Rik & Ben, Baerlic Brewing

Northwest Business with Luke Andersen
Wednesday, September 27th
Rik and Ben tell us how they started, Baerlic Brewing, an award winning brewery and tap room located in Southeast Portland.
00:21:37

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

910 ESPN Portland presents northwest business a weekly one hour local business spotlight if you would like your business to be featured on north was business please call 503535035. Million. Or email NW business said entercom.com. Now here's your host for northwest business Luke Anderson. It's a Henderson thank you for download in the northwest business podcast ahead you'll hear my conversation with Benny Parsons and Rick hall the owners of barely Bruins come. They're cap room is located on south east eleventh two blocks north of division for more go to fairly brewing dot com B eight ER LIC. Brewing dot com this interview originally aired march 25. 1017. On 910 ESPN Portland. Then Rick thank you for joining me good morning weren't so you guys own barely brewing you tell me kind of the story about how you guys got started I. Assume it's the home brewing. Star like a lot of people Portland. Yeah that's exactly at joke is it was probably easier start remembering and getting to bring in to bring industry at that time. I'm so this is what it was are remembering 2007. I would like to say it's two thousands 2007 sounds good demand. Yes sir hammering. I gonna house the basements of can really kind of you know world my armies went to die kind of thing in and really fill out in there. And one thing led to another it it's meaning you make a bunch of beer. You have too much we're drink for yourself if you if that's at all possible see you throw a party you're from coming your free beer they love it. I'm seeking making beer and it just kind of snowballs wasn't something that you you do and together as it's kind of but tandem project to redo the separately and then came together. Together you know OK and add you guys know each other before you started brew beer together we went to school there there were. We're all those dirt where I want to confirm Sonia. Nine do we met night school like 1995. Or I can't imagine that the first batch of beer came out perfectly. How long did it take before you start making beer that you like and how long before he stirred. Feed it to your friends. Aren't though it's a couple years it took us I mean not the bureau is bad off off the bat. It was just we. It wasn't as good to drink is a was in you know a two years after we start though. Cherry yeah that's experiencing a recipe building things like you know the fundamentals are the same and you look at him oral and other times of course I mean just to even think that at some point you're beer would be good enough to compete with venom all the great beer in the city. How much it was his confidence building and you just kind of figured out trying different things finding something that. Stood out from the crowd a lot of it was. We would make beer for friend's wedding just using gift from another excuse just to make a bunch of beer. And then we go to the wedding you know people would come up to us to say wow I would actually pay for less then that you can kind of get you thinking like okay you know this isn't. This is my friends tell me it's great. Some is a perfect stranger you know him and asked to name their son to this thing is can he come on OK so Jennifer are gonna timeline guess he started around 20072. Years later you start getting a little bit of a small fan base. When did the brewery actually become a business. And June 2012. You know incorporate we incorporated in 2012 after we did decided that we're gonna move forward and open up the brewery. So to get all her paperwork in line had to come up with an actual policies so. But when that's when that happened. Did find a location and you had to find the money a style of beer I mean how many different trial on hairs did you do that daddy you know which appears to launch with. It is positioning because we spend it's just like about a year and half looking for a building raising money biz plan business plan isn't time. On the way to improve much and also we are going to investors saying you know like. You now. Here's our here's our idea sorry we don't have any beer we've been too busy writing his business plan. Well hello we we actually did have we were sober at that time the yet so we actually outer fringe of beer. As we did have an investor parties shortly after. We we started looking in to intensively for rebuilding and and we had a bunch of beer and we threw a party for them. So there were actually able to serve beer. At this little party. In a lot of them were were just had faith in the us from our business plan and our business model. With the you know without even drinking a beer itself. You open in 2012 what was the first beer what was the the style of fear that you're kind of going for we. Open to as the fourteenth it is about two years while at a location. We were in at least negotiations on three from buildings or that you almost two years. So we really. We got locked in new our current space I'm in late may thirteenth so. As far as cigarettes appears to launch we. As homer as we. We're off to me to see anger over and over an organ and change one very small variable that was just kind of I would say were processors and are Soros trying to kind of tweak with one little. You know degree latency C the effect it had so a lot of the recipes that we have even in the temperate now. Even drink for years years years so. It was kind of a EUU wanna build kind of an curing kind of a broad list you know so it's it's. So people could customers you know have a good kind of broad list to choose from. And as far as styles go. So is kind of a no brainer as far as. The core Beers remains we've adjusted as little bit just as the beer industries changed about ten times since we opened champ. For those of you just joined the program or talk would bend Parsons and Rick hall from barely brewing company they're located at 2235. Southeast eleventh that's two blocks north of division. Or you do barely cup brewing dot com spelled B eight ER. Oh I see. Run through the Beers India that you have a tap I've tried deal meal the listener raises unique. Red berries they go mail stay outputs I don't know bill pills that are. Yes the so I guess core six Beers and yet cavalier beer it's it's kind of a base. I'm a classic female. Super approachable. Really balanced. I'm kind of the beer. That if you're not really into beer it's kind of a good gay way beer I think anyway. Yeah intentional and I had it labels they gateway drug you know I got a bad apple endear him dead or anything okay insulated so approachable a decision yet as I guess I guess it would be more of like the gateway craft beer neutrinos are used to drink in lighter loggers. This spears not going to you know throw you off of the craft beer whereas if you were drinking light loggers and you went to and I PA. You might be. Thrown away from craft beer from my point on yeah especially with some of the ideas who's in Portland should share. So then. We're assuming they are invincible APA. It's kind of ice or is it modern take on the classic northwest IPA so let's more than CO ops. So you ought to citrus. Little retro for fruit on a lighter bodied in and out lessen the car Caremark character you recant and some real classics focus on the northwest. Altera rail it's it's a BC the mobile of on the German old beard kind of the hop bill of northwest parallel. So inside definitely purse to a would definitely has a lot more proper care continue to tickle amber am just going through three Beers sounds like Q1 to have somebody that's approachable lutes he. Easier for that and kind of yeah. Non dedicated craft beer drinker and Jason are chorus line and you know that's that's we are twelve taps and we have five your peers so. So we know we we like to focus a lot on balance. Just so it's you're not. Too sweet or too bitter. At same time so you're just trying to hit somewhere in the middle as Tony useless and demand subscription and and my guess and I've tried don't know Posner is this trying to find a space. In between styles and it does that seem fair that just find something that death yet doesn't doesn't necessarily fit eat evenly into one category. Right that's I don't that's a compulsion that can attribute different or Justine you you find yourself. I've kind of mingling between the lines are outside lines a little that. I'm generally speaking it's all about bouncing flavors but point differential issue for sure you know try to take a classic example. When your style and maybe modernize it or just tweak event. To make our own. What are some of the Beers that you were fans of before you started Bruins. I'm I mean a lot of you know I'm retired in 20072010. So. You can't see Hugh was a big you know account blew up and Portland and trickle out of there their old school believer in jail. Morrow Brad was around then. Oaks tires Stowe Mountain. Long pocked. On long park you know the F the F system that some of the more approachable one certainly reds I think you're good. Gave way beard use your term yes so kind of a good way to get into it's I would say look pretty much any. Or dinner Portland specific robbery this is where my focus was a lot but imminent. When I first moved to Portland it was umbrage for a PA was won the kind of you know that it. Got me hooked on this whole kind of different peer thing yeah Andrea and certainly have a classic outdoor classic for share. I'm cool so do you guys you have the pub mr. and to those four did you one Ed can differentiate yourself you have a very. Part of doing yourself feel is the right way but it kind of hand crafted I would say appearance to the pub did you as do a lot of the work in there yourself. We did. Part of that was I think I mean you were just interest in that kind of thing a lot of it had to do with our budget you know. Com. We were able tankan works through pretty intensive build out in about six months. By staying up all night and prepping you know for the next. Contractor come in the next AS we were able to really kind of stuff you keep keep that momentum going. By backbreaking hard work yeah and that's that's I mean. The advantage of that is like mark mentally be exact where everything isn't Anderson except just a concrete. The instrument and we dug a hole but and the the downside of that is obviously that it was six months of of intense work you know. Yeah and that and I've only seen there the pub I guess I haven't seen the brewery that you has moved from home brewing your basement. To you know state of the art facility build everything out to produce a lot more beer and how old rough was that transition going from. Home brewing drafters to mass producing I'm well not up not on a huge scale but rather do you know obviously by comparison state of the -- is kind of pushed back and look at their new home brilliant setup I'm sure you know like Teddy of course you're not in a moving into the Budweiser facility and having to build millions of cases of beer every year but it you know the difference between where you were and then where you moved to what we're the challenges he sighed and and and he'd step back she had to take what you're gonna. We got a lot of information from some friends are already brewers. And so actually calibrate in a recipe. We we actually just had a brewed beer on the system you know we did a water run to make sure the penal where the water was flowing and everything else. Make sure there were new weeks network Africa. But for the most where you have to just start somewhere so we brood. A very simple peer. The reelect call the ultra session L. Or USA for short and so we sort of without peer in that gave us a sense of what the utilization rates were with our mash time. And then just you know how it ended up on the back end so that first beer gave us an idea about what's what we could do with the system and then. We would just adjust our recipes from there are some set of you know twenty pounds a mall were were now using 540. Pounds of malt. So in the end the popularization. Rates you know how it comes out in the back end. Is it does it taste as bitter as well we were doing doing doing just the I'd be use you know yes so it'd be in it up like commemorate. Actually that first calibration here. As is spreading there and we didn't mess it up Lama I think I'm you know but but I will say it. The fundamentals of the process at the same whether you know you make a five gallons or 500. So a lot of it is just figured out how the bigger equipment works since its. One thing to second will I can lift a ten gallon pot of you know Boyle and stuff with my two hands I can't do that with 305 gallons. I'm so a lot of us from new things to work you know we work with pumps now on a new machinery that we weren't used to you. And luckily we just had to have a lot of friends in the industry in the beer mr. in Portland this such that. That you so collegial and open that you know even to this day if we have a question about something we we have a lot of friends who can call on. And and you kind of secrets between sailors kind of thing and growing the business. Now you guys that are in the position where you know. You're actually probably one of the longer tenured and best crews are important things like that more than every day itself so three years in how you found the kind of Keating your name out there putting putting Beers in front of people and getting people to become a fan of avoiding don't. For us I think we we've kind of done as you mentioned earlier the we've got opted for the low and slow business growth model. We feel that it's just a batter in a for the long term. Health of the business. It's have pretty crazy industry you know on the moves pretty fast seventy kind of caught up in that whirlwind you know we find my beloved dangerous. So policies sister knew our heads down we're we're we're working really hard and all of the times we don't even realize where successes aren't tell. Two weeks after that happens. So just you know condemned her courage and keep making better beer every day I mean that's that's I mean along the shore. Yeah I mean in the in the long run there at the Beers that are gonna stick around or the peers that are produced very well yeah and cross your fingers some of those other. Here's senator out there on the market that aren't so great. Hopefully they've. Either get better or just see students missed the. Well then consistency right at any time you won four pints should. It's exactly the same in and taking in other the time and care to make sure the recipes are. Our dialed in you mentioned fine tune in at one piece at a time vs doing you know big overalls and trying ten different things is you know insert inside. I PA you know that's what if your staples. Right and in and I will say though that you are IP in particular has changed quite a bit over the years. I would say not because our our lack of processors and where I mean we've just we've just try to make it better every time we mean it. You know and we can make a little tweak one way or the other end and I mean that's kind of end this scale you know a pea dry ingredients that were able to source. Every every year in the hops or many different every year than multi bit different. Yeah I'm so we're always having a little flexibility. On Soro is kind of just trying to keep it between the lines so to speak and and I'm that's the focus long term this is is a kind of a moving target he just always happy practically working on. Now death yet tree I mean died I. I like to use say that the ingredients in beer are similar to you know anything that I mean it's it's growing so you have pops it. Are temperamental because of the way third same thing with mall so you're gonna end up with a different. And products. Which is our starting product. Every year is going to change you generally can't get. Can't get the exact same hops are the exact same mall every single year I mean we gaining at the same water profile. I. Of all the challenges of running a small brewery. One of the other things that I know you guess like to focus on is events human events coming up this should be airing Saturday mornings so. You have an event going on this afternoon. I yeah I its hourly sentiment we do a release kind of a smaller version this last year that right now we it's hop planting season so a lot of numbers again. What's called a rise Comas just basically it looks like old twin against the breach stock of my top and they can grow their own and so we had the sale last year elect you know there's a lot of big push about T half harvest season in the fall. You know like like let's start the conversation now so we. Are gonna have Crosby hops present hops we must routes and then their offense cherished how farm. In would burn or in northern Bianca tyra hops in history of their for their family farm and things like that. And then we'll have a fixed I'm mart's one of the oldest number shops in the country they're talking about grow your own or use tops your number and a lot of live demo. But this year it's really awesome where doing a single hop fear the fast sort and have seven different Beers. All single hop such and we have a mixture Hopson Beers. This is these are seven Beers through one specific top throughout and swear we're really explored the different varieties and a lot of different really it's Seaway is so. A lot of breeze Saddam. On this well not just us six other or five of the pro members for the event this afternoon that's going to be at a very early tapper and yes spare tap room in her direction space so well we we open up the whole place send alone many beer fast and how acceleration called adopt stopped and I'll remind you for anybody listening to 235 southeast of eleventh. That is two blocks north of division. We are talking within Parsons and Rick all from barely brewing company you can go to barely brewing dot com and check out. And the other events and keep and I and there are events calendar view is also recently did an event where you partnered with would workers and craftsmen from around oral and to put I'm kind of a combination. Brewing woodworking event yeah. I'm so within. We have come December into a bit like that called our with the wood worker series so all the Beers can I have some sort of contact who would. Most the time that's through barrel aging suburban bro aging one barrel aging. The event in your early December 2000 so we had to say DNN. Have a holy market with the theme being woodworking but the idea was that it was an things that were inspired evolving or made from wood so. Isn't necessarily just a bunch who were working but it's. You know what firepower that takes like three days of someone stoking a fire to make pottery and just kind of them bigger. Co evolution of man and you know trees kind of sank. Some biggest free man you know but and some mystery straight forward so we found an amazing amount a local artisans in makers and you know cheese makers all kinds a really fun stuff us it was it was such an amazing about where whereas again you're next here. Entrusted to be kicked off we release at least a couple harm. Barely appears at. At the market as well well that sounds sounds like a ton of fun. Just hearing your story doesn't saga was necessarily an easy process to go from kind of idea it suited to having you tap room put you. Done it kind of your own way to make sure that it's yours like you said did you know holes in the country so everything yourself may not have been your first choice. But it really connection to it is trying to connect back to Portland. If you had any advice for somebody that wanted as. Start their own business weather brewing or otherwise so what advice would you guys give and would you do the same way to do again. The that's that's a tough on I mean as far as advice didn't that kind of Jim Graham between recognize that come by the time we knew we were getting ourselves into this too it's kind of hacked into a comment that was seen on 20122014. So that I mean the markets crazy I think. You know I don't know if I would open a bird right now in Portland and now. And I had to do do it over again. On the star's advice like do your homework you you are not a lot of us are about beer drinking Beers a very small portion of running a bird. Yeah and assess the regulatory thing you know working with community municipalities. And the environmental you know things with your waist wearing off and I mean it's just it's just. Dear murkier professional services. Call and every free for you have. In cross your fingers. And a and and expect to work. The ball off for several years yeah yeah. Daddy still are still in that phase I suppose. Or I'm in the coming out and you know work life balance is this is. Pretty good period. At least a conversation you're having mental fitness goes so when you see that dad and now we have to you know enough employees in and you've kind of built out. On that day they were able to kind of some breathing room with him over the Akron on acts leprosy has taken time very busy days to come down talk to some northwest business absolutely thank you Jeff. They get. If you like your company to be featured on northwest business called 5035350358. Or email NW business @entercom.com.
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