You’ve got to be brave and full of exceptional ideas to open a nanobrewery on the Oregon Coast. That’s where some of the biggest names in craft beer have set up shop. But that didn’t deter Matt and Amy White from opening Beachcrest Brewing Company on the Salishan Resort property in Gleneden Beach. They’d done plenty of research, home brewing and training to create craft brews that were unique from others, and their business concept also was distinctive.
“We’re honored to be a part of the growing landscape of beer on the coast,” Matt said. We looked at what other breweries are doing (and doing very well, by the way!) and decided to offer a decidedly different lineup of beers and have a unique feel in our taproom.”
The Whites, along with their partners Sean Sissel and Megan Leesley — who mostly help remotely from their home in Colorado — faced some unexpected challenges before opening the doors of Beachcrest Brewing in late 2018.
1) What red tape did you encounter when working on opening your brewery?
After we’d signed the lease, we were surprised to learn that the county code forbid fermentation in commercially zoned areas of Lincoln County. Luckily, the county zoning office was very supportive and helped us get the code changed. We never foresaw we’d have to change laws to get our brewery open.
2) How did you gain your expertise in brewing?
Before moving to the Oregon Coast, we lived in Denver — a huge beer mecca. I started at home and found some awesome homebrew shops that taught me a lot. I also read, did Internet research and joined homebrew clubs. Then, Amy and I sought out the kinds of breweries we loved and wanted to model ours after. I did grunt work for them, which taught me a ton.
Later we enrolled in the three-day “Brewery Immersion Course” with Tom Hennessy at Colorado Boy Brewery. I worked with the brewer and Amy learned about the business side from Hennessy. Not only did we walk away with knowledge, it also solidified our resolve to get Beachcrest off the ground.
3) Why have you carried a music theme throughout Beachcrest?
Amy and I left careers as performing and teaching musicians to open our craft brewery. We name our beers either “musically,” and for the coast we call home. Backbeat Brut IPA, Duo Dubbel, Trio Tripel and Common Time Kölsch come from musical terms.
We’ve also connected with many great musicians here on the coast even before we opened the brewery. Because of that, we’re able to book some great musical entertainment in the taproom. There have been moments where performers were in the middle of a very intimate song and the whole room is completely focused and enraptured by the moment…you could hear a pin drop. Making beer, pouring pints, playing music; it’s all about sharing some happiness and that’s what inspires us.
4) Which of your brews are you most proud of?
Our Siletz Bay Hazy IPA is a great example of the style. I feel like ours nails the mouthfeel and bitterness that’s so important to an IPA. Our Brut IPA, a newer variety, is very tasty beyond being trendy. I love our Hoppy Beach Pale, single-hop mosaic pale ale; it’s super quaffable. The Mayan Mole Stout incorporates chili peppers, cacao nibs and cinnamon and has a great fan base (it’s Amy’s favorite). We make a solid Gose, too, that’s not too sour and not too salty, but super easy to drink.