Where to go

Spider City Brewing Tap Room 1177 SE Ninth St., Bend

Open 2- 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday

A plan hatched while in college became a reality for three friends who launched Spider City Brewing on SE Ninth Street in Bend.

Twin sisters Melanie and Michele Betti and Tammy Treat opened their brewery and taproom without fanfare a week before Thanksgiving.

With its 24 shiny tap handles and 15-barrel production system, the brewery stands ready with its rows of silver gleaming brewing and mash tanks.

Spider City Brewing plans call for producing up to 1,000 barrels per year in the first year of brewing.

Crafted and tested over the past three years in their Bend home garage fraught with spiders, the business has taken on the whole family.

Construction was done in consultation with Betti’s and Treat’s fathers. The selection and finishing of the recycled barn wood decor was done by the trio. The beer recipes tested and retested and named for spiders or railroads.

The partners have worked for five years planning the brewery and the last two years perfecting recipes. Two of the partners hold down other jobs, while Melanie Betti and a full-time employee work as the head brewers.

On a recent tour of the 3,150-square-foot facility, the five tanks were filled with beer called Widow Stout, Blonde Ale, Hazy IPA, Zygoballus and Resilience Butte County Proud IPA, a recipe being made by craft brewers to support the victims of the Camp Fire in Northern California. Those 15 barrels are just a sampling of the 22 beers Spider City makes and has on tap.

“When we were in college at Chico State, we talked about opening a brewery one day,” Melanie Betti said. “I’m a sommelier, and it morphed into beer.”

They consciously decided to find a location on the southeast side of town, Treat said.

Their business plan calls for the southeast location, self-distribution, $4 and $5 pours, a crowler (32 ounce canned beer) station and a larger-than-needed brewing facility for future expansion, Betti said.

“We wanted to go big or go home,” Betti said. “We’re still really tiny.”

“More people are stopping by because of the signs,” Treat said. “It’s very exciting.”

Craft brewing is a $26 billion industry and accounts for nearly a quarter of the overall beer sales, according to the Brewers Association.

Women are under-represented in the industry, said Bart Watson, Brewers Association chief economist.

Of the 26 craft brewers in Central Oregon, few are owned solely by women.

“Women have traditionally been underrepresented in brewing, particularly in head brewer roles, so it’s great to have more women in those roles,” Watson said. “There are certainly more women than in the past, but that’s partially a result of total employment growing.”

Using her knowledge of wine, Betti talks of beer in the same vein. A strong hops flavor, or a throaty malt.

“We try to think about balance and the quality of what you want in a beer and then we work backwards on how you want it to finish,” Betti said. “We like doing all kinds of different beers. Beer is supposed to be crafty and we want to keep our craft going.”

Setting up distribution outlets is a task the Betti and Treat will take on.

Currently their beer can be found at The Bite in Tumalo, Gorilla Growlers on Empire Avenue and The Wine Shop and Beer Tasting Bar on Minnesota Avenue, which is owned by Betti’s family.

“I think we can fill a void in Bend and bring unique beer,” Betti said. “We’re all about the beer, good clean beer.”

“With all the beers here, we can put our own twist on things,” Treat said. “We enjoy drinking beer, and we make beer that we enjoy drinking.”

— Reporter: 541-633-2117, sroig@bendbulletin.com