Karl, Michael and Adam met at a local watering hole and started brewing together right away. As any good home brewers would, they talked about someday owning a brewery. People encouraged their fantasy as the beers improved and more friends had a chance to sample their efforts. Their hobby had become a pursuit - in fact it became an obsession.
After several attempts at finding a suitable location, the team was ready to give up on the idea when a friend offered the building which would become their current home at 19th & A street in Forest Grove. There was one catch, however-the building required a tremendous amount of restoration. Karl and Michael (talented as they are) worked for months renovating the space, re-purposing vintage building material and woodwork to create a warm, inviting taproom environment, and adequate brewery space to get their dreams fermenting.
I was born in Forest Grove at a very young age. Early on, I demonstrated great potential for getting distracted. Strangely, I have no parents, but am simply a son of the hills. This explains the general earthiness of my character and pine aroma. Later on in the early 1970s I took part in a series of clandestine government experiments involving human cloning. Several versions of myself can be found scaling the rooftops and haunting the breweries of western Oregon. These early prototypes are crude rice-and-bean-dependent life forms and are not to be trifled with. Later versions are more musically inclined and speak construction Spanish. I, myself live in southern Patagonia, herding guanacos and enforcing the peace - up where the air is fresh and clean.
After injury forced retirement from the circus, my grandparents homesteaded in the Forest Grove (Carpenter Creek) area. My family remained local, living in the Hillsboro area throughout my formative years. Not surprisingly, our family abandoned entertainment for the logging and timber industry. I graduated from Hillsboro High in 1981 and traveled the west coast of the US, finally returning to my roots in the foothills of the coast range. (Life happened for a long time including making babies and other crap). Having decided to settle permanently in Forest Grove, I re-connected with Karl and Michael from my home brewing days and re-sparked our early fantasies of being professional brewers. Our equipment list quickly outgrew our garage and we decided to move our operation to a more public/permanent location.
Born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan, I moved to Portland, Oregon in 2001. I graduated from Portland State University with a B.S. in Fine Art and used my education to start home brewing in 2007. I met Adam and Michael of the Hills in 2010 and we became quick friends through our obsession with brewing and beers. During the week I work in cabinetry and on the weekends I get to escape to my happy place-the brewery. I am a Sagittarius.
Taproom & build-out
Waltz Brewing started as a collaboration of home brewers that ultimately ended up as a very crowded garage at my house. Once we decided to actually move forward with the dream of a real brewery, we set about looking for a building that would work and that we could afford.
Our first idea was an old farm in Gales Creek. That failed quickly. Then I signed a letter of intent on a cool old gas station that was at a great location, but it had issues with every regulator entity in the state and beyond. So we nixed that one quickly, too. Next, we found a great “urban” location on main street with some outstanding attributes and set about securing that space. We even filed our corporate documents with that address. It was a sure thing until they sold the building after 4 months of negotiations.
I was done.
We decided that the brewery would stay a dream. That afternoon I ran into a friend and champion of our brewing plans. He asked, “How's the brewery coming?” I explained the situation and told him that I was calling it quits. Next thing you know he suggested a property (our current location) as an option. We jumped at the opportunity, and here we are.
The building had been industrial supply static storage for 30 years and was filled to the roof with everything you can think of, and lots of it. It took two months to empty the building before we could really even discover what work needed to be done.
When you visit Waltz, virtually everything you see was part of our build-out. We re-purposed and reused everything we could, we received donations from friends, and we utilized Habitat Restore as a resource in our build-out endeavors. Our bar wall was salvaged from interior siding. We turned it over, planed the back sides, re-cut the bevel and tongue-and-groove and finished it in lacquer. The big sliding doors were in the building but not installed, and the wall that they are in now didn’t exist. It was a big job, but the cozy beautiful space we created was worth the work.