Three Bend residents have applied to open a brewery in a northeast business park, bringing the region its ninth beermaker, if approved, and adding to the city's beer-town reputation.
Noble Brewing Co. has applied to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission for a license to operate a brewery and public house in a building on High Desert Court where BMC Choppers has been located.
The owners — Ty Barnett, 26, Pratt Rather, 44, and Curt Plants, 26 — hope to be making beer by the end of the year, they said Tuesday.
Noble will concentrate on production, at least at first, they said. The owners do not plan a full-scale restaurant, but want to sell pints and appetizers at the brewery.
Barnett will handle sales and marketing. He has 10 years of experience in the restaurant industry, including management, and has worked for Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Carino's Italian.
Plants, a former quarterback at Mountain View High School, will be the brewmaster. He has an international diploma in brewing technology from the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago.
Rather, 44, a bicycle racer who has participated in the Race Across America, has been a founding partner in two other breweries, Sweetwater Brewing Co., in Atlanta, and Everybody's Brewing, in White Salmon, Wash. Rather said he had no operational role in the other breweries, but he will at Noble.
“This is an opportunity for me to do it again,” he said, “and be a manager and give back to the community.”
All three said they love living in Bend and hope to build their business to the point where they can support community activities.
“Noble isn't just a name,” Barnett said. “It's a philosophy of our business.”
Once established, Noble Brewing will join a regional craft beer industry born in 1988 with the opening of the Deschutes Brewery, and which has lately brought Bend much attention.
Contestants in the 2010 National Beard and Moustache Championships held in Bend earlier this month mentioned the area breweries as a reason to hold the event in Bend.
Additionally, Visit Bend, the city's tourism-promotion agency, on Monday officially launched the Bend Ale Trail, a campaign to highlight the region's craft brewers. It features a trail map and passport, free interpretive guide apps for iPhones and Android phones and a website, bendaletrail.com.
Doug La Placa, Visit Bend president and CEO, said new breweries would be added to the ale trail campaign as they open.
The building where Noble plans to open is located in the North Brinson Business Park, generally south of Empire Avenue between Boyd Acres Road and 18th Street.
It has been the home of BMC Motorcycle Co. On Monday, a public notice from the OLCC about the brewery was attached to one of the doors.
Bob Smith, broker for Lowes Commercial, said Tuesday that negotiations to lease the building have been under way, but they are not complete.
While much of the building has been cleaned out, boxes, BMC Chopper advertising displays and even a motorcycle, or most of one, remained in the building Monday. At one point last year, BMC Motorcycle Co. was listed for sale for $2.5 million on a Web site called Businessbroker.net. As a reason for selling, the ad stated, “undercapitalized, equity partner possible.”
BMC representatives could not be reached to provide details about the company's status.
A blog devoted to the Northwest's craft beer scene reported Tuesday that Colorado-based New Belgium Brewing has been granted a permit to start a production facility in Bend. However, Bryan Simpson, spokesman for New Belgium, said the company is not committed to any city on the West Coast, although its beer can be purchased in the state. OLCC records show New Belgium has a license allowing for its distribution in Oregon.