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Special Issues & Guides » The Beer Issue

Small, But Mighty

Oblivion is the definition of grassroots operation

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In 2013, Darin and Meg Butschy literally built Oblivion Brewing Company from the ground up (or at least from the floor up).

A Bend resident for 19 years and a brewer for 25 years, Darin got his start at Firestone Walker while studying chemistry at Cal Poly. With growing experience and unrelenting passion, he kicked off Oblivion in August 2013 with its flagship beers: Polar Star Pale Ale and Backside IPA (named for the locals' favorite play area at Mt. Bachelor).

With its success over the past two years, Oblivion has settled into that space between active home-brewer and full-scale commercial enterprise and, more pointedly, proves that a beer company doesn't need to be giant to be successful. It is a small operation—a 10-barrel system with which Oblivion brews 4-5 times per month—and they self-distribute (literally, with a red Subaru, Darin's truck and Meg's car) in Sunriver, Bend, Redmond, and Portland. Although they plan to keep operations fairly small-scale, they have been growing rapidly and are already in the midst of an expansion, including working to open a pub of their own.

In the past year and a half, Oblivion has expanded its offerings to include seasonals such as Snowblivion, a dark, deep and spicy red ale, and Golden Aurora, a light golden ale that's perfect for bright summer days. Its fall seasonal, Rode Ryder Red, a dry-hopped IRA dubbed "The Sweet Red" for its tropical notes, has become so popular that it's been added to the regular year-round rotation. In addition, Oblivion's Knockout Stout features f14 different barley malts for a silky and smooth ale with plenty of rich coffee and chocolate notes. This spring, look for a pilsner specialty brew to join the lineup, as well as the release of this year's Golden Aurora right in time for longer days of sunshine.

Oblivion will also be pouring Knockout Stout at Cabin 22's St. Patty's Day event and at the St. Patrick's Day Festival in Redmond on the weekend of March 13-15.

Oblivion Brewing Co.

63027 Plateau Dr., #4, Bend

Tasting room opening in May

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