Looking at the lineup of core beers at Living Haus, the new brewery taking over the Modern Times space in Southeast, you’re not going to see many fruit beers, or coffee stouts, or dessert beers. The beers here are made with the core foundations: water, yeast, starch, and hops, with some small changes to process and meticulous selection of hops and malt. There will be some collaboration beers with other popular Portland breweries, and much of the brewery’s real estate will be set aside for contract brewing with other folks in town. In a city filled with exceptional craft breweries, Living Haus wants to be the brewer’s brewery.
“Yeah, we know how to make hoppy beers or some of these other styles that are hype beers right now,” says co-owner and brewer Conrad Andrus. “But we want to focus on beers that we want to drink as brewers, and that other people are into — clean beers, exciting beers, but not in the way that they’re covered in fruit puree and flavorings.”
Set to open July 15, Living Haus is, in certain ways, a return home. Andrus and co-owner Mat Sandoval worked alongside each other at Modern Times, until the brewery closed. The two had been working on opening a brewery together, so moving back into their old digs made a lot of sense. “It was a pretty easy pivot,” Andrus says. “We know the system and we really like this system; it’s a great brewhouse.”
The initial lineup of beers at Living Haus include West Coast and hazy IPAs, an unfiltered pilsner, and a Munich-Style Helles. The Bethine helles uses a blend of Prairie Select pilsner malt and Weyermann Barke Vienna, as well as Spalter Select hops for their toasty, “biscuity” flavor. The Dolores pilsner, like the helles, uses Prairie Select pilsner malt, with a combination of Tettnang and Hallertau Mittlefruh hops for more herbaceous notes. The Harris IPA focuses on hops sourced from the Willamette and Yakima valleys; a blend of Citra, Centennial, Chinook, and Amarillo hops gets the boost of resin-y complexity from Citra Icognito. The Herman hazy IPA, on the other hand, takes a more global approach, using a combination of malted and flaked oats for texture and both North American and New Zealand hops for flavor.
Additionally, the brewery will feature collaborations with other noteworthy breweries in town, namely Breakside, Ruse, Great Notion, Von Ebert. For instance, with Breakside, the two made an IPA using high-gravity dilutions — essentially an IPA with pale-ale strength. Alternatively, with Ruse, the two breweries made a Kolsch with American hops, to give it more floral notes. “As far as collaborating, we all start with who are we as brands in general,” Andrus says. “For us, trying to be a little bit more lager-centric, being able to bring that to the table, sharing that in collaboration, is important. We want to make beers that are good for both of us.”
To pair with the beers, the team behind neighboring izakaya Afuri and the newly opened bakery Tanaka will provide food for the brewery. For hot prepared food, Afuri will have a menu that customers can order directly from the restaurant, brought into the brewery from the kitchen next door; that menu will include dishes like blistered shishito peppers and smoked smashed potatoes. Tanaka, on the other hand, will supply the brewery with a handful of sandwiches and buns to keep onsite, ranging from curry buns to a ham-and-cheese. “By partnering with a successful restaurant, it allows people to play to their strengths,” Andrus says.
A large facet of the business is also its contract brewing component, known as Sin Marca Beverages; Gavin Lord, a Pfriem alum, is heading up the operation. Contract brewing generally refers to brewers using equipment (and in certain cases, staffing) that is not their own to produce beer. At Sin Marca, clients ranging from seltzer companies to restaurants have reached out to them since they announced the business. “This facility has been constantly underutilized, so being able to do our contract brewing brand and take the place to its 100 percent capacity, that’s exciting for us,” Andrus says.
Living Haus will open July 15 at 600 SE Belmont Street.