New brewery planned for Granary District
Plans call for the business to operate as the Grain Station Brew Works out of a refurbished period warehouse at 755 N.E. Alpine Ave. The warehouse is currently occupied by the McMinnville Public Market, which is planning to conduct its final session there Saturday.
Kelly McDonald, managing partner in the Granary District, said he is partnering with Mark Vickery, head brewer at the Golden Valley Brewery & Restaurant the last 10 years, in the new venture.
The brewery will occupy just over a third of the facility’s 7,970 square feet, along the south and west sides, leaving more than 5,000 square feet toward the north and east for other tenants. With the market moving out, that space will be reserved for existing tenant Shaggy Showers Dog Wash and future tenants as opportunities care developed.
According to McDonald, the partners had been willing to continue hosting the market, as the new venture did not need nearly all of the available space and the renovation could have been conducted without disrupting its ongoing operation. However, Manager Shannon Thorson opted to cease Granary District operations and launch a search for new quarters — a search still ongoing.
The partners in the new venture registered Down to Earth Brewery with the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office on Feb. 2 as a limited liability company. They registered Grain Station Brew Works with the same office on April 2 as an assumed business name.
The McMinnville City Council will be asked to approve the liquor license application at an upcoming meeting.
Plans drawn up by Portland architect Bruce Kelly were submitted to the city with the building permit application. They call for development of a brewing facility, a commercial kitchen, a set of walk-in coolers, a set of restrooms, a bar featuring 42-inch counters, an eating area seating approximately 100.
McDonald said there will be some unique aspects to the venture. First, he said, an outdoor plaza will be incorporated into the business, permitting it to host large events of a multi-use nature.
In addition, McDonald said, the pair plans to launch the first Community Supported Brewery in Oregon. It’s a takeoff on the Community Supported Agriculture or CSA concept, which features memberships available for purchase at varying levels.
“Much like the Granary District, it will be a community supported project,” he said.
He and Vickery plan to source their barley from local farmers for at least some of their beers. They are proposing a menu of pub-style fare to accompany their craft brew offerings.
Vickery started in the brewing industry with Bridgeport, then spent 10 years at Bend’s Deschutes Brewery. He also ran Boise’s Sockeye brewing operation for three years.
“For me, it’s the fulfillment of a professional dream,” he said. “To be a brewer so close to local ingredients is what it’s all about. I’m really excited to be doing my own project.”
Vickery said Golden Valley owner Peter Kircher was zeroing in on a replacement. He said he would stay long enough to see the transition through.
McDonald said they hope to open for business in their new quarters in late July.