• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

A Garage Grows

Sam Bond’s soon to brew beer
Jim Montgomery. Photo by Trask Bedortha.
Jim Montgomery. Photo by Trask Bedortha.

It’s no secret that Sam Bond’s Garage is a venue where Eugeneans can go to experience lively bands (both local and touring) put on first-rate shows. Many a music lover has spent an evening or two taking in the laid-back atmosphere, the raging concerts and the impressive selection of beer that Sam Bond’s has to offer. But now there is more to look forward to — specifically, more beer. Sam Bond’s is in the process of opening its own brewery.

“We’re beer lovers, and this is the next step,” owner Mark Jaeger says. 

It turns out that the idea of Sam Bond’s having its own brewery was always a goal of Jaeger and company. Jaeger wanted to have a brewery that physically existed inside the current Sam Bond’s venue, but the limited space did not allow for this. 

Jaeger says that the brewery was the original idea. “Then the music took over. But we’ve been planning this for years.”

So what do you do when the incredible little beer pub and music venue you started is too small to brew beer in, but you really want to start cranking out your own brand of cerveza? You go big.

“We have a huge old warehouse of a building,” head brewer Jim Montgomery says. “It gives me plenty of space to brew in.”

In a building Jaeger says is colloquially known as “The Foundry,” located at 540 East 8th St., Montgomery is preparing to concoct what will soon become staples of Eugene’s beer-drinking and show-going community. 

“The brewery will be representative of the bar [Sam Bond’s],” Montgomery says. “Not fancy but functional, industrial with an old timey feel.”

Montgomery is a transplant from the Bay Area, with more than 12 years of brewing experience. A chemical engineering buff who fell in love with beer making, he spent time working for a small brewery in Spain before returning to the states. Montgomery says the Spaniards weren’t too into microbrews, and they preferred hot-weather lighter beers in general. This is what drove him back to the U.S.

“I’m excited to be in Eugene,” Montgomery says. “Anyone can open a brew pub but Sam Bond’s has a great music venue to go with it. Which is awesome.”

So sometime shortly after the upcoming new year, keep your eye out for the first of many new brews by way of Sam Bond’s. Montgomery expects to have three to four standard beers at all times, with three or four seasonal ales that will correspond to the weather. Rumor has it that an English pale ale, a German wheat beer and a hoppy IPA may be the first of Sam Bond’s new beer brand. With Montgomery’s experience at larger commercial breweries, as well as smaller independent operations, the best of both worlds is about to show up in your stein (or Mason jar). 

“We’re not trying to reinvent the idea of a brewery,” Montgomery says. “I’m trying to make these beers solid Northwest quality and carry on the microbrewery tradition here.”