Astoria Brewing Co.’s Taproom on 12th Street is one of the newest incarnations for Astoria’s burgeoning craft brewing business scene.
The taproom overlooking the brewery, which has been closed during the coronavirus pandemic, reopened last week with a different configuration and “with an exciting new director,” said new manager Brad Kenoyer.
The popularity of microbreweries on the North Coast got its jumpstart in 1997 when the family-owned Pacific Rim Brewing took a chance with its four-barrel craft brewery, in conjunction with their other family business, Wet Dog Cafe. Owners Karen Allen and Steve Allen renamed their enterprise Astoria Brewing Co. in 2014. That year, they also added their children Andy Huber, Mike Allen and Kera Huber, and manager Mike McClure as co-partners. The group expanded the business with a much larger 15-barrel brewery and taproom.
Astoria Brewing Co.’s pub, at 144 11th Street, operates as a separate entity from the taproom.
John Dalgren, the company’s former brewmaster, who created some of their flagstaff brews, such as Poopdeck Porter and Strawberry Blonde, is back on board overseeing production.
“I’m so excited to be back in Astoria among old friends,” Kenoyer said.
Kenoyer recently returned to the area after spending time away working at Grand Canyon National Park.
“I look forward to getting the taproom up and going. I have so many ideas and Karen Allen has been great to work with. And having John here is the best. I can’t wait to see what we’ll have to offer, like seasonal selections and non-alcoholic beverages too,” Kenoyer said.
“I guess I’m officially the manager,” Kenoyer said. “Operator, manager, I like to think of myself as a proprietor. Like a friendly barkeep who welcomes people with a, ‘Come on over and relax, have a beer’ creating a friendly living room sort of atmosphere.”
The taproom will have eight tap handles, four of which will include Dalgren’s creations.
“I think it will really be a draw for people to come in and taste what’s new. Who knows what outrageous beer we’ll come up with? In fact, I’m hoping people will let us know about their favorite ‘undiscovered gems’ and we’ll try to get them in,” Kenoyer said.
Reveille Ciderworks will be on tap, plus two “small or obscure Pacific Northwest craft breweries,” Kenoyer said.
“We’re going to have ... all the crazy little breweries like, Reuben’s, Ecliptic, Boneyard, Ascendant, Scuttlebutt — cool, pale ales, hazy IPAs, different varieties to contrast with others. Then there’s the Pacific Rim tap featuring unique breweries that might originate from San Francisco, San Diego, Hawaii, Alaska, Japan, you name it. The PNW and Pacific Rim selections will be one and done small kegs, so once a particular brand is out, it’s gone,” Kenoyer said.
The taproom will stay open mid-week an extra hour later than most breweries and pubs in town. Sports TV, bar snacks and grab n’ go food will be available as well. In the fall, the taproom will begin to incorporate game and trivia nights, music and live entertainment.
“At this point, we’re hoping to survive the summer rush and then be open to everything and all suggestions,” Kenoyer said. “I anticipate having so much fun. It’ll be a place where people will want to hang out and enjoy each other and maybe discover new tastes. I look forward to keeping everyone properly hydrated with beer.”