Even with all the blockbuster buyouts and takeovers making headlines in the beer business as of late (the latest: Ballast Point in San Diego, purchased by Corona distributor Constellation Brands for a cool $1 billion), there's still one overriding theme across the industry: It's growing, and growing fast.
That was the message brought across last week at the grand opening of Silver Moon's new brewing facility near the southern edge of Redmond. It's just a stone's throw away from Juniper Brewing Co., but quite a bit larger—15,000 square feet, every bit of it taken up during the event by visitors listening to MOsely WOtta, taking in the One Beard to Rule Them All competition, and trying the new Tart of Gold sour ale.
"It's amazing," Head Brewer Jeff Schauland said as he gave a tour of the shiny new 30-barrel system occupying one side of the warehouse-style space. "This is a brand-new system, and it's probably the most state-of-the-art one I've worked on." It looks the part, featuring a touchscreen-based control system and a water-filtering system to ensure the beer tastes the same between the two brew locations. (Silver Moon's older 10-barrel system will remain in operation behind the Bend pub.)
The initial system, which is scheduled to begin brewing test batches next month, will be used to amp up production on Silver Moon's three flagship beers—the Get Sum pale ale, Chapter 2 session ale, and IPA 97, already one of their most popular kegs across Oregon and Washington. All three will be debuting in cans next year, featuring a snazzy new logo and art design—"we're farming that out to Craft Canning + Bottling in Portland at first," Schauland said, "but we'll have a canning line of our own here in the facility before too long."
What does all this mean for Silver Moon in 2016? More quantity, but more quality, too. "With this system, we'll be capable of producing 7,000 barrels a year in Redmond and a thousand or so more in Bend," Shauland noted. "Having this system here will free us up in Bend to make smaller batches of neat stuff—I'm definitely looking forward to releasing some more English and German styles."