Thursday, April 25, 2013

John Harris - Solo

Photo Credit: John Foyston

Oregon, filled with the legends of beer: Tony Gomes, the Widmer Brothers, the McMenamin Brothers, Art Larrance, Gary Fish, Alan Sprints, Jamie Emmerson and Irene Firmat, and on and on and on.  Then there are the new legends: Jamie Floyd, Christian Ettinger, Ben Love and Van Havig, Darron Welch 

But one legend surely rises above all others and that is John Harris.  The string of iconic beers that he has created at McManamins, Deschutes and Full Sail is amazing.  He is also one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. So if there is one person who deserves to become an independent icon of the Oregon beer scene it is John.   

I have written about John Harris numerous times in this blog, suggesting his worth is tremendous and comparing him to Lady Gaga.  I have also waxed poetic about his beers many times (and I will miss his presence at the Pilsner Room but he has trained so many good brewers that I don't think I have to worry about the quality of the beer suffering there). 

If you are not very aware of John it is because he has always brewed for someone else (though it could be argued that at Full Sail as a member of the employee stock ownership plan he was working for himself).  Finally, I am delighted to report, he is taking his act solo.  And trust me, he is more Neil Young than David Lee Roth (though Crazy From the Heat is pretty awesome).   

It has been quite a while since John left Full Sail and many, many beery folks have been waiting anxiously for the arrival of his solo venture. Finally it is here.

John is launching his solo Project Sunday, here are the details from the press release:

On Sunday April 28th at 805 N. Cook in Portland from 2-4pm the space will be open to the public. There will be brewery renderings and floor plan displays on-site, as well as initial company graphic design elements. T-shirts will also be sold. Unfortunately John can’t legally serve beer there just yet, so this will be a non-alcoholic information session.

Event Details (stolen, shamlessly, from The New School):

WHO: John Harris, brewmaster with 26 years of experience, including two years with McMenamins’ breweries, four years with Deschutes, and 20 years with Full Sail.

WHAT: Brewery and Brewpub Sneak Preview and Name Unveiling

WHEN: Sunday, April 28, 2013. 2-4pm Public Open House

WHY: Get an inside look at the new Portland brewery being started by an Oregon brewing pioneer, John Harris. John will be on hand to talk about the space and answer questions. There will also be renderings and floor plan displays for public viewing, and t-shirts for sale.
Photo Credit: Ezra (or, perhaps, Google)
When I talked to John last year his plan, as I understood it, was to do a brewpub.  This space looks like he is thinking of a production brewery as well but I don't know if the brewpub is still the first step or if it will be like Gigantic: a production brewery with a tasting room.  I hope the former but either will be welcome.  You can find out the details on Sunday (I will have to watch from afar in Brazil).

The location, it has to be said, is great - though I was, selfishly, very much hoping to see him in the SE. I know he looked far and wide including Woodstock and, ironically, I suggested to him the idea of the Westmoreland space that Laurelwood eventually moved into (see how prescient I am?). 

Anyhow, go and give John your support as a way to thank him for decades of great Oregon beer. 

No comments: