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Breakout Brewer: Breakside Brewery

Breakside Brewery in Portland, Oregon, is well known for its IPAs—but that wasn’t really the plan. At least it wasn’t the whole plan.

Emily Hutto Feb 6, 2017 - 8 min read

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“We never set out to be an IPA house,” says Breakside Brewmaster Ben Edmunds, who was the founding brewer of Breakside Brewery when it opened in 2010. “We were known in the Northwest in a small way more as an experimental brewery before 2014 when our IPAs won at the Great American Beer Festival.” That year, Breakside took home a gold medal for its Breakside IPA in the American IPA category and a bronze for its Wanderlust IPA in the American-Style Strong Pale Ale category. Despite the hardware, Edmunds says, “We were not known as a hoppy beer powerhouse by any means. In fact, until that fall, Pilsner was our best-selling beer.”

Breakside has also won GABF and World Beer Cup medals for its Breakside Session Brown, Breakside ESB, Passionfruit Sour, Breakside Dry Stout, Breakside Smoked Porter, Will’s Alt, Rye Curious?, and Lunch Break India Session Ale (ISA). “We cast a wide set of beers, which reflects my brewpub interest,” says Edmunds.

Edmunds found craft beer looking for local food. “I was in college in Connecticut in 2004, and at that point in time, ‘slow food’ was considered a European thing. There was no real regionalism in terms of farm-to-table dining or beer at restaurants on the East Coast,” he says. “My friends and I were really into that, though—we’d take a weekend road trip to go hiking and head to a local brewpub afterward. We figured that even if food was bought from a wholesale supplier, at least the beer was made on site.”

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