What happened here is a nice success story. Co-founders Matt Swihart and Charlie Devereux met many moons ago while working at Full Sail Brewing. Different career paths intervened before they eventually came up with the idea of starting their own brewery. It turned out to be a great idea.
Fast forward several years and the business was bursting at the seams, out of space in its original location. Even with offsite storage, they didn't have enough seating and were in dire need of more room for production activities. Their options were find another, larger space, or acquire more space where they were.
|The North Bar|
When they launched the new configuration last summer, Double Mountain had gained an additional 5,000 sq ft. A portion of that space, about 25 percent, is dedicated to expanded seating and a live music area. The rest of the new space is being used for production (bottling, packaging, etc.)
To the west of the North Bar is the brewing area. If you walk to the end of the hallway and look to the right, you can see the new production area through double doors. As important as the added seating is in The Garage, the production area is the heart and soul of the expansion because it allowed them to add a bottling line and automate kegging.
|The production area|
These bottles are easy to spot because they are an odd shape and size. Wanting to take a different path than their competition, Swihart and Devereux opted for 16.9 oz. hand grenade bottles. These things are apparently popular in Europe. They are also refillable, a nice touch from a green perspective.
|The original pub|
As for the beers, I won't spend a lot of time talking about the standards. Double Mountain's year-round beers are generally well-executed and they've developed a solid following in draft and bottled form. I'm not a big fan of the bottled versions because I think the beer loses something in translation. But it's as good as other bottled products out there.
Double Mountain operates a 20 bbl system that features hand-me-down parts from many established breweries. I didn't count fermenters, but they obviously have more than a few. Otherwise, they would have trouble keeping up with demand.
|Time to hit the road, Jack|
I stayed mostly clear of the standards on my visit, because I know those beers. The exception was the Kolsch, which I wanted to taste fresh. My tasting tray also included Ain't That Purdy (German-style Hefeweizen), Little Red Pils, Project 48 (Double IPA), and White Rider of Conquest (Belgian-style blonde). These beers are all well-executed. The Kolsch may have been my favorite or maybe it was White Rider or Ain't That Purdy. Tough choices.
Double Mountain is ramping up for their 6th Anniversary Party on Saturday, March 16th, featuring Helles Belles, an all-girl AC/DC cover band. They'll be putting up a giant tent and they expect to offer two dozen unique beer choices, some from the brewers' reserve stash. Sounds like an excellent time for a trip up the Gorge.