For the first time in more than a decade, a microbrewery will open in Coos Bay this fall. And it’s established a dedicated fan base well before most people in town have sampled its wares.
Carmen Matthews and his wife, Annie Pollard, say they’re tentatively planning to have 7 Devils Brewing Co. open for business in September in the old Bay Area Enterprises building on South Second Street.
Three months away from its anticipated opening, the business already has generated significant buzz through Facebook and word of mouth. The company’s white van with a 7 Devils logo also has become a common sight around the Bay Area.
Matthews, a long-time community figure and former Dutch Bros. manager, said the project has been a long-time coming.
“I’d been talking about doing a brewery since I was 21. So had my wife, separately,” he said. “We’re both home brewers.”
Pollard, a biologist and ceramist, is one of several artists who are getting behind the business by featuring work there.
Matthews said glassblower Sam Schwarz — whose lighted globes illuminate Sharkbites Seafood Cafe — has produced an LED chandelier shaped as a hop flower.
Southwestern Oregon Community College instructor Dana Rieck’s stained glass panels also will decorate some of the building’s interior archways.
“We’re trying to focus on local artisans, local craftsmen, local culture,” Matthews said.
The outpouring of support has built to the point that the couple wants to pour back — selling “investor” pint glasses that entitle the owner to a free beer twice a week for the brewery’s first year of operation.
Matthews said the pint glass project is intended to strengthen the community’s relationship with the business. “We want to do well so everybody does well,” he said.
Nathan Jurey, mainstreet manager for the Coos Bay Downtown Association said the new brewery could help trigger a tourism boom for the area.
“I was talking to someone the other day about Astoria. Ten to 15 years ago, they were in the same position we’re in now,” Jurey said. “Then they got a brewery and a maritime museum.”
Matthews said the only thing holding 7 Devils back at this point is getting the building up to spec for the city.
“It’s only building permits,” he said. “We’re a fully-licensed brewery at this point.”
Standing in what soon will be the brew room, Matthews said a series of glass doors on tracks will allow patrons to observe the brewing process without being disturbed by the smell.
“When we’re not brewing, we’d like to open that garage and let people wander through,” he said.
The microbrewery will open offering a session ale, pale ale and an india pale ale.
“We’ll probably throw in a porter later,” Matthews said.
But the brewery will be more than just beer. Matthews said they’ll have a full menu of food so the business can be family-friendly too.
Just how big an impact 7 Devils will have remains to be seen. But Matthews says it’s too late to turn back.
“We’re way past the point of no return,” he said with a grin.
Reporter Thomas Moriarty can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 240, or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @ThomasDMoriarty.