Bring on the beer: C.O. to welcome 6 new breweries

A look inside North Rim Brewing

A look inside North Rim Brewing

BEND, Ore. - A year ago, Shane Neilsen quit his job in construction and followed his passion for home-brewing.

"My partner and I sat down over a drink and said, 'Hey let's start a brewery! Okay,  sounds good lets do it, I'm in' -- and we went from there," Neilsen said.

And that's how North Rim Brewing was born.

"North Rim doesn't really mean anything, I just thought of it one day and couldn't get that out of my head," Neilsen said. "I'd be driving up and down the road and North Rim still sounds like the one."

The brewery is in a 3,200-square-foot building off High Desert Lane. It currently holds three 30 barrel fermentation tanks and will be a 10 barrel brew house.

Neilsen said the three beers to look for on the shelves soon are a roundabout stout, Belgian pale ale and a single track IPA.

Neilsen and his business partner Bruce are entering the brew game with a lot of players. Right now, there are 20 breweries in Central Oregon, including 13 in Bend, four in Redmond and one each in Sisters, Prineville and Sunriver.

But it's not just the established bunch North Rim is up against. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission is reviewing applications for five other new breweries as well: Bridge 99, Juniper Brewing Co., Oblivion Brewing, Shade Tree Brewing and River Bend Brewing.

Neilsen said the competition is all friendly.

"We don't really look at like we are trying to beat the other guy because we are all in the same thing together and I think there is enough room for all of us," Neilsen said.
So is 26 breweries too much?

Neilsen said we haven't hit the bottom of the barrel yet, craft brews are just scratching the surface.

"With beer, no one has thought more than Bud Light or Coors Light until recently, we are showing people there is a lot more craft involved, a lot more variety," he said. "We just like to create something that's good and when more people enjoy it, that's just icing on the cake."

North Rim beers should be available by the end of September. You can follow them on Facebook to find out where they'll be distributing locally.

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