At long last, buzzy brett brewery Little Beast is opening its taphouse in the former Lompoc Hedge House within the next week. The brewery, garnering glowing reviews from places like Willamette Week, specializes in farmhouse-style, brettanomyces-, mixed culture-, and foeder-fermented beers, but its taphouse, in a cozy renovated craftsman with plenty of outdoor seating, will be the first real spot to taste the beer outside of scattered bar taps and New Seasons bottles.
Head brewer Chuck Porter is a seasoned powerhouse of a brewer, with a pedigree spanning from Oregon icons Deschutes and Full Sail to Logsdon Farmhouse Ales, which he co-founded. His wife and business partner, Brenda Crow, has an impressive resume on her own — after a stint with the iconic Tartine Bakery in San Francisco, she headed north to Olympia Provisions as a sales manager. As a result, the menu at Little Beast is a nod to her history in specialty foods, with some jaw-dropping cheese and charcuterie boards, high-end tinned fish dishes, traditional steak tartare, and easy-going sandwiches. “I love the simple, pure flavors of something, being a Calabrian chile or a Spanish mussel,” Crow says, calling from a last-minute trip to IKEA to prepare for the opening. “Also worth noting, the type of beer that we make is very food friendly... My husband, Charles, has a talent for making great beer in general but has an eye for what can pair with food. They’re very versatile.”
The brewery will open on SE Division within the week, most likely Monday. Pop in for beer, which you can sip out on the lawn with one of the bar’s designated picnic blankets.
Chef Tyler Auton worked closely with Crow to create the menu, focusing on beer-friendly foods made with specialty imports. Crow picked a few of her favorite pairings for those hitting the opening Monday.
Cheese + Golden Stone, Black Cap
“We’re working with Cowbell for the cheese program, and (cheesemonger Greg Hessel) is really just someone who’s highly specialized. He brings a lot of unique cheeses that you wouldn’t find elsewhere,” Crow says. She pairs an Italian sheep’s milk cheese on the opening cheese plate with Little Beast’s Golden Stone, made with apricot, nectarines and peaches. “Eating it, I was like ‘Oh, peaches and cream.’” For something different, a grassy, earthy, German blue cheese goes well with a new release, Black Cap, a black cap raspberry sour.
Pink shrimp roll + Bes Tart Wheat
The lemon notes in this easy-drinking, 8 IBU wheat play very well with the tarragon and delicate Oregon shrimp. The sandwich itself is super lightly dressed in sweet Kewpie mayo, lemon zest and tarragon, plopped on an An Xuyen roll.
Pot de creme + Belgian Dark Strong
Dark beer lovers will love this traditional Belgian abbey-style beer, which is pitch-perfect with a pot de creme. “That particular beer is kind of a rich and warming beer, it pairs really well with chocolate and even, rich, dark flavors.”
Little Beast Brewing is located at 3412 SE Division Street. Check out the menus below:
• Little Beast [Official]
• Little Beast [Facebook]
• Little Beast Brewing Opening Beer Garden & Barrel House in Former Lompoc Hedge House [New School]