Not quite one year ago, Brewpublic broke the news that Logsdon Farmhouse Ales co-founder and head brewer, Charles Porter, had decided to the leave the brewery to pursue new interests. Now a year later Logsdon Farmhouse Ales has secured a new head brewer in Eric Ponce. He recently arrived here in Oregon with his wife Rachel and will soon begin his tenure at Logsdon. Prior to joining Logsdon, Eric was living in Chicago and held the Senior Brewer Barrel Program position at Goose Island Beer Co. During his three and a half years at Goose Island, he oversaw the brewery’s massive barrel aging program. Under his watch this highly regarded program expanded in space and output with the opening of The Staviary, a massive 133,000 square foot space that is home to Goose Island’s barrel aging program.
As Charles left the brewing operations at Logsdon, co-founder and name bearer David Logsdon was in negotiations to sell a part of his ownership to the owners of Uptown Market. Though there was a press release sent out detailing some of this information from Stuart Faris at Uptown Market on Logsdon’s behalf, this deal was never finalized.
In early August last year without his co-founder, David stepped in to run the brewery while eventually handing over the brewing duties to Curtis Bain and Shilpi Halemane. Though Charles is no longer brewing at Logsdon, he still has an ownership share in the brewery and continues to be listed on the brewery’s website.
Now with Eric in the picture things are looking brighter for the Hood River based farmhouse brewery. He is bringing with him his vast amount of knowledge that he has gained over the past few years while working for Goose Island in Chicago that is owned by the world’s largest brewery, Anheuser-Busch InBev.
Prior to his time at Goose Island, Eric began his brewing career when he moved to Alaska during his final year in college. It is in our 49th state that he took his first brewing job at Alaskan Brewing Co. in Juneau, AK. He enjoyed his newfound career along with living in Alaska and it is there where he found his passion, brewing with Brettanomyces and barrel aging.
Eric then left Alaska to travel for a few months to Belgium and work alongside Belgian brewers to learn and hone his skills at the source of wild beers. While in Europe he attended Versuchs –und Lehranstalt fur Brauerei in Berlin to study Fermentation Science, Engineering and Malting to expand his knowledge event further. Upon graduation he moved back to his home state of Colorado and worked with Chad Yakobson at Crooked Stave. He then landed a position at Lost Abbey in California to learn from Tomme Arthur before relocating to Chicago, Illinois to take the Senior Brewer Barrel Program position at Goose Island.
Over the past year with travels to Oregon he met and became friends with John Plutshack, one of the owners and the operations manager at Logsdon Farmhouse Ales. John traveled to Chicago last November to attend his first Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beers and met up with Eric once again. During this visit we joined them on a tour of The Staviary or more commonly known as the Goose Island Barrel Warehouse (our review can be read here) that was led by Eric. The rest is what they say is history.
We will close this out with two video clips from August 2016 during Goose Island Beer Co.’s Migration Week in Portland. The two clips, filmed by Brewpublic’s Nick Rivers, feature Eric and Matt Van Wyk, now of Alesong Brewing & Blending, during a Barrel Aging Seminar held at The Upper Lip in front of a capacity crowd.
We wish Eric continued success with his new chapter here in Oregon at Logsdon Farmhouse Ales. Cheers!
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 20 years under his belt of drinking beer at festivals across America and the world, he has developed a strong appreciation and understanding of craft beer and the industry that surrounds it. He can be found in any of the great breweries or beer bars that make Portland the best beer city in the world. His writing can also be found in Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter at @hopapalooza.