On April 28, 2017 the world lost a caring soul when Curt Plants left this world. Curt passed away from a sudden illness that struck him when he came down mononucleosis that led to a fast moving streptococcal blood infection. At a young age of just 33 years old Curt’s’ life was cut short way too soon.
Curt was a Bend native born on April 20, 1984. After high school he went on to study at Southern Oregon University and Oregon State University. After college he felt that urge to become a professional brewer after dabbling in homebrewing. In 2009 he enrolled in the prestigious brewing school at the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago and then continued on to the International Diploma Program at the Doemens Academy in suburban Munich, Germany. During his time at brewing school he met many friends that went on to brew at breweries across the country.
After graduating from brewing school Curt moved to Newport, Oregon to take a job at one of Oregon’s most well known breweries Rogue Ales. Here he honed his brewing skills even further from Rogue’s legendary brewmaster John Maier. But during this time living on the coast he began talking to his friend Ty Barnett about opening a brewery back in his hometown of Bend.
For such a young guy, he had so many friends; he was your best friend whether you knew him a minute or a year. – Ty Barnett
Curt along with his business partners Barnett and Pratt Rather founded GoodLife Brewing in 2011. This same year the new brewery was awarded the People’s Choice Award for its new Mountain Rescue Pale Ale at the Bend Brewfest. I remember visiting Bend during the festival weekend and drinking Mountain Rescue and Sweet As Pacific Ale and was thoroughly impressed with the brewery’s two early offerings. Sweet As along with another one of the brewery’s early beers Descender IPA continues to enjoy mass appeal today.
From here on out every can of beer produced by GoodLife will have a memorial to Plants printed on the bottom of the can, CP♥. Curt left behind enough unused recipes that his legacy will go on for some time. “Curt will always be part of the brewery, It’s how we now honor him whether two years or five years from now,” states Barnett.
Today, Saturday, May 20th, GoodLife Brewing will host a Celebration of Life for brewer and co-owner Curt Plants that is open to the public from 3:00 to 8:00pm at GoodLife Brewing. During the Celebration of Life about 65 volunteers from the local brewing community will donate their time to help run the brewery’s tasting room so all of the employees of GoodLife will be able to honor Curt without worrying about running the business. This is a great gesture from the tight knit community that from speaking to Ty we could tell he was so happy for all of the outpouring his business partner and more importantly his friend is receiving.
Prior to the event at GoodLife today there will be a Celebration of Life Memorial Service at the Mountain View High School Auditorium beginning at 11:00am located at 2755 NE 27th St. Seating is limited and for those that cannot attend there will be a live stream available at: http://handinhandproductions.net/curt-plants-memorial/
For those that have inquired about seeing how they can help out there has been a Go Fund Me set up to assist in Curt’s medical bills that included three nights in the ICU, dialysis and multiple procedures and memorial costs. Any amount will be greatly appreciated by Plants’ wife. Donations can be made here: https://www.gofundme.com/curtplants
Barnett offered us this closing remark on how anyone can pay tribute to Plants. “Put on some Pearl Jam and have Curt come join you!”
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 25 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 the archives of Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter and Instagram at @hopapalooza.