David Lederfine doesn’t yet have a brewery, let alone a taproom, but he does have his own beer. Since November, the former proprietor of the defunct Snake & Weasel brewpub has produced about 200 kegs under the Awesome Ales label. Lederfine plans to brew as many as 2,000 kegs this year, all on rented kettles. That’s weird in Portland, though “gypsy breweries” are common in other cities. Awesome Ales’ beers are currently made and packaged at Seven Brides Brewing in Silverton, but it’s Lederfine’s brew. “I have complete artistic control," he says. “The recipes are mine and I’m there every brew day to control the temperature and viscosity of the mash and all other details.” Lederfine previously brewed at McMenamins, Astoria Brewing, Oregon Trail, Three Creeks Brewing and Snake & Weasel, where he developed the Spikedriver Strong Ale now branded Awesome. He also makes a bright, citrusy IPA called the 419 and a French pale ale called Southern Sky. Lederfine hopes to open a Portland tasting room with a pilot brewing system, perhaps as soon as this summer, and have music and arts events. “It’d start where the Snake & Weasel left off,” Lederfine says. “I love using beer to build community—as a catalyst for other cool stuff.” FRANK JOHNSTON.
DRINK THIS: Spikedriver Strong Ale, a renewed classic from Snake & Weasel.