One of the benefits of traveling the United States as a professional disc golfer is that when the tournaments are over, there are always new beers to sample.
“We’ve been in so many taprooms in the smallest corners of each state,” said Valarie Doss, who won four world championships in the sport under her maiden name, Valarie Jenkins. She is married to fellow world champ, Nathan Doss. “We got to try the hazy beers in New England before they were ever reaching the West Coast.”
Bend residents since 2012, the couple hope their well-traveled palates will serve them well as brewery owners.
They expect to start work soon on a new seven-barrel brewery and taproom in 9th Street Village, the former Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baker property on SE Armour Road that already includes an art gallery, co-working space and food truck lot.
Bevel Craft Beer takes its name from the innovation that turned the pastime of throwing Frisbee discs toward fixed objects into its own sport.
“They added this beveled edge to the disc,” Valarie Doss said. “And that’s what allows us to throw farther.”
The Dosses, who are also working with bar manager Justin Celmer, plan to keep production on a small scale and capitalize on a unique location to draw customers in search of freshly poured pints.
Another startup brewery, Boss Rambler Beer Club, is taking the same approach. Boss Rambler founders Matt Molletta, Kate Molletta and Jacob Bansmer will convert the former Aspect Boards & Brews shop on NW Galveston Avenue into a taproom this fall.
They’ve already started pouring beer from Aspect’s walk-up window.
The beer is brewed at Silver Moon Brewing while Boss Rambler pursues a permit to open a seven-barrel brewhouse on a farm in Tumalo, Matt Molletta said.
“Because we’re a small brewery, we don’t have distribution ties,” he said.
The former market development manager at Crux Fermentation Project, Molletta said he’s aware of the sales trends in craft beer, which have big regional players including Deschutes Brewery scaling back expansion plans.
Molletta’s business partners also have experience in the local industry.
His wife, Kate, is the owner of Swig Rig, a mobile tap, and Bansmer was a brewer at Crux.
“We’re just going to be nimble and progressive and brew a lot of different beers,” Molletta said.
Leasing taproom space on Galveston between pubs operated by Sunriver Brewing Co. and 10 Barrel Brewing is important to the business plan, Molletta said. “Location, location, location,” he said. “We obviously have a prime location with some great patio frontage.”
The Dosses hope to open Bevel next spring. In the meantime, Nate Doss said he’ll be perfecting his hop-centric recipes.
He was at the height of his disc golf career in 2012 when he took up home brewing. He soon realized that a lot of brewers were into disc golf, and they were willing to share their knowledge.
“All they wanted to do was talk about disc golf. All we wanted to do was talk about beer,” he said.
Matt Cohen, the owner of Fiddlehead Brewing Co. in Vermont, was especially helpful as the Dosses began to think about opening a brewery with Valarie’s parents, Doss said.
He collaborated with Fiddlehead in 2015 to brew a small batch of beer that was released during a disc golf tournament in Vermont.
The public’s response gave the couple confidence about pursuing their next career, Valarie Doss said.
“We had a release party, and a couple hundred people showed up, waiting in line to buy this beer,” she said. “So from there it kept continuing on. We brewed nine collaboration beers across seven states.”
Valarie’s father, Leroy Jenkins, died in March, but her mother, Sharon Jenkins, moved to Bend to help them with the brewery and taproom.
Nathan, 33, and Valarie, 32, have spent half of each year since graduating from high school on the disc golf tour.
Nathan Doss sported a T-shirt from another small corner in brewing, The Explorium Brewpub in Greendale, Wisconsin, while sitting last week on the back patio at Bright Place Gallery, Bevel’s future neighbor.
After years of constant travel, Doss said he realized it would be important that he and Valarie love the place where they open a brewery of their own.
“It’s our goal to make a community-driven space,” he said. “We’ll be dedicated to our beer, our customers, our atmosphere and just have fun.”
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