Sunriver Brewing's biggest problem is one that every business would like: They are growing faster than they expected.
Ryan Duley, the marketing director for Sunriver Brewing, walks between rows of 15-keg capacity containers—eight on each side of the cavernous, cement-floor warehouse on the outskirts of Sunriver—and explains that a year ago the brewing company, which had once simply supplied a brew-pub in the resort village, made the big leap so that it could begin statewide distribution. They were smart enough, he points out, to plan for continued growth. But even with that foresight, they are gobbling up space in the 12,000 square foot facility almost faster than they keep up with. Even a space set aside for a sofa-lined tasting room is now being sacrificed so they can move in more containers—and they are talking about raising the roof so that they can move in even larger tanks.
"We're just trying to keep up with demand," he says calmly.
With its simple, but bold branding— the outline of a curving river paired with a simple icon like a mosquito or a standup paddle boarder—Sunriver Brewing first opened as a restaurant on July 4, 2012. At first, it was just a small 3.5 barrel on-location tank, but they quickly realized that demand was bigger than they expected. With all of Central Oregon's other breweries clustered around Bend at the time, Sunriver Brewing was a novelty—and for the thousands who visit the high desert community, it was a luxury to have onsite, on-tap craft beers.
Duley points out that the brew-pub in Sunriver was—and still is—the ideal setup for introducing its beers to new customers, with thousands of customers visiting the resort each winter and summer. Moreover, the brand of Sunriver—as a winter and summer getaway—is a charming association for when people return home.
That double hook for marketing has served as the perfect setup for its statewide launch. Late last summer, it began distributing in the Eugene and Corvallis areas, and this January, it started distributing in Portland.
"Pretty much every goal we've projected," says owner Brian Cameron, "we've blown out of the water."
And, as a mark that the craft brewery universe is geographically expanding in Central Oregon, this summer, Visit Bend will add Sunriver Brewery to its Ale Trail.
Sunriver Brewing Company
57100 Beaver Dr., Building 4, Sunriver
11 am-10 pm Sunday-Thursday, 11 am-11 pm Friday-Saturday