(Photo above: 10 Barrel Brewing Co. | Photo by Cascade Business News)
New Facility Includes State-of-Art Packaging & Pub in Northeast Bend
Continuing a meteoric rise since its inception a decade ago, home-grown success story 10 Barrel Brewing Co. has laid the foundations for further exponential growth with a new 60,000 square foot facility ramping up production capacity — and innovation opportunities —
in Northeast Bend.
Complete with a tasting room and 138-seat pub offering views into the plant’s inner workings, company chiefs say the craft brew hub adjoining the original brewery operation on NE 18th will allow locals and visitors to get “up close” to the manufacturing process as part of a philosophy of reinforcing a connection with the community.
The new tap room and restaurant (with outdoor patio and fire pit) will no doubt be a boon to residents seeking more options in that quadrant of the city, but 10 Barrel’s wider expansion plans have been in the works for some time to cater to steadily increasing demand, both on the retail front and for an expanding footprint of brewpubs, which now number Portland, Boise, Denver and San Diego locations as well as two in Bend.
The project — designed by Portland-based SEA Architects and built by Bend general contractor CS Construction — broke ground just over a year ago and now houses warehousing, packaging and shipping operations on a 5.5 acre site adjacent to the existing brewery, linked by a connecting beer bridge.
State-of-the-art equipment imported from Europe includes canning and a bottling line that can crank out 240 units a minute in various styles and sizes — effectively increasing packaging potential three-fold — while other features include a new keg filler that can top off a full keg about every minute, bigger cold storage areas and a new tasting room.
Other, second floor amenities include a 3,000 sq ft multi-purpose room complete with twenty taps, which can be used for events or as a banquet facility, as well as offices and an upper deck patio featuring mountain views.
Significantly, the move has freed up space for more fermentation tanks and a larger cellar room in the original brewing building – which currently spans around 25,000 sq ft following previous expansions – to allow brewers to focus on high-end specialty beers and barrel-aged products in addition to stalwart standards like the flagship Joe and Apocalypse IPA’s. A second kettle recently added can now be dedicated to increasingly popular sour styles.
During a recent tour of the new facility, 10 Barrel Brewmaster Jimmy Seifrit said he was somewhat relieved to get back to the core of his innovation role after overseeing much of the operational shift and expansion coordination of the last few years.
Since, 2011 when he was coaxed away from Deschutes Brewery to take over brewing operations – when 10 Barrel was putting out around 10,000 barrels a year – he has gone through three brewery expansions and the building of five pubs under his watch.
He said, “This latest expansion really allows us to realize economies of scale and be more efficient, and should take care of our needs long into the future.
“Last year we pumped out around 73,000 barrels, which itself was more than a thirty percent increase on 2015. We kept running out of space and infrastructure periodically since the original ten-barrel system, which was very manual, but now the fifty-barrel brewhouse with more automation has a capacity in the range of 124,000 barrels annually.”
The new capacity is a far cry from when founders Jeremy and Chris Cox along with Garrett Wales procured a 10-barrel brewing set-up and launched the start-up brewery originally know as Wildfire some ten years ago, selling product through their “JC’s” pub in downtown Bend.
The name was changed in 2008, and subsequent expansion included the opening of a pub on Galveston Avenue in Bend and allowed a move into the Portland market in 2012, with operations growing to a fifty-barrel system.
The original ten-barrel system is still intact and is now used for new beer development and special releases, but more recent growth has been fueled by the acquisition of 10 Barrel’s brewing operations by Anheuser-Busch InBev in late 2014 and a consequent capital influx spurring wider distribution and the opening of marquee brewpubs in hot craft beer markets featuring a notable line-up of innovative brewers.
Seifrit’s current “dream team” includes Tonya Cornett, Shawn Kelso, Bobby Jackson, Whitney Burnside, Ben Shirley, Ian Larkin and Kay Witkiewicz, and he added, “We produce all the consistent standard brews here, but the philosophy has been to hire talented brewers, including in the various pubs, and to encourage them to push the envelope and give them the tools to create higher end flair product reflecting their own strengths.”
He said one spin-off benefit of the new packaging lines was that it had alleviated congestion compared to the previous more labor-intensive approach and freed up employees to pursue more creative work.
He said, “This all needed to happen to build our infrastructure to cater to not just growth but increased innovation. People may not realize, but we are actually Bend’s most award-winning brewery.
“The equipment installed is optimal for our size and the best fit. It allows us to be dynamic with filling different styles and sizes of bottles and cans whether they be 8, 12 or 16 oz. The line can empty a 400-barrel tank in one shift versus 2-3 days previously.
“Part of the idea was also to provide the total experience for visitors. People can sample the taste room, take a tour of the brewery — we have now set catwalks to get visitors through in a safe manner – ask questions and go to the pub to relax and buy some merchandise if they wish and really enjoy the whole experience.
“We wanted to put it all together so people could see us at work and reinforce that connection with the local community. A lot of thought went into this project and the layout, with input from various stakeholders including a list of what ideally would like to be
“In all we hope to have created an optimal environment for our people, with the belief that a happy employee is better when work life is more enjoyable. We don’t lose many people, we have a lot of five-plus-year tenures and still have employee number one and number two! We encourage people to move up within the company and try to identify their passions in terms of what they would like to pursue, including creating a path for brewers whether that be in sensory management, labs, marketing and so forth.
“It’s about finding the right personality and fit. People appreciate the opportunity to grow with the company and have a quality environment and the support network in which to thrive.
“Between the brewing and packaging facility and the restaurant, we employ between 155 and 175 people at any given time. The emphasis is that essentially nothing has changed, we are still made in Bend and the same old company and enjoying still being here.”
Seifrit revealed that a distillery is next up to be installed in the brewing facility, to be located by a pre-existing bottling line. 10 Barrel had to give up its wine license to trade out cider for the new initiative, but he said exponents were excited to experiment with the new direction and 100 wooden barrels had already been procured for the warehouse.
He added, “There has been a lot of investment to make this happen, which demonstrates we are here for the long haul. When we ran out space previously, the team got split up somewhat but now we are all back together again under the same roof, which promotes cross-collaboration and creativity.
“The backing gives us the tools to flourish. I was always the kid that wanted the box of 128 crayons, and as much of a palette to play with as possible. We have got all the colors here, with creative people who are fun to work with coming together and we enjoy an open communication throughout the organization with wide input on decision-making.”
Seifrit lauded the opportunities offered for brewers to further collaborations, including with old world items and overseas brewers sharing knowledge and passion. Current projects include working on a Red Rice beer with a Chinese brewery, and a strawberry Lambec involving a 100-year-old system out of Belgium.
On the design and construction side, he said, “The new facility was done as a build-to-suit in conjunction with CS, with design by SEA who have worked with us on multiple projects now and have a high level of consistency and creativity within the overall theme. We like to repurpose older buildings that have character wherever possible regarding the pubs, with an overall industrial type feel.
“CS was the best construction partner possible. They were with us every step of the way with open communications and really were a dream partner to work with. They hit the deadline and budget, and their communication and transparency on a project this size was exceptional — I’m not sure any other company in Oregon could have pulled this off, especially given such an aggressive timeline.
“We had a great collaborative team from the get-go and that is reflected in the finished result.”
Seifrit said this year’s forecast calls for more of the popular Crush series of fruit-flavored sour beers as the current incarnations, Raspberry and Cucumber, have each proven popular, but even with the expanded footprint, 10 Barrel’s primary focus would be trained on organic growth in its home markets and continued innovation.
For more information, see their website www.10barrel.com. Brewery and new pub is located at 62950 NE 18th Street, Bend, OR 97701
10 Barrel Brewing Co.
62950 18th Street • www.10barrel.com
10 Barrel / Investment Property Development — Jordy Skovborg
Contractor: CS Construction
Square Footage: 80,000
Amenities: (Good BEER!!)
Project Manager: Eric Meeuwsen
Supervisor: John Lester (Sr. Superintendent)
Architect: SEA — Scott Edwards Architecture
Principal Architect: Nathan Junkert
Structural Engineer: LB Engineering, Inc.
Civil Engineer: LB Engineering, Inc.
Mechanical Engineer: Cole Breit Engineering
Landscaping: Land Effects
Subcontractors and Suppliers:
7 Peaks Paving, AM-1Roofing, Apollo Mechanical, Bell Hardware, Bend Commercial Glass, Broken Top Window Covering, Cascade Floors Inc., Cement Elegance, Davidson’s Masonry, Easy bar, ECI Insulation, Engineered Products, Fabulous Floors, Finer Cabinets, GH Surveying, Grizzly Mountain,, Imagine Stoneworks, J&R Fire, JKD Concrete, Land Effects, ME Westfall, Moyes Drywall, Overhead Door, Steel Encounters, Subcontract Templates, Sunburst Fabrication, Superior Garage Floors, Thyssen Krupp, Tomco Electric, Western Protective Coatings