Owner Christian Ettinger enjoying the warmth of his custom fireplace.
Hopworks Urban Brewery

Christian Ettinger was kind enough to give me a tour of his new place, Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB). If you're thinking that this will just be another place to add to Portland's already extensive list of breweries, you're quite a bit off the mark. But I don't blame you. I thought that as well before getting a glimpse of the future HUB empire.

Let's start with the owner. Christian Ettinger's been involved in the Portland beer scene for quite some time. Many of you will recognize his name from the award winning beer coming out of Laurelwood Brewery. As Laurelwood's Brewmaster, he often came back home from beer competitions with a fistful of medals. His beers have epitomized the bold Northwest style that people equate with Portland. After a few years at Laurelwood, Christian decided to venture out on his own and start his own business.

Hopworks Urban Brewery
Hopworks: Beer Time.
Well, Christian didn't just find a building, drag some brewing equipment inside, and fire it up. Though this was an option, he decided to go with the more difficult and time-consuming option so that the HUB would would be an extension of his lifestyle and a contribution to the community. Many businesses blindly take in services and materials based soley on cost. On the other end, waste goes out the same way: out the door and out of the mind of the owner. This narrow mentality has a large effect on the community by ignoring the lack of efficiencies in the process and the environmental impact of cutting corners to save money.

Since it's inception, the HUB has been an example of a green business, based on sustainability. Rather than demolishing the old Sunset Fuel building to create the new space, the building was carefully deconstructed board by board and nail by nail so that as much of the old building could be used in the new structure. From interior lumber, to cubicle shrapnel, most of the old building found it's way into the building.
Hopworks Urban Brewery
24 Barrel Brite Tank.
Even old plumbing made it's way to the bar as a foot rail. But my explanations probably make it sound like refurbished junk yard. Very far from it. All of the old pieces were refinished in various ways to make them all appear brand new and blend seamlessly in with the actual new pieces. As far as food and beer, the all organic brewery is a direct fire system which will use biodeisel for fuel. There are also plans for an organic greenhouse to supply the kitchen with fresh vegetables. The lots surrounding the building were also engineered so that runoff enters into a retention pond on the property to lessen the stress on the city system.

Whew! And that's not everything. Check out the HUB's website for details and more information. The grand opening is soon and I can't wait to support this business by way of enjoying great food and drinking a lot of superb beer!