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.
"We don't shut a business down," Scott says. "We certainly can't close down his home. If he wants to brew beer and give it to people out of the goodness of his heart, he is free to do so... We asked him not to charge people money."
The letter sent to Pottle can be found here
. The paragraph quoted below from that letter references an article
published in Willamette Week
on the same day that Pottle's speakeasy appeared on a national television show
. That article listed Pottle's opening hours, which are also listed on his Yelp page
Pottle applied to the OLCC for a home brewers' and private-club license on January 16, prior to the more recent OLCC visits.
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 Networkâs Brew Dogsâfilmed before WW wrote about the speakeasyâand 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.