After launching Living Häus Beer Company with two other well-known Portland brewers at the former Modern Times space this summer, pFriem vet Gavin Lord is spinning off his own project inside that same space.
Production is already underway at Hetty Alice Brewing, an alternating proprietorship at Living Häus—essentially an arrangement that allows both to take turns using the physical premises not unlike the pact between Pono Brewing and Zoiglhaus in the Lents neighborhood.
Hetty Alice is named in honor of Lord’s maternal grandmother, who was born inside an earthen-floored dugout in Oklahoma nearly a century ago. Her mother had married at 13, the man was more than twice her age, and after she relocated in California with the children, Hetty recalled that her only memory of her father “was him chasing her through the house with a broom,” Lord described in a press release.
Despite facing hardships during her upbringing, Lord said everyone knew her to be overwhelmingly optimistic and kind.
“She was the kind of person to set an extra place at the table ‘just in case,’” he added.
Lord wants to extend that legacy of generosity through the new business, hoping to bring an ever-widening audience into the craft beer scene.
“We use the world’s best ingredients to produce ales and lagers of the highest quality, and we have a great time doing it,” he said. “We have deep roots in the Pacific Northwest and seek to protect it in any way we can.”
That means Hetty Alice will use compostable four-pack carriers and 100% recyclable printed gains. The brewery has also joined 1% for the Planet, whose members contribute at least that much from their annual sales to environmental causes.
Commitment to sustainability aside, beer lovers are probably just excited to have Lord in the brewhouse again.
He is best known for his tenure at pFriem, joining the Hood River business when it was just getting off the ground. With Lord as head brewer, the brewery grew from a 1,500-barrel operation with a production crew of three to a 36,000-barrel behemoth that now employs more than 30 in the beer-making back of the house. PFriem also went on to win Mid-Sized Brewery of the Year at the prestigious Great American Beer Festival in 2018.
After all of that success, beer nerds were a bit stunned when Lord announced he was leaving pFriem to live on the road with his wife in a converted school bus. Now that he’s returned to Oregon, brewing is his primary focus, both at Hetty Alice and Living Häus.
The latter opened in mid-July at 628 SE Belmont St. under the leadership of not just Lord, but also Mat Sandoval, former head brewer there when it was known as Modern Times’ Belmont Fermentorium, and Conrad Andrus, who worked at Culmination Brewing before taking a position at Modern Times. That brand pulled the plug on its Portland location in early 2022.
Living Häus specializes in lagers, whose popularity has soared over the last several years, prompting many to describe the trend as a pendulum swing away from milkshake IPAs, pastry stouts and slushie sours.
“Our goal has always been to create a brand with the highest-quality beer that is approachable, creative and sessionable,” Andrus stated earlier this year in a press release announcing the project. “I believe we as a group are extremely talented across all styles, but a lot of our focus will converge on classic, clean and refreshing lager beer. We aim to be you favorite brewer’s favorite brewery.”
Perhaps also vying for that title now is Hetty Allice. You can expect those beers to start pouring at Belmont Station on Sept. 15.