Monday, January 21, 2013
Brewery Profile - Alpine Brewing in Oroville, WA
Nearly five hours from Seattle, on the eastern edge of the Cascade Mountains very near the Canadian border, you will find a beautiful brewery producing very authentic German-style beers. Oroville, Washington is home to Alpine Brewing, one of the few breweries in the Pacific Northwest that focuses on producing lagers instead of ales.
Bart Traubeck is the owner and Brewmaster at Alpine Brewing. The authenticity of the beers stems from Bart himself: he is an authentic German. Bart grew up in Germany and attended the Technical University of Munich where he studied brewing. After graduating, Bart sold brewing equipment for a German manufacturer, helping set up breweries around the world. In early 1980s, Bart visited a number of burgeoning craft breweries in the western United States, including a very young Red Hook Brewery in Seattle. He liked Seattle and the Pacific Northwest and eventually decided to settle here to build and operate a brewery.
Without going into boring detail, the brewery in Oroville originally opened as Buchanan Brewing in the late 1990s under different ownership, although Bart was involved. Bart procured a 35-barrel copper brewhouse from a closed brewery in Bavaria, dismantled it and moved it to Oroville. When the beer started flowing, there were some troubled times and the fledgling brewery lasted for just over a year before it closed. It sat empty for nearly three years before Bart purchased it from the bank and reopen it as Alpine Brewing Company in 2000. Since then, Bart has gained a reputation for brewing some of the Pacific Northwest’s most authentic , delicious German-style lagers.
Alpine Brewing distributes its beer throughout central and eastern Washington, and across the greater Puget Sound region. It is available on draft and in 22-ounce bottles. At the brewery, the beer garden is open on Saturday evenings and usually features live music (outside in summer and inside in winter). There is no regular schedule for brewery tours, but Bart assures me that if someone comes all the way from Seattle, he will not turn them away. I would advise calling in advance.
Alpine Brewing Company
821 14th Ave.
Oroville, WA 98844
Courtesy of the Washington Beer Commission at www.washingtonbeer.com