Last Friday, brewer Alex Ganum announced that his new business, Upright Brewing Company, will take residence in the Leftbank Project. The brewery will occupy Leftbank's basement, right below the ballroom where a good deal of Portland's jazz history took place. In fact, that history informed the name of Ganum's enterprise. From his introductory post:
The brewery's name derives from the primary instrument of Charles Mingus, a man whose music escapes categorization and stands alone with pride.
I recently called Ganum to get some more information. He told me he plans on crafting beer in the rustic, French and Belgian "farmhouse style." He'll be using two open fermentation tanks and a distinct house yeast. Ganum's strain of French yeast—with possible Belgian origins—is expected to produce beer with "a nice mix of spicey flavors and earthiness and mustiness."
Ganum blanches at the idea that his products will be straight-up, Belgian style brews. "The beers in the brewery are going to be atypical of Portland and America itself," he explains. He doesn't seem too concerned about the difficulty of producing beer through open fermentation (there are only a couple breweries in Oregon doing it) having learned the methods with Brewery Ommegang in Copperstown, New York.
Along with the openly fermented rustic brews, Ganum will also have a conical, closed fermentation tank for special batches of smoked and fruit beers.
Currently, Ganum expects his first kegs and bottles to be rolling out of the the brewery early next year. The brewery will be open for tours and he hopes that the Leftbank Project will snag a restaurant willing to serve his wares.
I'll be following Ganums progress in the coming months, so check back for updates, along with Alison's awesome coverage of the Leftbank Project.