Business is brewing in the Shops at Salishan with the opening last month of Beachcrest Brewing Company.
The on-site owners are Matt and Amy White, who, along with the partners Sean Sissel and Megan Leesley, opened the new brewery and taproom on Dec. 22 at 7755 N Highway 101 in Gleneden Beach.
Matt and Amy moved to Lincoln County from Colorado in the summer of 2017 with the idea opening this business.
“We looked for spaces for nine months or something like that,” said Matt. “I looked as far north as Pacific City, as far south as Newport, and everywhere in between.”
Having lived in downtown Denver, where craft beer and taprooms are very popular, “we definitely had a vision for what we wanted the space to look like,” said Matt. “In Denver, it was very common to just go to a brewery that had a taproom — it wasn’t also a restaurant, it wasn’t also serving wine. We really liked those kinds of places.” With family living in Oregon, he and Amy had visited the state a number of times, “and we thought maybe we should just open our own here.”
Their search for locations eventually led to the Shops at Salishan, but at that time, Salishan was owned by a bank and was undergoing a change in ownership, so no new leases were being signed. Matt said after the new ownership was established, “they approached us and asked if we were still interested.”
Occupancy at the Shops at Salishan has suffered in recent years, but the Whites saw the potential. “Certainly we’re buying into what it could be, but we just love this space, and we love the feel of it,” said Matt. “Part of the concept, too, was we didn’t want to brew off site and then bring it into a taproom. We wanted people to know it was made right here — local, small, lots of variation. That was the plan, and we felt like this really fit that concept.”
Their original idea was to open during the summer of last year, but they hit a speed bump along the way. “We finally got in here and started doing things and decided to call the planning division, and they said, ‘You’re doing what? You can’t do that,’” recalled Matt. That was when they discovered the county did not allow businesses involving a fermentation process to be located in commercial zones. With similar businesses already operating in a number of locations in the county, they hadn’t thought there would be any problem gaining approval for their plans.
“We didn’t think that would be the case because we weren’t thinking about being in unincorporated Lincoln County,” said Matt. But they began working with personnel from the Lincoln County Planning Department, and Planning Director Onno Husing presented a proposed zoning code amendment to the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners that would allow this type of use in a commercial zone. Eventually approval was granted, and the way was cleared for the business to operate at this location.
So instead of last summer, they opened just before Christmas. And although they missed the summer crowds, they now have time to work out any kinks during this slower time. “That’s how we’re looking at it, like a silver lining,” Matt said. “We opened up on Dec. 22 … had a soft opening, and then on New Year’s Eve we did a big party and called it our grand opening, just made it fun. We had a food pop-up, we had music all day and raffles — it was great.”
Beachcrest Brewing Company offers a total of 12 taps, eight of which feature their own craft beers. “The idea is eventually for all 12 of those primary taps to be ours,” said Matt. “But then we understand there are people who come in that don’t drink beer, so we have one guest beer and then we have cider, kombucha and we make our own Italian soda.”
In addition to beverages, Beachcrest offers small, sharable plates. “Right now we have a Bavarian pretzel and some marinated olives. We’re looking at adding a soup,” said Matt. “The idea is to have something. We don’t have a kitchen, so it’s just a matter of something pre-packaged that we can warm up. We’re also looking at a Panini press.
“But people can bring in food from anywhere else, including home, including takeout,” he added. They have also developed a relationship with Mangia Italian Deli located nearby in the Shops at Salishan, which will deliver food to customers at Beachcrest. And Salishan plans to open its grill at the golf course pro shop on a full time basis, rather than seasonally as in the past. That will give Beachcrest customers another food delivery option, said Matt.
Another regular feature at the business will be food pop-ups. “We’re really excited about the food pop-ups,” he said. “They bring a stove or things to keep food warm in and set it up, like you would see in a farmers market. It will be a special event, either just the food pop-up or tied into something.”
There will also be live music offered. Matt and Amy are musicians themselves and have played at a number of local venues, meeting a number of other musicians along the way. They are planning to host a jazz jam featuring a trio that will perform and then open it up to others who want to play. Amy said, “I think we’re going to have the jazz jam be a twice-a-month event. One of the things that is important to us is we want to foster a community of musicians and a place where people can come and hear musicians and enjoy it.”
That fits in with their desire to make Beachcrest a community gathering place. “The concept is a place where you don’t have to feel like you need to buy a meal and sit down at a table and then eat your meal and take off,” said Matt, “but a place where you can linger.”
Beachcrest Brewing Company is open from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. on Sunday. They are closed on Monday and Tuesday. Minors are welcome at the business until 9 p.m.
More information about the business is available by calling 541-234-4013, emailing [email protected] or going online at beachcrestbrewing.com or on Facebook at Beachcrest Brewing Company.