Bend's Eastside gains a 'Worthy' brewery

Energy-efficient brew pub uses the sun for warm welcome

Central Oregon's brewery community grows to the eastside

BEND, Ore. - Construction is under way on the east side of town as crews complete one of Bend's newest breweries.

"We did look at several different places to put a brewery," Worthy Brewing Company Brewmaster Chad Kennedy said Wednesday. "In Portland, and Northern California and then Bend -- and the choice was pretty easy."

Worthy Brewing Company will be the first one with a restaurant on Bend's Eastside. That's something Kennedy says many Eastside residents are looking forward to.

"This part of town is really excited," said Kennedy. "It's kind of fun to see neighbors and stuff just walking down the sidewalk, asking us when we're going to be open."

Not only is the brewery bringing the first to the Eastside of Bend, it is also bringing a first to Central Oregon.

"We've got a bunch of photovoltaic panels that will convert sunlight into electricity," explained Kennedy. "We've got solar thermal panels up there, so we're actually using the sun to heat the hot water for the brewery, and as you can imagine, breweries use quite a bit of hot water."

Roughly 15 to 20 percent of Worthy's hot water will come from solar production,  something solar companies hope many more breweries will use.

"It's making a statement," said Andy Ross of Sunlight Solar, the company supplying the paneling for Worthy Brewing "They aren't just looking at the bottom line. They're looking at what's important on the bigger scale."

Wednesday morning, the brewery got one step closer to serving up its first energy-efficient beer. Using a forklift, and hydraulics from a truck, a 40 foot tall silo was installed in the front of the brewery. This silo will hold all the grain the brewery needs to make its unique beers.

"It's a full-size production brewery," said Kennedy. "Each batch of beer that we do is about 60 kegs. It's not sort of the brew pub model. It's more about the production of beer -- beer that's going to be canned and bottled."

When completed, Worthy Brewing Company will also have its own hop garden, as well as a German-style beer garden which will be xeriscaped to use less water.

Kennedy says they hope to have construction completed by December and open their doors to the public by January or February.

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