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Eyeing Expansion, 10 Barrel Woos BBC and Deschutes Brewers 

Bend, Oregon's 10 Barrel Brewing plans sizable expansion.


The upstart 10 Barrel Brewery is poised for a major expansion and has lured two of the area's top brewers to help it with the effort that would more than quadruple the Bend brewery's production capacity.


10 Barrel partner Garret Wales confirmed that the Bend brewery that started just a few years ago as Wildfire Brewing before adopting its current handle has hired Tonya Cornett from Bend Brewing Company (BBC). Cornett, who was recognized as the small brewpub brew master of the year for 2008 by the World Beer Cup, has been with BBC for almost a decade helping to solidify the small brewery's reputation as one of the premier craft breweries in Oregon. Wales said Cornett won't formally move to 10 Barrel until midsummer at the earliest and perhaps not before the end of the year, depending onwhen 10 Barrel gets its planned brewhouse expansion up and running. At the moment the brewery is still negotiating the purchase of a property that would allow 10 Barrel to increase its commercial production from the current ten-barrel system to a 50-barrel system, Wales said. In the meantime, Cornett will continue to brew for BBC, he said.

"She plays an integral role in Bend Brewing and we want to be really sensitive about that... and give her the opportunity to make a smooth transition," Wales said.

Wales said Cornett isn't the only significant hire as of late for 10 Barrel. Wales said 10 Barrel hired longtime Deschutes brewer Jimmy SeifertSeifrit to assume the brew master duties at 10 Barrel. Wales said Seifert, who started this month, has years of valuable brewing experience serving as Deschutes brew master Larry Sidor's right-hand man, as Wales put it. He added that Seifrit also has helped oversee Deschutes multiple production expansions and is comfortable working with a larger scale production line like the one that 10 Barrel is preparing to install.

New John Day Regulations In Effect This Summer

The BLM has issued new summer boating rules for the John Day that will restrict the number of boats allowed on the most popular stretches from late May to early July. Under the rules released in late December, which go into effect for the 2011 boating season, the BLM will allow a total of just nine groups to launch daily in the popular Clarno to Cottonwood section of the lower John Day between May 20 and July 1. Upstream, the BLM will limit access to 19 trips per day between May 20 and July 10, on the so-called Segment 3 between Service Creek and Clarno. Each trip is limited to a maximum 16 people.

Using some back of the napkin math that would amount to about 1140 total possible trips during the peak season next summer on Segment 3. By way of contrast, the BLM recorded almost 10,000 user days last year on Segment 3 during the peak season in 2008.

The new rules, which have been in the works for several years, are an attempt by the BLM to enhance the wilderness experience for users on the popular John Day River, which has been designated by Congress as Wild and Scenic waterway, allowing the BLM special management authority. Under the proposed rules, the BLM estimates that boaters will see fewer groups during their floats, reducing competition for campsites as well as degradation of the natural environment that accompanies over-use. To help enforce the rules, the BLM will require all boaters to register and obtain a pass before launching.

The pass may be available next year at no cost, but boaters should check with the BLM and make their boating plans early if they want to get on the river this summer. Aaron Kilgore, the Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA) John Day coordinator, said his group has followed the process closely and favors protections that preserve the river's scenic and wild characteristics. However, he said that ONDA would have like to have seen BLM give greater consideration to the likely scenario that there will soon be more campsites along some of the more popular stretches of the John Day as groups like ONDA work to consolidate public lands and reduce the amount of ownership fragmentation along the river. One such project is the proposed Cathedral Rock wilderness that could add as many as a dozen new campsites along the river, Kilgore said. Additionally, the Western Rivers Conservancy (WRC) recently acquired a 3,000-acre property along the John Day not far from Cathedral Rock. It's Western River Conservancy's second major land acquisition on the John Day in the past three years.

Central Oregon Landwatch Director Departs

Erik Kancler, a former journalist who helped broker the Metolius preservation bill along with a proposal to preserve Bend's Skyline Forest as the director of Central Oregon LandWatch, has left the organization. Kancler, who helped transform LandWatch from a little known watchdog group that focused primarily on legal appeals of land use actions to an effective land use and lobbying organization, plans to remain in Central Oregon.

"Erik brought a unique blend of policy expertise and political sensibility to LandWatch and represented the group with a high degree of professionalism. Under his leadership, LandWatch both matured as an organization and increased in political influence. We all wish him well in his future endeavors," LandWatch founder Paul Dewey said in a written statement about Kancler's departure.

Landwatch board member Toby Bayard said Kancler's departure coincides with a change in strategy in which LandWatch hopes to focus more on local issues, like the Bend urban growth boundary. However, she said that shift did not precipitate Kancler's resignation.

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