After just over one year in business, Bridge 99 Brewery – one of Bend’s newest specialty craft breweries – is expanding. On January 22, Bridge 99 will open the doors of its new location at 63063 Layton Avenue: a new venue with more room to brew, as well as a setting for tastings and growler fills.
With sales increasing and a positive response at the 2014 Bend Brewfest, Bridge 99 is stepping up beer production to meet demand from area restaurants and growler fill stations. In their first year of business, Bridge 99’s specialty craft beers, including the ultra-hoppy Wizard Falls IPA and richly-layered Bull Trout Stout, were only available through limited growler distributors, as well as Platypus Pub and Wubba’s BBQ restaurant. All that’s about to change.
Co-owners Trever Hawman and Rod Kramer are excited about the move. “With demand exceeding supply, we’ve outgrown our current space,” Trever said. A professional general contractor by day, what started as a hobby has grown more quickly than expected. “We didn’t think we’d need to expand so soon,” Trever laughs, admitting that the transition has meant long hours for he and his crew.
The work has paid off, with a beautiful new tasting room offering beer-lovers a welcoming outdoor setting, complete with two large fire pits for socializing while sipping. Trever tastefully designed and built the new venue, using aged juniper exterior siding and a stunning redwood-topped bar in the tasting room. The redwood is a one-of-a kind piece, from an 800 year-old fallen tree.
Hop plants line a 260-foot wall along the outdoor patio, providing ambience, as well as the raw materials for next year’s ‘Pick Your Own’ hop party. Keeping things fun is an important part of plans for the brewery.
Bridge 99’s tasting room will open with eight taps and expand to 16 as production develops. Trever and Rod hope to offer a new beer every other month, to keep things fun and fresh for customers. Some of their more unusual recipes include a Vanilla Oatmeal Brown Sugar Stout and Rock Crawler Rye. “I like to ask people what they like in a beer,” Trever explained, “then see if I can get them to try something out of their box.”
In a town known for specialty craft beer, coming up with unique offerings is no small feat. Happily, Trever and Rod enjoy experimenting. “We like to come up with beers we like and seeing if other people enjoy them,” Trever said.
Their Bull Trout Stout began as a porter, originating from a 1900’s recipe. “We liked it, made a few changes, and turned it into a stout,” Trevor explained. Bull Trout turned heads at last year’s Bend Brewfest, where tasters were surprised by its full flavor. Trever and Rod have also received praise for Red Eye Rye, a specialty ale, and Smash Beer, a single malt.
The tasting room will allow more people to taste Bridge 99’s offerings and offfer ideas for new recipes – a process that Trever and Rod enjoy.
As part of keeping things local, the brewery buys fresh hops from nearby Tumalo Hop Company. They send their grain byproducts to local farms for use as a nutrient-rich fertilizer. “We want to keep our byproducts from going into sewers and landfills,”Trever said.
With a fun and fearless approach to experimentation, Bridge 99 comes from humble beginnings but is poised for growth.
Bridge 99 Brewery
Location: 63063 Layton Avenue, Bend, OR
CEO: Trever Hawman
No. Employees: 2 (Co-owned by Trever Hawman and Rod Kramer)
Year Established: 2013
Product/Service: Specialty craft beer
Hot News: Tasting room with growler fill capability opening January 22nd. Outlook for Growth: Increased production capability and a new tasting room will allow Bridge 99 to distribute to a additional Bend-area restaurants and growler fill stations.