The Worthy Grand O rocked, thanks to a bunch of super-motivated friends, staffers, farmers, hop lovers, academics, musicians, face painters and of course die-hard beer disciples. It all came together beautifully.
Chad designed our brewhouse to brew, can and bottle high quality beer, not finesse Carnegie Hall quality concert sound. Despite the blown out acoustics, Bend showed it’s legendary resilience by going with the flow, feeling the vibe, and doing a stellar job reading lips, hips and undecipherable scripts.
A big Worthy special thanks to our guest of honor, Al Haunold, the People’s Hopmeister, who was on Cloud Nine all night. Over an academic career that spanned nearly 5 decades, Al’s received many awards, but none quite like this. We dedicated our greenhouse to him, a tribute that in his words, left him feeling “humbled.”
As Al put it, “Were it not for the craft brewers, most of my aroma hop varieties would be on the ash-heap of history.” Although the beer industrials helped finance a lot of his work beginning in the mid 1960s, mainly to provide back-ups to the preferred land race noble varieties from Germany, Britain and Czechoslovakia, few of them actually brewed with the cultivars he crossed and created. Fortunately, The Big Boys’ loss was our gain.
Much has been said about Al’s contributions to the world of hops, but few people know that Al barely made it out of war torn Austria alive. In 1945, when he was just 15, the Nazi’s stormed into his village in search of recruits. They grabbed Al and his younger brother, conscripted them, and put them on the back of a troop transport truck. They told him he was going to man a bazooka to kill Soviet and Allied tanks.
This will not stand, vowed the teenage kid. I was not meant to die anonymously on a battlefield, another pointless sacrifice to the insanely cruel Wehrmacht, he thought. I was meant to do something wonderful, to celebrate life, to give back.
That night, he and his brother jumped off of that truck, fled into the woods, and holed up in a cave. They lived off grubs for the next three weeks until they were rescued by the Red Army. In 1953, Al came to the US and eventually earned a PHD in genetics.
The rest, as they say, is history. Al’s creations will forever thrive – beauties like Cascade, Santiam, Sterling, Nugget, Mt. Hood, and Willamette. We are very grateful for his humble service. He never set out to make a fortune, or be famous. He did the people’s work, taking the legendary noble varieties and tailoring them to the Pacific Northwest terroir, with superior disease resistance, yields, alpha acid and, in many cases, amazing flavor and aroma.
Here at Worthy we are proud to showcase Al’s work. And we are even prouder to do our part to keep his spirit alive. With the help of our friends at Oregon State and Indie Hops, we will continue Al’s life long mission to bring new and wonderful flavors to your pint glass.
The Brew Site, posted April 8, 2013
This past Friday night I popped into Worthy Brewing to check out their grand opening celebration (which I’d blogged about here) to drink some beer, grab some pictures, and shoot some video of the Hop House dedication to Dr. Al Haunold. All three objectives were achieved, and I have to commend Worthy for putting on a great party. It was raining, so all of the action took place inside the brewery, but that was really the only snag. Read more...
Folsom Foodie, posted April 5, 2013
In case you were not aware, there are a lot of breweries in Bend, Oregon.
You’ve probably heard of Deschutes Brewery and maybe 10 Barrel, Good Life, Cascade Lakes Brewing, Boneyard, Solstice, Silver Moon or one of the other of the many breweries in Bend. There are a lot. Personally, I’ve been to nearly all of them over the past year while traveling for work in the area, it’s been fun exploring the culinary scene there.
Well, I have to tell you that now, there’s a brand new brewery that just opened in Bend – called Worthy Brewing Company. Read more...
Beer West, posted April 5, 2013
Worthy Brewing knows how to throw a party! In their expansive brewhouse, designed by brewmaster Chad Kennedy, they set up a full stage and live music, a photo booth, face painting for the kiddos, plus knowledgeable staff in more than enough beer stations providing specially released Worthy Saison, two firkins: a one-off Amarillo dry hopped ESP and the Pilot Butte Bitter, as well as their Lights Out Stout, Go Time Xtra Pale Ale, and the Worthy Imperial IPA, among other delicious offerings. Read more...