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Interview with Brandon Woodruff of Mancäve Brewing


I know some of us out there are home brewers.  I myself am one, or at least I’d like to think I am, when time and money permits.  We think our beer is good, could be better, or just damn great!  Brandon Woodruff is a man who believes his is the latter.  Brandon wants you to have his beer.I sat down with Brandon on a Tuesday afternoon at 16 tons, discussing his brewery.  He brought me his baltic porter, one of my favorite styles.  I can say that I really enjoyed it.  Smooth, a little roasty sweetness and good lacing.  Just a tad low on abv’s but very tasty.I should at this point mention that Brandon is not alone in his endeavor.  Wes Gunderson is heading up the business side of things.

Mancäve Brewing.  Yep.  That’s an umlaut.  Germanic in pronunciation.  I asked him about that first thing.

Jason Guthrie: “The umlaut.  What is that all about?”

Brandon Woodruff: “Well, my uncle was stationed in Germany, and said the proper pronunciation of that would be “mon cahve”, but people call it Mancave.”

It’s different, but Brandon Woodruff is no normal guy either.  While he prefers traditional German and English brewing practices, i.e., Reinheitsgebot,  he also has some unique ideas for his beer.  Some may be proprietary, while some not so much.

JG: ” Cans or bottles first?”

BW: ” Cans.  We have some great ideas with the artwork and have already been working with a local guy designing our labels.  They will be unique.  But also, we will eventually have a barrel program, so with that comes the 750 ml. caged and corked bottles.”

JG: “Speaking of barrels, what is your target brewing size?”

BW: “We were always told by other professional brewers to go as big as you can.  You will outgrow your initial capacity more quickly than you think.  So we are targeting a 7 bbl system, which would let us hit, hopefully, around 1000 bbls in our first year.”

JG: “What drives you?”

BW: “People enjoy my beer.  I like people to enjoy what I make.  It’s even better when the non-believers try my beer and enjoy it.  It’s great!”

I also asked him about one of my pet peeves.  The soft opening.

BW: “When we open, we will have our planned year round beers available, as well as some single batch styles that might be just for the opening.  I don’t believe in the soft, no beer, opening.”

Well said sir.  I can applaud him for that.  But Brandon and Wes need your help.  They have had a Kickstarter going for  several weeks now, but are coming down the home stretch and definitely need more funding.   With a goal of $25,000, they are coming up short with less than 2 weeks left.   Brandon wants to use most of the money on fabrication of equipment, which is a bit expensive.  He would like to keep the money in Oregon, even though it is cheaper to buy pre existing brew systems.

Every brewery needs a location.  So where is theirs?

BW: “Glenwood.”

JG: ” Really?”

BW:  “With Springfield ready to annex Glenwood, county comissioner Sid Leiken wants us there.  There are some big plans in the works for Glenwood and Mancäve.”

Who would have thought Glenwood as a destination for beer?  But then again, who thought the Whitaker would be where it is just a couple of years ago.  It just takes an idea that is grown and nurtured to become something bigger than the sum of its parts.  I wish Brandon and Wes all the best, and look forward to their opening.

If you are interested in their kickstarter, here is the link:  Mancave Kickstarter

Find them on Facebook 


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