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Industry Round Up: 10 Barrel Passes on Rising Star 

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It seems like there's always something going on with our local pub/brewing scene. But as you may have noticed it can sometimes be difficult to separate rumor from fact in this gossip-hungry town. This past week we chased down one of the juicier rumors that had been fermenting for several weeks - that new kid on the block 10 Barrel Brewing was going to take over the lease at the former Rising Star building to launch a homegrown McMenamins-style pub just south of downtown. Such a possibility would no doubt be intriguing, alas the guys over at 10 Barrel said the deal for the Rising Star building is off the discussion table - and likely for good - for the same reasons that Rising Star folded, primarily the dismal economic climate.

"We had a really cool plan, but it's not exactly the small homey kind of easy-to-operate place. It's a little more of a chunk than we felt comfortable biting off right now," said Garrett Wales, one of three partners in 10 Barrel who also serves as the operations manager.

For now, the company is returning to its original mission of finding that small, intimate setting to showcase its beers. Wales said 10 Barrel is looking for something on the order of 2,500 to 3,000 square feet. By way of contrast, the old Rising Star showroom building was more than 5,000 square feet, Wales said.

While the company is open to locating just about anywhere in Bend, they're looking most seriously on the Westside, which is seriously under served by Bend standards with only one brew pub (Cascade Lakes) for the entire neighborhood. (Gasp!) And don't expect 10 Barrel to hang its shingle on Bond anytime soon. Wales said the company is intentionally avoiding downtown for fear of becoming "just another bar." In the meantime the company's commercial brewing operation has taken off since Wales, whose family previously owned High Desert Beverage, joined 10 Barrel.

The company now has 125 accounts in Central Oregon and is on over 50 handles in the Portland area less than a month after entering the metro area market.

As far as the brewpub is concerned, Wales said it remains a top priority and that he and his partners are committed to getting it open in Bend before the end of the year. 

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