Apparently there is another small brewery about to open in Portland: Beetje Brewery has been approved by the TTB to start brewing on its one-barrel garage system. Oh, you haven't heard of Beetje? Neither had I, until I noticed a comment that Jeff left on the New School a few weeks ago. "Beetje" is Flemish for small -- sounds like we have a Belgian-oriented brewery here. Here's a cartoon that explains how it got rolling:
The owner, Mike Wright, says that he hopes to be running by late summer or early fall, but he has a family and a day job, so the schedule might vary. Here's his plan:
I will definitely self-distribute and hope to get into a couple of local SE bars/restaurants. There's no money in kegs at my scale so, I am interested in exploring bottles. Not only from a financial perspective. But I like bottle conditioning some of my beers.
That's kind of the opposite of other nano-brewery strategies: Vertigo, Mt. Tabor, and Natian are strictly keg sales. But it makes sense -- if you can only brew 4 pony kegs at a time, you could have a wider distribution with a higher margin by bottling. I'm guessing it makes your startup costs a little more manageable as well: you don't invest in big kegs at the outset, just a bunch of little bottles that you add into your price.
The two beer styles Mike lists so far on his website are "a straightforward ale with a Flemish kiss", and a barrel-aged sour brown. Should be an interesting addition to the Portland scene.