Portland has the largest amount of breweries in the world and this number miraculously continues to grow. There are denser parts of the city with higher quantities of breweries but there are many areas and neighborhoods that are void of any locally produced beers. The farther east you go in Portland this lack of breweries becomes much more apparent. Venture east past I-205, this area is barren. The closest brewery to the Gateway area is Montavilla Brew Works that has yet to open its doors.
This is all about to change as Gateway Brewing is now up and running and has just delivered its first kegs to Bottles. Though the full vision from founders, Joel and Karen Sheley and Dave and Tracy Meyer, is not completely fully realized, the beer itself is now available and for sale.
Currently brewing out of a 1/2 BBL system in the garage of the Sheley household, Joel is now full time at the nanobrewery after leaving his position as a bike courier but with larger aspirations of operating a larger brewpub in the future. Joel has an extensive background in brewing but stepped away from it professionally over the past few years to work as a bike courier while planning his future brewing enterprise. As Joel states, “A dream that has now come to reality”.
Prior to launching Gateway Brewing, Joel has completed the advanced course at the American Brewers Guild, then worked for 1-1/2 years at Nor’Wester Brewing, which was followed by over 15 years at Widmer Brothers Brewing. His wife Karen also worked at Widmer for 6 years. The two of them have been around craft beer long enough to have the knowledge to make this venture work.
Joel’s goal is to be brewing about one beer per day with his overall strategy to service the Gateway area of Portland and be the area’s local brewery. Without any other breweries nearby the only challenge facing Gateway is finding a spot for its brewpub and producing the beers that the area will be attracted to.
The beers that Gateway plans on brewing will be more sessionable with its core lineup being in the 4-5% ABV range that will be complimented with rotating seasonals that will be a bit higher in ABV. While speaking to Joel, he stressed that that their goal is to stay with a family theme that will allow the entire family to go out for a meal and a couple of beers for the parents. Gateway Brewing also plans on offering growler fills and dock sales once they get a better handle on customer demand.
The first two beers that are now out in the marketplace are Exit 7 IPA and Glendoveer Golden Kolsch style ale. Both beers named for landmarks in the Gateway area. Future beers include Responder Red, and yet to be named lager and a stout.
The Meyer’s helped start Bottles on NE Fremont. Because of this relationship this is the spot that will be the first to tap the first two beers produced from Gateway. Joel also mentioned that McGuilicuddy’s on NE Halsey would also be receiving some kegs in the near future.
Gateway Brewing can be followed on Twitter and on Facebook before they get their own website up and running.