The Ale Apothecary launches in Bend this week. The self-proclaimed “first steampunk brewery” comes from a Deschutes alum. Former assistant brewmaster Paul Arney is brewing retro from his abode up near Tumalo Falls area, vowing that his flagship Sahalie Ale will never be the same beer twice. He hopes to have on the market by June. We can't begin to imagine what he plans to do with the Sahalien, the flagship's “bizarro” cousin. Deschutes former brewmaster, Larry Sidor, also left last June and will unveil his Yet to Be Named project this summer.

Among Arney's lineup with be a recreation of a traditional Sahti (to be called Sahati), an ancient Finnish ale. One characteristic of a traditional Sahti is that it is spiced with juniper instead of hops though it's not clear whether this one will follow that. Also, since the style originated in an era before mashing in modern day mash tuns, Arney is fabricating a Finnish kuuma by using an 85-foot tall Spruce tree "to hollow out the middle, canoe-style," says Arney. The boughs will be used as the mash filter and he'll add the fresh tips for the ale's aroma.

To get your hands on the apothecary's revisionist brews, join the Beer Club—which will allow for shipping the likely three bottles per quarter—or arrange a brewery tour and visit. Hopefully it will also find its way to shelves and taps. Given his druthers, Arney aims to distribute only around Central Oregon since, by his account, he's too lazy to haul his goods up to Portland.

In other news…

Also in Bend, Brewpublic shares the Leap Year news about another new brewery on their map, GoodLife Brewing and its 29'er IBA. That's India Brown Ale.

The Not So Professional Beer Blog reports that Laurelwood Brewing released its Portlandia Pils, which it celebrates by putting a bird on it. (Cranky Old Portland types will point out that BridgePort first put a bird on it 25 years ago with Blue Heron Pale Ale.)

Finally, if you're planning on heading to a beerfest in one of the most beautiful settings for one the state has to offer, another almost-open brand-new brewery, this time Portland's own Gigantic Brewing, is the latest to sign on for the Oregon Garden Brewfest taking place April 27-28. Tickets start at $15.