UPDATE February 3, 1:26 pm: Dean Pottle was warned about making more beer than allowed by law and accepting "financial consideration" for beer without a license almost two months ago, according to a letter Willamette Week obtained from the OLCC.
The letter was hand-delivered to Pottle, who homebrews beer for Dean's Scene, a basement bar on Northeast Fremont Street, on December 9, 2013. As of Saturday, February 1, Dean's Scene is closed. According to spokeswoman Christie Scott, the OLCC received a complaint about Pottle, leading OLCC officers to visit his basement bar undercover. The letter was intended as a warning.
A comment appended to the Microsoft Word file: "Since we’re not charging them, we’re not determining whether the information is accurate, we’re just warning them about the consequences of unlicensed events."The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) has received information that alleges that you hosted an unlicensed event at the listed address. Per an article in the Willamette Week, your business is regularly open on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday to the public. We have also received information that alleges that you are brewing homemade beer over the allotted amount per year. Per your statement, you have said you are brewing “30 gallons of beer” every Friday or Friday/Saturday. This amount of alcoholic beverages adds up to 1,560 gallons a year. We want you to know about the laws pertaining to selling or serving alcohol without a liquor license:
ORIGINAL STORY: Sunday, Feb. 2, 12:53 p.m:
As of February 1, Dean Pottle's Northeast Fremont speakeasy and home brewery Dean's Scene is closed.
"We're closed. The OLCC raided me twice this week," Pottle said when reached by telephone, before refusing to speak further. Pottle credits, in part, an article about Dean's Scene in Willamette Week for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission's attention to his home bar, which did not sell beer but did accept donations, and allowed patrons to serve themselves.
Dean's Scene was also recently featured on an episode of Esquire Network’s Brew Dogs–filmed before WW wrote about the speakeasy–and both the police and the OLCC had already visited in the past. Dean's Scene has been open, intermittently, at Pottle's home for over seven years.
On January 16, Dean Pottle applied with the OLCC for a liquor license as a brewery and full-service private club. This license would allow Pottle to serve liquor, and would require that Pottle also serve food at Dean's Scene.