HOPWORKS URBAN BREWERY (HUB) chases do-goodnik certifications like some breweries chase beer competition medals. To date, HUB's been awarded accolades from Salmon-Safe, Oregon Tilth, the League of American Bicyclists, Portland's Sustainability at Work, and B Lab UK.
While HUB is the world's first brewing campus designated as Salmon-Safe (a nonprofit organization that links land management practices with the protection of agricultural and urban watersheds), the beermaker can toot its bike horn the loudest over becoming a B Corp. B stands for benefit. Who benefits? The environment, the community, and the company's employees. Of the 1,000-plus B Corps around the world, seven are brewing companies. (So let's also hear it for Beau's All Natural Brewing and Persephone Brewing out of Canada, Michigan's Brewery Vivant, North Carolina's Bull City Burger & Brewery, California's Bison Organic Beer, and Colorado's New Belgium Brewing.)
Not that any of these certifications make HUB's beer taste any better—their nightly crowds and four medals from the Great American Beer Festival speak to that.
"We're certifiable," says founder and brewmaster Christian Ettinger. Hopworks has even employed a sustainability manager (Nate Young), for the last two years to assist in HUB's "relentless pursuit of lightening our footprint," says Ettinger.
New Belgium recently collaborated with Hopworks on a pair of peachy beers. The first, B-Side Organic Peach IPA, debuted at the Oregon Brewers Fest. The other, B-Side EP, is a sour version that's extra peachy, but also shows the extended play between these two eco- and bike-friendly breweries.
Incidentally, New Belgium's qualifying "B Score" is 143 out of a possible 200 (80 is required for certification). HUB scored 96. That nearly 50 percent differential, says Ettinger, "highlights opportunities." Hopworks' recently installed clean-in-place skid and centrifuge already lowered their water consumption in the brewing process by some 20 percent. Creating an employee stock ownership plan, like New Belgium, would certainly benefit HUB's 130-plus hires.
The company's "excited to grow our volume in our backyard," says Ettinger, and is considering building a second brewpub—the pub on North Williams doesn't brew—"within a 30-mile radius." Vancouver, Washington, is 13 miles away.
This Cold Beer's So Hot Right Now
When it's this hot, we want cold, crisp, and quenching. In lieu of sucking down Pacificos or Coronas in your backyard kiddie pool, try these.
The Most Interesting Lager in the World gives Dos Equis the Family Feud-style XXX. Ex Novo's beer has a base of Vienna and Pilsner malts with the requisite flaked corn (less than 5 percent), hopped with noble Saaz and pitched Mexican yeast. Although it screams summer, it'll be available year-round and should appear in cans by year's end. Ex Novo Brewing, 2326 NE Flint
Super Ligero Mexican Lager is indeed super light in body, yet the Vienna-style lager (think Negra Modelo) features Munich and two-row malt lightened by flaked corn. Perfect for warm days on any of the Kennedy School's patios. McMenamins Concordia Brewery at Kennedy School, 5736 NE 33rd
The rooftop garden may not be ready at 10 Barrel's Pearl brewpub, but the Costa Rican beach has arrived in care of Pura Vida Costa Rican Lager, inspired by brewer Whitney Burnside's recent vacay spent drinking Pilsen. Although it disappears with the summer season, it'll return next year. 10 Barrel Brewing, 1411 NW Flanders
Ben Dobler said he walked into Widmer's brewhouse and a coworker greeted him with, "What's up bendejo?" Dobler says, "I started laughing and it hit me that [BenDejo] would be the next name of my BenFest beer which would naturally be a Mexican-style lager." The dried lime peel at the finish gives it a smack of the tropics. Que rico! Widmer Brothers Brewing, 929 N Russell
Beer Events on the Horizon
12th Annual Hood River Fresh Hops Fest
Columbia Parking Lot at Cascade & 5th, Hood River, Sat Sept 26, noon-8 pm, $15 (includes tasting glass and five sampling tokens)
Instead of coffee, cobbler, or Christmas, the next big beer fest on the calendar is all about beers that taste like, well, beer. Specifically, hops. The 12th Annual Hood River Fresh Hops Fest will feature 60-plus fresh hop beers (meaning hops are harvested and added to the brew kettle within hours). Sample the Beaujolais Nouveaux of beer from Hood River's Double Mountain, pFriem, Full Sail, and dozens more.