Immersion Brewing, Bend’s first and only Brew-It-Yourself (BIY) pub and craft brewery, is excited to announce their new head brewer, Josh Cosci.
As head brewer, Josh will have the ultimate responsibility for the consistency and quality of Immersion Brewing’s beers and 10-barrel brewing system, as well as the development of new beers. With Immersion Brewing’s unique design as a BIY pub, Josh’s knowledge and recipe development will extend to the hands-on brew-it-yourself experience as head brewer meets hobby brewer.
Josh started his career in the wine industry as a cellar worker and wine maker. Moving from the Willamette Valley to Bend for a better quality of life, he saw the potential to apply what he knew about wine to Central Oregon’s brewing industry. Since then, Josh has worked as a brewer at several local breweries, including Worthy Brewing and Three Creeks Brewing Company, where he gained skills and knowledge that will be invaluable at Immersion Brewing.
Immersion Brewing is tentatively planning to open the 7,300 square-foot BIY pub and craft brewery early May 2016 with a selection of five hand-crafted beers on tap, plus a pub restaurant menu. Beers will include a pale ale, saison and IPA, all created in house on their 10-barrel brewing system. Josh plans to add more craft beer varieties in the future, including seasonal and limited releases, and brewery-exclusive beers.
“I’m looking forward to developing a lineup of Belgian-inspired northwest style pale ales and IPAs,” said Josh.
Even 8 months pregnant, Amanda still swings the hammer
After almost a year of planning we are finally starting construction on Immersion Brewing! Of course the only way to make an omelet is to break a few eggs. In our case we’ve been ripping down walls, and tearing up concrete. Starting demolition has been a huge milestone for us, because we finally get a physical manifestation of all that planning.
There is a lot to discover when you open up a 100 year old building, some of it can be exciting and some can be expensive. The age of our building is still unknown, but most of the estimates had been in the 1920s. During our own demolition we found a penciled signature that said, “Harold Harrison Family, H.S. 1919” it’s exciting to learn at least one wall was built before the 1920s. We’ve saved the wood and signature, and will use it in our design. On the other hand since our building has a long history of mixed use and vacancy there are some things that need to be updated. That means rotten beams and walls that are not up to code must all go! It’s a lot of hard work but in the long run it’ll help our building make it another 100 years.
Harold Harrison Family H.S. 1919
An exterior wall that became an interior wall sometime in the last 100 years
Construction is scheduled to start any day now.
Our architectural floor plans for Immersion Brewing
We have spent a lot of time on the layout of our brewpub. It’s been a very complex process because we have to balance the needs of our brewery, brew-it-yourself, and the kitchen. Our space and budget is limited so many times we’ve run into the problem of giving space or resources to one part then takes away from the others. Every part of Immersion has been arranged and rearranged countless times, but we finally have a design we feel will strike a balance between the brewery, brew-it-yourself, and the kitchen.
Just getting our layout drawn on paper is not enough, during the whole process we have been working with an architect and general contractor and most recently we’ve even added in a mechanical engineer. Once again we’ve had to balance between design, costs and making sure people are not too cold and not too hot. It’s hard to let go of some ideas, but it turns out it’s really expensive to build a shark tank suspended above the bar. We have given up on the shark tank, but we think it is more important to serve up good beer, food and let people brew beer in a cool location.
Our final hurdle before we can start building is the City Building Department. We’ve been warned that the permit process could take up to 3 months in extreme circumstances, but the average is about 6 weeks. I can imagine the brewery in my head, so it’s frustrating that it’s not already built. I guess it’s time to relax, have a beer and be confident that we are doing everything to keep things moving forward.
Real estate is a complicated dance and you spend most of the time trying not to trip over your own feet.
The location of a brewery is one of the first things we actively started pursuing. In retrospect maybe we should have studied the city permitting process longer, done more research on utility and occupancy loads, or learned how to whip real-estate agents into shape. We definitely could have spent countless hours researching, but instead we started looking at possible locations from the get-go and, through the process of searching, ended up gaining a great deal of knowledge along the way.
In the end, we were lucky because one of the very first locations we looked at, fit our vision, and with some major negotiating and a few tweaks we were able to acquire this space. It may have taken some time to get a lease signed, but Immersion Brewing has a home!
We are extremely excited to have a location secured. It’s at the Old Mill Marketplace in Bend and will provide us with enough space to build everything we have envisioned! If things stay on schedule, we look forward to opening our doors Summer 2015.
When we began this venture, our inspiration was to bring something new and different to Bend’s already thriving beer community. Our desire was to create a community space where people can experience the beer culture “hands-on” and immerse themselves in the brewing process. A fun gathering place for our guests to hand-craft quality beer according to their own unique tastes and desires.
Our vision has remained consistent and, at the same time, has grown considerably as we move closer to securing a location and signing a lease. While we were once looking at a small pilot brew system to put a few of our own beers on tap, we are now deciding on a 10 barrel brewhouse! We have visited several brewing equipment suppliers and are narrowing down our choices. It is such a big investment and we want to make the best decision as we move forward.