Much like a dog biting a man, Boneyard making a new India pale ale isn't exactly news. That's what it's known for, after all. But The Ale Master IPA, available now at its taproom and a few other places in its distribution range, was literally steeped in history—a copper brew kettle that helped pave the way for good beer in the U.S.
The release commemorates the retirement of the kettle in question, originally acquired in 2013 as Boneyard's brewmaster, Tony Lawrence, bought equipment for the eastside production facility. It was originally used by Grant's Brewery Pub, founded by Bert Grant (the "master" in the name) in Yakima, Washington. Grant, a native of Scotland, worked in the beer industry from the age of 16. ("It was wartime; that excused a lot," he later told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.) He opened the pub in 1982 after running hop processing plants in the region for 15 years.
Originally founded in an old opera house, Grant's was arguably the first craft brewpub in post-Prohibition America. Oregon officially legalized the concept in 1985, and McMenamins opened the first brewpub in the state shortly thereafter. Grant was head brewer until his death in 2001, becoming one of the first to popularize styles including IPA, Scottish ale, and Hefeweizen in the Pacific Northwest.
"Bert was a brewing pioneer and a hop man," Lawrence said. "We are not pioneers at Boneyard, although we love hops. We didn't see this project coming—we realized we were doing our last brew into the historic copper the next day, and it seemed fitting to do a tribute beer," he said.
Grant's closed for good in 2005, but The Ale Master will give Boneyard fans a taste of what Grant was known for—medium body and resin-heavy hop dankness. "We used a lot of hops and some hop oil," Lawrence explained. "Bert carried hop oil in his pocket to dose into a pint he deemed not hoppy enough," he says. One hopes he wouldn't have found it necessary to spike this newly released brew.
37 Lake Place, Bend
Tasting room open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Seven days a week