How are beer and seafood similar? In addition to tasting great together, you can now get them both freshly canned from Astoria, Oregon. Astoria’s Fort George Brewery will help redefine the meaning of cannery in the historic seafood canning capital of the world.
On the horizon of Astoria’s bicentennial, Fort George will complete a yearlong, million-dollar, five-fold expansion in capacity—the latest Oregon craft brewery to bring its product to the supermarket. The grand opening ceremony for their new production brewery and canning line will take place Tuesday March 29th at 2:00 p.m.
The new canning line will be the star of the party — it will be rolling off the first cans of 1811 Lager for statewide distribution. The brewery, which happens to be on the grounds of the original settlement of Astoria, created this brew to commemorate Astoria’s 200-year history—the oldest US city west of the Rockies. This pre-prohibition-style can of lager carries the official bicentennial seal and $10 thousand in proceeds will go toward bicentennial festivities, which begin in April.
As the beer caning line itself is a reinvention of traditional Astoria canneries, it is this kind of resilience that has allowed the region’s heritage to survive two centuries. In spite of a decline in fishing and logging, Astoria has been in a renaissance. The building the new brewery is located in, a former auto dealership, scarred downtown Astoria, empty for a decade. This rebirth can be seen on surrounding blocks of downtown.
Fort George will also recognize the stakeholders who made the expansion come to fruition. In addition to the company’s investment, Oregon Business Development Department supplied money tied to job creation, as well as the City of Astoria’s urban renewal funds. For those interested in regional politician sightings (and who isn’t) this event will provide peeks at State Senator Betsy Johnson, Mayor Willis Van Dusen, city councilors, Jason Hitzert from Congressman Wu’s office, the Clatsop County Historical Society, organizers of the Astoria Bicentennial, bankers, others from organizations who have supported the project, contractors, owners, and the workers—the backbone of the Fort George and the blue-collar aspect of Astoria.
The Fort George’s grand opening event will take place at the new brewery, located in the Lovell Building, which has an entrance on 14th street in-between Duane and Exchange Streets in downtown Astoria. Refreshments will be served. The event should wrap up by 3:00 p.m.