Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Micro-Brew Revolution and the McMenamin Brothers

The first Portland micro-brewery to open was the Cartwright on SE Hawthorne, by Chuck Koury. It sold a brand of home brew called Portland Beer. The micro-brew operated from 1979 to 1982, but it was eventually closed because the beer it produced was too inconsistent.

Koury was the first to show that beer could be produced and sold on a small scale. This attracted others to the idea of micro-brewing and selling their own brand of beer. Don Younger, the Widmer brothers, and especially the McMenamin brothers took this idea and gave birth to the Oregon micro-brew revolution.

In the decades since The Cartwright, the McMenamins have established their locations as some of the finest and most original establishments for eating, drinking, taking in a movie, or staying in a room for the night.

1983 - Brothers Mike and Brian McMenamin open the Barley Mill on SE Hawthorne Blvd.

1984 - Hillsdale Brewery and Public House is opened after laws in Oregon are changed to allow beer to be brewed on the same location as it is sold, this becomes the first successful brewpub.

1987 - The first theater-pub is opened in Portland, The Mission Theater. This becomes the McMenamins' company headquarters as well.

2007 - The McMenamin brothers continue to operate 54 brew-pubs in Oregon and Washington, and are in modern times the Northwest's most well-known micro-brewers of beer and spirits.
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