In late 2011, three lifelong friends and Redmond locals talked about starting a brewery. Nothing more than craft beer fans at the time, says co-owner Brian Mitchell, "There was a strong appeal to be a part of what seemed to be a fun and exciting industry."
It was a simple and earnest desire and, quickly, what started as a general conversation on the subject of breweries transformed into a serious intent to start one. The friends were soon joined by Paul Bergeman, a well-seasoned and well-traveled brewer, and in May 2014, Wild Ride Brewing opened its doors (well, officially, rolled-up its garage doors) for the first major brew-pub in Redmond.
Located off Fifth Street, a stone's throw from downtown Redmond, the brewery and brewpub is a major addition to the burgeoning Redmond economy. What had been a former lumber storage warehouse—"little more than four walls and a ceiling," says Mitchell—is now a bustling hot spot. The brewing vats are visible from the brewpub's floor, and a cluster of food carts gather outside each evening. ("We have three to four food trucks here every day," explains Mitchell, "and if you want to order a pizza from somewhere in town, that is fine with us.") Rebuilt from the ground up, Wild Ride is sparsely clean, and naturally lit. It is often crowded, but in an easygoing, still-can-find-a-spot friendly sort of way.
During the 10 months Wild Ride has been open, already it has brewed 23 beers, collaborated with numerous other breweries and will be presenting another collaboration brew during a Central Oregon Brewers Guild event in April. "It is going to be a rye-red called Redmond Rising," says Mitchell.
"There is a core of 12 beers on tap at all times," says Mitchell. "Beyond those, there are a number of seasonal and one-off beers on tap on a consistent basis and typically there are at least 15 beers on tap at all times."
Already, Wild Ride has begun distributing beers throughout the Northwest (well, it starts selling in Washington this month); primarily, its top-selling Hopperhead, a tasty and full, well-balanced IPA. As well, its Whoopty Whoop Wheat and Mount Up Maple Brown are also available at many grocery stores around Central Oregon—marking an important inroad for regional breweries.
Wild Ride Brewery
314 SW 5th St., Redmond
11 am-10 pm Monday-Friday, 10 am-10 pm Saturday-Sunday