San Diego’s Modern Times Beer will be expanding into Portland, Ore., in early 2018, as the Point Loma-based brewer continues to grow its operations footprint beyond San Diego County.
In a statement posted on his company’s blog, Modern Times founder and CEO Jacob McKean said the company, starting Jan. 1, will take over a 10,000-square-foot space being vacated by The Commons Brewery in Portland’s Buckman neighborhood.
The new Modern Times facility will be called the Belmont Fermentorium, modeled after its flagship local Lomaland Fermentorium brewery and tasting room. The new venue is named for its Portland address, in leased space at 630 SE Belmont St.
The new Portland facility will begin operating about a month after Modern Times occupies the space, where it will bring in some new equipment and add some of its own art installations to the tasting room. The Belmont Fermentorium will produce all Modern Times draft beer for distribution in the Pacific Northwest, with a first-year production capacity around 7,000 barrels.
“Obviously, this will mean even fresher, better, locally brewed draft beer for all of our fans in Oregon, Washington and Idaho,” McKean said. “The tasting room will serve the greatest hits brewed on-site, in San Diego, and at our forthcoming R&D brewery in Los Angeles (which will open before the end of the year.)”
Additionally, McKean said the company has signed a lease on a neighboring building on Belmont Street, a 10,000-square-foot raw shell, which Modern Times will renovate over the next year or so. That space will house a new packaging hall and tank farm for production and distribution of its canned beers in the Pacific Northwest, and will also eventually include a coffee roaster facility and cafe with food offerings.
McKean said he has visited Portland regularly over the past decade and gave “serious consideration” to expanding into that market during that time. Modern Times has collaborated previously with The Commons on brew releases, but McKean emphasized he is not acquiring The Commons.
Modern Times was started in 2013, and its bottled and canned beers – such as Lomaland and Orderville – are distributed throughout California, Arizona, Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest, with select international markets. The company as of mid-July employed 118 and reported that it brewed 40,500 barrels during 2016, up 82 percent from the prior year.
The company also operates a North Park tasting room and previously announced plans for upcoming new facilities in downtown Los Angeles and Anaheim. In July, McKean announced that 30 percent of company shares were being placed into an employee stock ownership plan, the first in California for a craft brewer.