1080 The Fan>Audio & Video on Demand>>Three Creeks Brewing

Three Creeks Brewing

May 22, 2017|

Wade Underwood, a founding partner with Three Creeks Brewing Company, stops by Northwest Business to tell the story of building a brewpub in a Sisters Oregon.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

910 ESPN Portland presents northwest business a weekly one hour local business wildlife. If you would like your business to be featured on north was business please call 503535035. Million point. Or email NW business said entercom.com. Now here's zeroes for northwest business Luke Anderson. It's looking Anderson thank you for download in the northwest business podcasts that you're my conversation. We need under what the founding partner at three creeks brewing company you can find recruits all the for the state of Oregon or visit their brew pub insistence kicked him out on Twitter FaceBook instant read or free creeps brewing dot com. This interview originally aired may twentieth. 1017. On 910 ESPN Portland. Wade thanks for taking the time to talk to me today have slowed things I mean you started three creeks brewing when. The suns are freaks. In Germany in 2007. We bucks planned and designed. Original group of from the ground up and we got open in about eighteen months later in 2008 in July. And you're in sisters or again how agenda penned sister shooter in Beaverton Sarah premier Tim and now followed jobs and careers. South the California and southwest's. Phoenix Arizona and had a great great chapter down there and then wanted to give back to Oregon and back to earth. In Khost or families and however it says the move back cannot pick central organ. And have been having their ever since. So you moved back to sisters and you decide that you're gonna open a brewery was that the intention of the move forward it is kind of an up fork out that way. It was to be vetted when we got there. Love the business plan was ready but I wasn't sure than it was the right time or place and so we spent six months run house spent six months hanging out and checking up the local scene in. In all the research said that there's not a 150000 people dedicated for one group of you shouldn't do it. There are 2000 people now in sisters with 151000. In the area. In school district probably a little lesson that I am you know I believe in it so we did anyway. At that at a subway this that a 150000. People and you at that 2000 close enough yeah. Clear a male factor in 30000 number dale as affected tend to defect to the school district oh yeah I guess that would make sense to in the school district of course all drinking age of sheer death. We will let them we let it work in the restaurant but we keep Matta number he had a makes sense 2007. You said do you do you start the idea how many breweries were there in central Oregon when you began seven. So we were the eighth when we opened up the only one and sisters and there are third he too now with the consent order. OK anything else centauri no matter what Redmond it Redmond. End of scorers Brian bell sun river. OK so it's even with that there's not a whole lot are there any other in sisters now now. So just you kind of hold down the force where the only Bruce is we do have Cathy street distillery which destroying the to a dozen counts it's exciting as well yeah and we have them on the show actually not too long ago so I guess for pretty much done with the business and if it. Sister Christine got the outgoing business the alleged cover I think we've got the Al called that covered her for all of sisters. So when you started at the brewery what was what was the business plan you're gonna sustain ourselves off just the pub with with that few people worry. The business plan was to him and said the group so. Great restaurants great food great service with with beer as this kind of hook quite well what makes us different in this town we have robbery. And really I hadn't been in the in your business and been in the restaurant business before I delivered bread or for friends bakery for him on my college career. Plays to deliver Brennan in elected stuff and if you can deliver bread you can run a brewery can run a restaurant and number Trenton is truly to businesses and why America. So you know I'm I'm. Brought to partners together and we decided it was a good investment and we made the baton. With the intent of figuring out. Learning the businesses both of them and then picking the next. Stage right what what's the next step the world and I want to take or do we wanna take one and ultimately that turned and our production facility which we opened. About a half a mile away from our original location. And we opened that in December of 2014. Were you home brewer before you started or where to do the brewing come into this to get to find somebody to be brewer I did actually. Yeah Portland folks who know Dave Fleming Breaux is tired it was my first brewer. And I javy northwest solar system because they can do a turnkey system forming without knowing how to design one and in about asthma sufferers who could locally and got the building up and about eighteen months and opened in July of 2008. And in sort of only only serving in our club. And then eventually started snoop so serene sewing pegs around town and around central organ and then. Got in a bottling. The green bottling guys who are also you know local Portland success story they they can revolutionize at least for us at that time. The ability to to get into. Source can in the chains because they had. No mobile bottling unit. How creative right in the well because we couldn't afford when I mean I units probably. 150000. Dollars I'm gonna guess you know we don't have one but we can afford that at the time my Norton we have replaced put it chair. So you know they helped us. Get our product in the packages that we could then in and get into to stores and chain stores and in expand our footprint which was. Really creative and really exciting it in have a big impact I would expect on the overall beer market in organs in still does because there's still modeling for us some. And for numerous others but they come in and you have a bottle a day or bottling weaker. Yeah usually we have home about four days a week and I'm sorry four days a month ago. So they bring their. They bring us all the bottles and glass and they bring their machine in the name. And send up and we sanitize everything and we took our bureau open we run as many cases we have planned for the day in the name. Go home and they just two bottles you also give Kansas wells who we are on cannery we do have our own canning line yeah NL wild goose at a Colorado and yeah that's actually and by far number one package now is cans for just the six backs and more volume. And Anderson some pretty fun designs on therein. Here's who they're superior package in general I'm in. Bottles are failing the bottle caps are failing so age. Light and oxygen or other things that are gonna degrade your quality well every bottle at some light through these. Every ball cap is failing at some rate even the best ball caps are still failing auctions still getting in. You mean the beer. Whereas abruptly sealed kaine will not have any oxygen or light transfer so the bureau takes more like it did today it was packaged and cam and will and any model in the world. Well they go and for anyone just joining the program we're talking with a wade Underwood he's a founding partner of three creeks brewing company. Three creeks brewing dot com to check out online. Also go to FaceBook gets to ram or Twitter. The brew pubs loaded located in sisters or again but you'd do Beers available now throughout the state how far did you distributions of. We throughout all Morgan were in a southwest Washington and we are in. South war southern Idaho at this point. Growing as soon as it allows trend that we're in word slowly expanding our footprint with the right partners and you know with. With attainable growth led doesn't get a scan over the tips. Attainable and sustainable right yep yep you said that you were not a brewer and when you started. The brewing company you hired Dave Fleming and how much influence did you have on the beer that was produced out of their end and did you have an objective going in of what you want the beer tastes like. So my top ten so we were gonna definitely have our the stable of top forward Beers and a left the initial recipes up today if because that's what he was good at in the I brought the business acumen to to the operation and he brought how to make beer. And then over time he and I worked together on OK what do we like about this beer what do we know like about this fear what what we want our lineup to be. And just continue to create different different varieties different styles. And then we would tweak the recipes as we went along to to get our final is also we stick with OK and you have. Is it. Four Beers five Beers that are made year round that are consistently on store shelves they could find. Yes slow the OpenId blondes. Pipeline chocolate border which just won a gold medal for us of the GBF last October. That you do do IPA and then our crowd pleaser NPA is in 22 is only will be in cans by the fall. And the knotty blonde is blond ale very easy to drink if Allen certainly not up for one correct is that. Something that you kind of can stand on its very easy drinking or what's the kind of goal there. So the initial. You know. Initial reason for that beer was. One an alternate brother remind him of the name for beer and I thought it was genius because it was actually plan off of kind of a knotty pine tree yeah or. Or even in the juniper trees announced kind of that thing was the original thought process and then kind of evolved but. We only sell our bureau Poconos for doing an event and we have to have a beer for. Folks that aren't competence or don't like dark Beers you know if you're excellent quote unquote domestic beer drinker we have a beer that's they're gonna like. And it sells incredibly well the mass appeal beer to stir things up until it is I called the crossover bear if we can get a domestic beer drinker to try are not informed. We can start from there in the may we can get him into an amber and then maybe we can get him into a pail and then eventually though behof heads. This is our director of my life and she tries as sip of at least every beer that I have and she's I think she's graduated in the pale Ailes right now I'm not quite and I PA gal. QIPA's as cedar year round Beers so what's the difference between the voodoo voodoo and the crowd pleaser. Do it is wonderfully balanced. Northwest inspired a PL goalies like crystal balls. And that is so 82 I B use so you've got a really nice mouth feel almost formal mid stride and then the options. Come along and finish that veer off really nicest and most bitter finish but it's not overwhelmingly it's not punch in the face topic. But he to maybe use it's I mean it comes off aggressive statistically. For all the crystal balls we use and it really. Balance out the flavor profile and then we went. More northwest aggressive more floral more secrecy bigger body bigger mouth feel with the crowd pleaser. Which has us raunchy ace up his kind of the flags have been there here's a little bit kissel women. And really great floral notes. Very much more than current northwest. In floral craze took a secret as the where we're going for OK and then tell me about the five lines chuck Porter of the just one the big award at the very measured thoughtful five point chalk reporter was actually inspired by pat Shannon who was brewer at the time since. Five years ago. And we by Belgian Telemar chocolate. And we put it in the boil so most people that use or make chocolate peers quote unquote talk appears. No but the chocolate either in the fermentation. Tank or in the bright tank. We actually boil so it gets about sixty minutes a contact time it 200 plus degrees and we get a lot of a silky essence off of that chocolate rather than some harsher tones. Which. You know originally garrison had retention problems and we figured that out also presents properly so little bit of science to it that as a global presentation is trigger the guys for life science but he visited just a really nice to me it's not. And overly aggressive with chocolate profile it's not serve. But it does have to secure us a chocolate the end with a really silky finish because them oils come off of the chocolate. So it's you know delicious here we've been an area for years believe in an area and in. The chocolate beer category and it's not chocolate enough and their robust Porter but it's not robust enough and so finally put it in the brown Porter category and there was a highly contested. Category this year according some beer writers have called us and we've we won the gold medals so we're finally put that in that category amounts certain when awards. Isn't that funny they have to find not only have to make great beer B yet to figure out how to classified report can win an award yes that is we're learning. We're finally learning and that you mentioned at the beginning you're learning to businesses at the same time not just. The beer business but also vote the pub what does it take to run a successful brew pub especially in a small town. While running a restaurant is challenging as any restaurant tour will know. You have to be on it every day. Mean it's about being. Getting good quality people to work for area. Giving them the tools that they need training them making surely you have the right systems in place. And then great food and it's it's always comes about I'm amazed. And how how well. Good restaurants can come through in the fact that you know we probably have seven or nine people involves. In every transaction for every person and every table but finally got to prep cook involved five line cooks have gone. Hostess I've you know waiter or waitress. A guy at a bartender. That's pouring the Beers people delivering them in to get this dance right. All the time is. It's impressive once you get behind the scenes and see how hard it is for a for just it's it's in transaction done everytime. So it's in it's it's a constant work I've got a great a great team. Without them it would work. And I you know we we pay attention and we we try every day. And what about did just that. Changes that have been to the food industry Emmy people come to Oregon now for a culinary experience. And if people are traveling two sisters I don't think you wanna be the exception to that rule so in the what does it almost ten years now that you've been doing this. How much has the menu change from that original menu year old out. Oh dramatically. Dramatically we. We we we can we change our new menu twice a year at least just to bring in new items change out all items. And sometimes a B. Shortages in the supply chain or whatever else but. We just keep after it constantly in listening new book a people's feedback. But with the industry changes you know you see. I'm a halibut. We had halibut fish and chips. You can't do element fish and chips one element goes from four dollars a pound to twenty dollars a pound right. I'm I'm offended by the price that I have to charge for it so. He's keep paying attention and and working with good partners. You know we have a great supply chain and they help educate us as well and you just listen and and keep going but we had to change it dramatically. As we grew. Our original menu was so slow I mean I think we had twelve murders on the thing in. A grill was just packed you couldn't get another birther amendment tickets is kept coming like one room. Organ to organ can make numbers Passat and so we tweet tweet didn't balanced our line and added pizza with in the back in. In more prep tables and he discount. Continually look at what you can do better and men in every does every. Every game plan is great when you at the beach. But as soon as you at the beach no changes your opinion. And he you have to pay attention. Well now you've been in the so long time I mean you know considering there's a new brewery that seems to open every day the competition gets bigger around you. You have to be just is on and his Jorge de one yet still have that fire and passion. Do you have a favorite part of what you do and has that changed over time. I really like. Being involved in all aspects of the business so my favorite part isn't even getting out and you know being able to affect. People's experience whether that's given a brewery tour or. Sitting next to somebody at the bar after work on having a beer and you know letting you know talking to them about beer and then they figure out that you know have something to do with it and you know you can. You can have and people's you can add to people's impressions and that's one of the funniest part is. Is watching people enjoy. What we worked so hard to produce. And you know sometimes you are wrong and when you get a wrong. We just make it right in what what what we do. And make sure you keep after it and every customer every time every beer every time every sip every time S three is. Good as we can possibly make it in just continuing strive for how to do that as. Kind of what I've done my whole career. So for him and just join the program we're talking with a weighed under would he is a founding partner of three creeks brewing company. You learn more at three creeks brewing dot com go to FaceBook in two gram or Twitter find them there. At this point you were pretty well embedded with the sisters community Hampshire absolutely but every time you go out you're selling Beers to. Portland or southern Idaho or kind of the extended reach of of your area. How much do you feel like you represented sisters every time you go out and talked about three creeks. And well absolutely I mean that it's a fantastic community I mean that's why we we settled there. Oh we move their rent a house and we're checking it out in and this is a wonderful community very supportive of the schools and of the business community interest. It is a great spot so we wanna make sure that we do the best we can. And make people aware that one there's a brewery there and two it's a really cool town and the beer is great so please come. Stop in. You know seize some other merchants stay for awhile and I and every time a movie we take a lot of pride in our own business but we also are. Huge proponent of our community. And that's part of the success story of the Bruin community in general. In my opinion. It is in you have a lot of small. Brew pubs opening up all over the country. And generally they're great stewards of their community it they invest in. Marketing themselves as well as their community they invest in their communities through festivals and events in schools and giving back to. You know wonderful. Causes. All over the place and so. That becomes a great circle of support and in a week we've pulled the world making them proud. We talked about this for quite a bit before we got. On the microphones play that brewing industry has changed immensely over the time that you spend in it. Just because of the rapid growth. If somebody were to hear this interview decide they wanted to get into brewing beer. Open their own brew pub do you have any advice that you would give to them don't do it at method that's a step I. Same advice I give anybody that wanted to in any entrepreneur wants to get into their own business. Do your homework. It's in looks sexy on the outside a lot of businesses look like easy money it's not any of those things it's fun. It's a it's a wonderful industry. I've thoroughly enjoyed and continued to. But in the you need to do your math you need to understand what your business plan is you need to really think Donna because as soon as you signed that first check your committed. And it's. It takes courage to be an entrepreneur and there's a lot of sleepless stressful nights that go on with that so whether you wanna get into brewing or. The stewing or. Crowing. Prop eight is the make sure you do your homework and that you feel comfortable with. Now in the math but the plan and how you gonna execute it. Regardless of what you get into it and you admit right up front just for a lot of help where did you turn to first when decided to go with plan. I was lucky enough to talk to a lot of other brewery owners at the time. And because I don't have the permission I won't name them but the community was very supportive coming from. You know what is waste water look like. One of what's the real math of this doesn't look like where's your revenue stream come from one of the challenges involved here. People were very open and very willing to help and I try to repay that when I cam but. It it was very eye opening in helped me really craft planned before we know. Wrote that for stricken time a first bank now. Way to really appreciate you coming by and talking to some northwest business if anybody's in the sisters area they can stop in at three creeks pub. Get a brewery tour there at three creeks spent a lot of time X or central Oregon. Great home base to do it and you were always promoting. Taken a six pack and get medics want to organize their it take you six back in you know go have a good time be responsible. Yeah. Also mountain biking hiking golf fishing everything you can hope for within a ten miles of town so come out and see us. Well thank you so much for David Toms talked to actually thinks animate yes and three treats available in stores here and in and around Portland as well absolutely those states' credit thanks wade. But there's. If you like your company to be featured on northwest business called 5035350358. Or email NW business @entercom.com.