Breakside Brewery’s Ben Edmunds Thinks You Won’t Pay as Much for Craft Beer Once the Pandemic Is Over

The celebrated brewery was supposed to be throwing a 10th anniversary block party this week. But the milestone won’t go unnoticed.

WW presents "Distant Voices," a daily video interview for the era of social distancing. Our reporters are asking Portlanders what they're doing during quarantine.

A small piece of every beer lover's soul died when images of breweries across the country dumping out their liquid gold made headlines in late April. The move was spurred by a lack of feasible means for those businesses to serve their product off premises as it approached peak freshness.

But you won't see anything of the sort from Breakside Brewery.

Shortly after Gov. Kate Brown temporarily banned in-person dining, Ben Edmunds, founder and head brewer of the award-winning 10-year-old brewery, was quickly able to shift gears and package beer that had originally been bound for its pubs' draft lines—which means there is no threat to your supply of Breakside's regular offerings.

But these are still unusual times for Edmunds and his team.

For instance, instead of marking Breakside's 10th anniversary this week by throwing a giant block party, the pubs in Woodlawn and Slabtown sit mostly empty, serving only as a hand-off point for beer and food. But the milestone won't go unnoticed: Edmunds is now canning beers made in collaboration with other breweries, like Barley Brown's, Pelican and Upright, in honor of its first decade in business.

Until he can reopen and plan a new bash, WW caught up with Edmunds from his Milwaukie production facility to discuss how the industry has changed over the past 10 years, the measures Breakside has taken to adjust during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to find out if "shelter in place" for a brewer means subsisting on your own product.

See more Distant Voices interviews here.

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