Saturday, September 24, 2011

Yesterday Autumn Equinox, Today Solstice Brewing Company!

Just a little disclaimer:  The below statement may not be true, but greatly exaggerated, and dip into  what I view as my interpretation of the whole journey (as is true of all my posts regarding Solstice).  Of course it could just be true too!

Our journey with Solstice began over 3 years ago, as the recession was beginning in 2008, Joe had already begun pondering his future as he graduated college.  Through college he worked for family friend Mark milling custom woodwork and now continued with Bowman Company full-time  in the small custom millwork shop in Boring, Oregon.  Joe’s interests included studying law, creating a space for people to gather around great food and even better microbrew, and other lesser interests.  As things fleshed themselves out, he settled on pursuing a great neighborhood public house and brewery. 
If you have ever been through starting a business, you learn that even coming up with the right name is instrumental to who you are and what you become, or at least it is a little less confusing in explaining your identity.  We started with a name of Loowit which captured a big part of our love for the northwest, being  situated among the Cascade Mountains.  Loowit is the Native American name for Mount St. Helens and is explained well through to story of the Bridge of the Gods tale (  Loowit wasn’t registered as a business in Oregon or Washington, but after having our graphic design buddy create a logo, we found Loowit Brewing Company was a place to come in Vancouver, WA and they were registered on the web which made them in the realm of public domain and hence the search for our identity continued. We sat in Joe’s basement sampling great homemade brews and randomly shooting out names with much surprise at how many names were already registered on the web, even the ones we came up with that we thought could never be out there (ex. Laughing Ass Brewing Company). They were!   It was September 22, 2009, the Fall Equinox, that I searched for Equinox brewing and of course a guy had a homebrew looking web site, so I thought what about Solstice Brewing Company.  There was a Solstice in the UK without any activity for years and business shut down.  I shot it to Joe and our friend Spencer to get their reaction and it was unanimous!  A web address was purchased and BC Brewing started doing business as Solstice Brewing Company. 
Now Solstice is more than a name, it is part of the rhythm of life and this suited us well.  Joe really wanted to create a space to do life with a community, create a place where they can do life together and doing this around a great atmosphere, with great food, and even better beer.  Our desire was to do so with fresh and local meats, produce, and the like.  Foods would be seasonal, and being fresh, they last until the fresh supply is exhausted for that day or week.  Food is committed to this rhythm described by solstice (winter, summer, and equinox (fall, spring,, and we are as connected to it as our food and materials that we depend on every day.  Yah, I could ramble on about how you and I identify with solstice, but you’ll have to come into the public house and see.  And I will ramble on more later…
We thought, searched, prayed and searched some more and settled on an area in SE Portland, Woodstock neighborhood.  We chased after this area for over a year and a half.  There were so many supporters in the area, we had great showings for beer tasting in the neighborhood, but who wouldn’t show up for free beer!  Marc Goudin of “The Joinery”, Dave Mansot a culinary artist, the small business association of Woodstock, Mark Perkins, Stephen Aiger of “Green Hammer Construction”, and many locals in the area were more than stoked, willing to point us to possibilities to make this dream come true.  We owe them all so much in keeping us going through such a challenging time of the business formation.  Unfortunately the economy, the investment dollars and the cost to start up a brewing in the area was beyond realistic for us at this time.  We still love you Woodstock and hope to have our beer in your hands first in Portland. 
So Joe packed up and headed out on a quest.  We had friends all over who wanted us to start a brewery in their town, of course.  A couple though stood out as promising, Bruce and Kathy Meyer and John and Lori Jones and our good friends Travis and Megan kept saying, “You guys gotta come down to Prineville and visit all the potential and promise it has to offer.”  As Joe arrived into Prineville, something hit home as he grew up small town, around the area of La Grande, Oregon.  As he was shown around town he saw the potential our friends had been talking about and as his wife visited, it was confirmed that this was going to be their new home, away from the traffic and hustle and bustle of Portland which had worked well for college and newlyweds, but not for the next stage of their life.  The space they visited was perfect, over 4800 square feet, a bar in place and a kitchen partial usable, and the rest of the elements were a perfect recipe for what Joseph was looking for.  Letters went out to our support and all were unanimously in favor of continuing in the investment of giving Solstice a face, a taste, and an address in the Barker’s new home of Prineville, Oregon. 
And now here we are!  Sandwiched between the Prineville Historical Museum (A. R. Bowman Museum: and the Pine Theatre (, and Solstice is the meat (I know that’s bad).  Now all you have to do is come and partake in history in the making.  Joe has put a lot of personal touches that are in the beginning stages.  The table tops and bar were all created by Mark Bowman from the custom millwork shop Joe worked at. The hood was cleaned and shined by Spencer Reynolds and Steve McCorkle. Wire was pulled, insulation stuffed, and old dance floors torn out and floors ground down with the help of John Jones and Bruce Meyer, and Tate, and many of you I do not know yet.  Travis Hallman painted the inside and so many of you jumped in and helped make Solstice be.  Thanks so much to you all of you!  Cheers!

Grand Opening! October 1st

Solstice Brewing Company in Prineville, OR is announcing its Grand Opening and Open House on October 1st.
Solstice Brewing Company has been operating in Prineville for approximately two months and is glad to announce their Grand Opening and Open House on Saturday, October 1st.
Solstice is a family oriented brewpub that opened in Prineville on July 28th. As part of our celebration we will be featuring kids festivities from 11am-2pm including free kids prizes, kids activities, face painting, musical story times and free hotdogs for kids 10 and under. Families are welcome to come check out our kids corner and enjoy the festivities.
For grown-ups we'll have pint specials all day long, food specials, a hamburger eating contest at 7pm (the 1st 10 contestants to register get to compete) and live music beginning at 5 O'clock. We'll be featuring local Bend artist Bill Velenti and local Prineville group Among 7.
Everyone is invited to come and enjoy the festivities.
Joseph Barker
General Manager

Thursday, September 8, 2011

More to come...

I know I have been slacking in the arena of blogging, but I intend on giving more of my thoughts and recollections soon.  Thanks for the great thoughts on our food and service!  We plan on making Solstice the place that you have been waiting for, more of the place we dreamed of and know you have too.  The good ratings are much appreciated!  Solstice is here to be apart of the community, share in life, and do so around a comfortable environment and great food and even better beer.  Some may know that Joseph's beers are more than competitors with other popular ones around in the NW and I have heard of skeptics.  Well most that have been through the process of becoming a brewery know that licensing takes time and the TTB can take up to at least 8 months to permit a location to brew their own beverage.  We have applied and intend on having that beverage in your lonely hands as soon as possible.  It will be worth the waiting, although Joseph has done an excellent job in educating you in some of the best varieties offered from the NW. Solstice came to Prineville to add something, invite you to be apart of something different and needed, not to remove something.  We love our neighbors and say cheers to all!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

August 2011 Menu

Welcome to Solstice Brewing Company and Public House.

Our food and drink menu have been designed to bring you a great line-up of Northwest beers and liquor alongside our fresh and local menu. We strive to bring in as many local foods as possible to maintain the freshest flavor.
We are proud to serve Breese Beef and specialty cheeses from
Cada Dia Cheese, both located in Prineville.

Our brewery is currently under construction and we look forward to serving you a Solstice brew in the future.

Thank you for choosing Solstice Brewing Company.

French Fry Platter         $4.50
  A large platter of delicious French fries with our house-made seasoning
Irish Smothered Nacho Fry       $6.50
  Fries with nacho toppings including cheddar cheese, salsa, sour cream, jalapenos,
  and green onions
            Add seasoned ground beef                      $2.50
Hummus and Veggie platter     $6
  Hummus served with feta, seasonal veggies, pita chips, and grilled artisan bread
Artichoke Dip    $6
  With melted Parmesan served with pita chips, fresh veggies, and artisan bread.
Charcuterie Plate          $10
  Cheese from our selection of local cheeses served with fruit, fresh salami, candied
  nuts, and sliced artisan bread
Hunters Platter $7
  Beer simmered  sausages, with mustard and sliced artisan bread

Sausage on a bun         $5
  Sausage on a bun with in-house sauerkraut
            Add side-salad or fries          $2
Sausage and Salad Plate          $8.50
  Two of our signature sausages served with a large house salad
Fresh Catch Fish and Chips       $10.50
  Our weekly fish is purchased on Thursdays and dipped in our house-made beer
  batter. Available Thursday until it’s gone!  Served with coleslaw
Tuscan Pasta Toss         $12
  Grilled Italian sausage, roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, caramelized onions tossed with farfalle and arugula pesto cream. Served with a side salad and bread
All sandwiches are made fresh and served with a side of fries.  Add side salad for $2.
Super Club       $7.75
  Thick slices of ham and turkey grilled and layered with bacon, sharp cheddar, 
  Swiss cheese, and bacon. Garnish with ripe tomato and crispy lettuce
Add Avocado      $1
Classic Turkey with Aioli           $8.25
  Turkey, baby arugula, tomato, avocado, and Aioli (lemon & roasted garlic mayonnaise). Served with your choice of Swiss or cheddar on wheat bread.
Add center cut bacon      $1.75
BLT       $7
  Center cut bacon, fresh tomato, lettuce, and Aioli served on Sourdough bread.
Add Avocado      $1
Patty Melt        $7.50
  Our fresh pressed hamburger patty topped with maple caramelized onions and Swiss cheese served open-faced on Rye.
Roasted Veggie            $5.75              
  Roasted red peppers, carrots, caramelized onions, roasted garlic, and arugula pesto
Served on Black Butte Porter bread.
            Add feta, Swiss, cheddar, or bleu cheese $1.50  or hamburger patty  $2.50

Hand Made Burgers
All of our burgers are 1/3 lb. fresh pressed on the grill using Breese Beef. Breese beef is all natural grass fed from the Breese ranch on the Ochoco river just outside of town. Processing is done locally at Butcher Brothers insuring the best flavored burger around.  All burgers served with lettuce, onion, tomato, mayo and a side of fries.

Basic Burger     $6.50
  Add Swiss or sharp cheddar cheese       $1.50
Bleu Burger      $8.75
  Fresh patty topped with maple caramelized onions and Rogue Creamery bleu cheese
Add center cut bacon      $1.25
Bacon Burger    $9.75
  Our juicy burger topped with 4 pieces of center cut bacon, Swiss cheese, and maple  
  caramelized onions
Add Rogue Creamery bleu cheese    $1.50
Steins Pillar      $10.50
  Our fresh pressed patty with Swiss cheese, sharp cheddar cheese, ham, center cut
  bacon, fried egg over medium, tomato, lettuce, and onion
Put yourself on the summit of Steins Pillar with an extra patty!            $2.50
Roasted Garlic and Red Pepper $9
  Burger with roasted garlic, red pepper, caramelized onion and all the fresh toppings.  
  Your choice of sharp cheddar or Swiss cheese
Build Your Own
  Add any of the following to any of our burgers: jalapenos $0.50, olives $0.50,
  feta $1.50, sauerkraut $1.50, salsa $.75, avocado $1.00, ham $1.50,
  fried egg $1.75, center cut bacon $1.75, caramelized onion $1.00,
  sharp cheddar $1.50, Swiss cheese $1.50          

Fresh Salads
All salads are freshly made and served with Artisan bread and homemade dressings.
Cobb    $10.50
  A blend of lettuces topped with crispy bacon, bleu cheese, smoked ham, turkey, tomatoes,  hardboiled egg, and black olives
Add Avocado      $1.75
Chef     $9.50
 A blend of lettuces topped with roasted ham, turkey, shredded cheddar, Swiss, fresh tomatoes, and cucumbers
Seasonal Mixed Green  $8.50
  Locally farmed, mixed green salad tossed with tomatoes, olives, onions, cucumbers, Cada Dia Cheddar, and house vinaigrette.
Fruit and Nuts  $10
  Mixed green salad with dried cranberries, candied nuts, red onions, fresh berries,  
  and bleu cheese. Served with house vinaigrette.
Bowl of Tillamook Vanilla Bean Ice-Cream         $2.75
Dessert Special – ask your server for our weekly special

               *Peanut oil is used in all of our fried foods*

On draught:
Rainier    $2.50
Boneyard Brewing IPA     $4
Silver Moon Pilsner   $3.50
Double Mountain IRA     $4
Terminal Gravity Trad Pale  $3.50
Deschutes Obsidian Stout     $3.50
Oakshire Amber Ale    $3.50
Cascade LKS Monkey Face Porter $3.50
Silver Moon Hefeweizen  $3.50

Long-necks: Coors Light   $2

White:                                                   Red:
Yellow Tail Chardonnay                        $5
Naked Winery Menage a Trois   $6
Yellow Tail Pinot Grigio                        $5
14 Hands Merlot           $6

Specialty Drinks
Orange Dreamsicle        $6
  Pinnacle Whipped vodka mixed with orange juice, lemon lime    soda and a splash
  of grenadine.
Chocolate Cake Martini $6
  Absolute Vanilla vodka mixed with   Frangelico.

Lemon Drop Martini      $6
  Muddled lemon, sugar, absolute citron vodka and a splash of sweet and sour. Shaken
  and served in a sugared rim martini glass.
Oregon Appletini          $6
  Stampede whiskey, apple pucker and cranberry juice.

Lemon Lime Cooler       $6
Muddled lemons and limes, absolute citron, triple sec with a blackberry liqueur float.
The Lost Scotchman      $5
  Scotch with a splash of Amaretto over ice.

Prineville Punch           $6
  Malibu rum, 151 rum, cranberry juice, pineapple juice and grenadine.
Ochoco Coffee   $5
  Coffia, baileys and coffee. Topped with whipped cream.
Key Lime Pie     $6
  Muddled limes, Pinnacle Whipped vodka, pineapple juice and soda.
Spanish Coffee $6
  151 rum, Kahlua, coffee, and triple sec. Topped with whipped cream.
Grasshopper     $6
  Equal parts of Crème de Menthe and Crème do Cocoa shaken with cream
Irish Coffee      $5
  Irish Whiskey, a dash of sugar and coffee.
 *coffee drinks are served hot or over ice

Other Beverages
Kids Drink        $1.25
Soda     $2
  Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Sierra Mist, Mug Root Beer
Juice    $2
  Lemonade, Cranberry Juice
Coffee  $1.50
Hot Tea     $1

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Solstice Brewing Company is open in Prineville, Oregon!

Starting tomorrow, Wednesday August 3rd Solstice starts its new operating hours!  We will be open Wednesday-Sunday 11am-10pm.  With a soft opening behind us, the public house is more than ready for you.  Come and enjoy our family friendly atmosphere, with a mouth watering menu and hand crafted ales!  Cheers!