields of grapes, quite literally on the Conner Family Vinery, or what you and I might call a vineyard. Jon would love to add a hop yard, but first thing’s first. His stable of quality saisons and farmhouse beers are sold primarily at the Grants Pass farmers market in pre-filled growlers and one of the best is the Zin Saison made with Zinfandel grapes hand-plucked right outside the barn that houses the brewery. The farmers market attracts a few thousand people, and to sate their disparate thirsts, Conner Fields offers around fifteen different beers, though none as a year-round flaghship. One beer that’s garnering a fan base is Robot Small, a Japanese-esque beer in that 30 percent of the grain bill is comprised of rice and its abundance of Sorachi hops, lending the lemony high notes to this already light, top-heavy beer.
Born to be a maker—he was a sculptor back in New York with a homebrewing hobby who now makes beer but is always sculpting his brewing equipment—he’s looking forward to putting some of the empty wine barrels that surround him to good use. “I have Tempranillo barrels, port, Zin, Sherry...I will be barrel aging, but no Brett or I’ll be kicked out by all the winemakers.”
OBG Blog Archives
Welcome to our archive pages! Read stories from the print edition of the Oregon Beer Growler from June 2012 to January 2018. For newer stories, please visit our new website at: