Teri Fahrendorf and Jon Graber have built a life together based on beer.
A love of suds brought them together—they met while volunteering for the Oregon Brewers Guild—and kept them going after the two brewmasters married. It's no surprise, then, that both wanted to find a new way to share their passion for beer with the public.
While that almost manifested in the form of a brewpub, Portland's saturated market pushed them in a different direction: the Brewmaster's Cottage (brewmasterscottage.com), a beer-themed vacation rental built behind their house in St. Johns.
Two summers ago, the couple rode a backhoe into their yard, marking the beginning of a yearlong process to construct what's essentially a two-story miniature art museum devoted to beer. At 800 square feet, the space exhibits the charm of a tiny house without skimping on amenities—see the heated bathroom tiles, stairs that double as drawers for lawn games and queen-sized Murphy bed.
Most of the decorative touches are ornate and crafted by the owners. Fahrendorf's handmade stained-glass windows pay tribute to the brewing process by depicting mash tuns and fermenters. A frosted light fixture rescued from Goodwill got a fresh coat of paint so that copper-colored leaves now look like verdant bines sprouting from the ceiling. The most eye-catching element is the trio of electric-green hop pendants that illuminate the subway-tiled kitchen. Even the bathrooms are awash in beery ambience. Want to stay occupied on the toilet? Read pages from "The Comic Book Story of Beer" that wallpaper the room.
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