We now know who will be running the brew kettles at the soon-to-open soccer-themed brewery Away Days.
Owners have tapped Marshall Kunz, formerly of Alameda Brewing, for the head brewer position. Away Days—a reference to the tradition of die-hard soccer fans traveling to cheer on their team when playing on the road—is a spinoff of the neighboring Toffee Club, which also has a British football motif. Co-founders Niki Diamond, her husband Peter Hoppins and his brother Jack Hoppins purchased the turnkey operation from Scout Beer following that business's decision to focus on operations out of its food cart pod on Southeast Division Street.
Kunz briefly moved from Portland to his hometown of Lincoln, Neb., where he joined the team at Zipline Brewing.
"I was fortunate to get to work with all of them and continue honing my skill set," Kunz says. "During that time, my partner, Ming, and my priorities changed, and everything we missed about Portland brought us back."
At Away Days, Kunz will produce a lineup of beer that could best be described as "Europe meets the Northwest." Expect English ales, Czech and German lagers along with a wide array of hoppy offerings. When asked about the demise of Alameda late last year, Kunz was sad to see the two-plus decade neighborhood hub close, but is optimistic about the future.
"It was very unfortunate, but we're all making the best of it and looking forward to new opportunities," he says. "Away Days has an amazing foundation in place with the team at Toffee Club. I'm excited to be brewing quaffable beers that I enjoy drinking.
If construction to update the building's interior stays on track, Away Days should be hosting soccer-viewing and general drinking by mid-May.