Kathleen McLaughlin
The Bulletin

What: Mystic Roots Brewing Co.

Pictured: Miles Wilhelm, consultant

Employees: None

Address: 2940 NE Smith Rock Way, Terrebonne

A home brewer since 2005, Miles Wilhelm never thought he’d run a brewery. Not that he wanted to do anything else with his life, but he didn’t see how yet another brewery could succeed in Central Oregon.

“There are so many breweries,” he said. “And so opening a new brewery just didn’t make any sense.”

Then Wilhelm’s friends Clare Thompson and Dr. Natalie Hoshaw, who have a small hop farm on their property in Terrebonne, began talking about adding a brewery.

“This was different,” Wilhelm said. “We weren’t paying a monthly lease. We weren’t competing in the city with breweries right around the corner.”

Wilhelm had managed the 1-acre hop farm, and now he’s helping launch the 1-barrel Mystic Roots Brewing Co. He’s already made batches of beer and hopes to have an Oregon Liquor Control Commission license that will allow sales soon. Mystic Roots is set to be the main supplier of beer to a new restaurant in Madras, and Wilhelm said he’ll be hustling to distribute kegs throughout the region.

Wilhelm talked with The Bulletin about finding a niche in Central Oregon brewing scene. His responses have been edited for length and content.

Q: Why did you change the name from Good Earth Brewing to Mystic Roots?

A: I went to visit Ty (Barnett of GoodLife Brewing Co.) to take him some hop rhizomes. He said, ‘Hey, I know you’re new, and I wish I’d known this when we started GoodLife. You might want to look at trademarking your name as soon as possible.’ I didn’t do it as soon as I should, but we still got to it just in time.

Q: What problem did you uncover with the name Good Earth?

A: I just reached out to a trademark attorney. He was able to interpret better than I would have what works and what doesn’t. By finding a winery in New York using a single wine label with the name Good Earth on it, that was it. That was enough to, in his mind, know that we wouldn’t get a trademark for Good Earth Brewing.

Q: How will Mystic Roots set itself apart in Central Oregon?

A: Our bigger ambitious goals are to do many, many styles of sours. So we’re going to build something called a cool ship. It’s an old, old tradition of building this very wide but very shallow, either copper or stainless steel, vessel. And instead of trying to bring that beer, that wort, down to 60 degrees as fast as you can, what you do is you pour it in overnight, and you let it cool down naturally. And that allows things in the air — microbes, yeast, bacteria — to come in and inoculate the beer and create some sort of funk and get some interesting sour flavors. We want to do a series of Berliner Weisses … in the old country, Berliner Weiss was made regular sour, and then you would actually squirt a syrup into them. If you ever have a flavored Berliner Weisse, you’ll see why they’re so popular back in the old country.

Q: Where do you see Mystic Roots in five years?

A: When we bought this system, expectedly, I heard from every other brewery, ‘You’ve made a mistake. You’ve bought the smallest system you can buy, and in six months to a year, you’re going to need a brand new system because you’re growing so fast. I’m hoping the beer’s well-received. Our end goal in maybe like five years is to grow this to a max of seven barrels.

— Reporter: 541-617-7860, kmclaughlin@bendbulletin.com