Wildfire Brewing, founded in 2006 by twin brothers Jeremy and Chris Cox, is now known as 10 Barrel Brewing Company. Despite the name change in 2008, the craft beers coming out of this brewery are consistently setting fires in the hearts of beer enthusiasts throughout the Pacific Northwest.
10 Barrel’s focus as described by its founders is to create unique, thought provoking and interesting beers—with an emphasis on having fun. With six brewers who all have different styles, backgrounds and levels of experience, 10 Barrel’s philosophy encompasses both the scientific and artistic expressions of brewing. Using the combination of traditional and “out of the box” brewing is integral to their continued success.
With highly experienced, heavy-hitting brewers like Jimmy Seifrit (formerly of Deschutes), gold-medal brewer Tonya Cornett and Shawn Kelso (awaiting the helm at the new 10 Barrel location in Bosie, Idaho) on their team, the staff at 10 Barrel has an excellent foundation upon which they’ve built their fantastic menu, seasonal beer selections and attentive customer service.
“Our chef is very creative and likes to change up the menu quite often,” said Cox. “He uses local, seasonal ingredients and pairs each entree with new beers coming out of the brewery.”
Having recently built a new 15,000-square-foot brewery, their territory now covers all of Oregon, most of Idaho and Vancouver, Wash. Shortly, 10 Barrel will be opening distribution in Seattle. The new production brewery took most of 2011 to build and feels huge compared to the old 2,500-square-foot building.
“We designed a custom, four vessel, 50-barrel brewhouse with 100 and 200-barrel tanks,” said Cox. “We also have our original system on-site which is a 10-barrel Specific Mechanical brewhouse. In addition, we have a dedicated sour cellar and barrel cellar that are humidity and temperature controlled.”
Expansion to Boise and Canning in 2013
In addition to getting the new brewery in Boise up and running, 10 Barrel is working toward the purchase of a small canning line in 2013.
“We have been working on this project [the Boise location] for over a year, and have invested a lot of time and resources into it,” said Cox. “[We’re] looking forward to the scheduled opening in April 2013. It will be a great day when we see steam coming out of new brewhouse stacks.”
He continues, “We are really excited about 2013 because we can focus on brewing beers instead of construction. We have a handful of Small Tank Project beers, as well as a sour beer and a couple of barrel-aged beers that we’ll be releasing throughout the year. We also have plans to add a new 12/12 variety pack, and will be releasing three new seasonals. This year will be fun and we are all looking forward to it.”
While the brothers themselves began the brewery out of their bar in Bend, they don’t personally act as brewers for 10 Barrel. Luckily, the non-brewing staff has opportunities to participate in the brewing process as well. Cox says to be on the lookout for a beer called “Street Smarts,” a collaborative effort among everyone who doesn’t brew at 10 Barrel.
Many 10 Barrel fans are looking forward to the increased availability and wider product line coming to shelves in 2013. “Our best-selling beer and flagship is Apocalypse IPA,” says Cox. “But, if you ask us at the brewery, our Small Tank Project beers are exemplify us.”
Emily Engdahl is the founder of Oregon Beer Country, a travel and tourism site dedicated exclusively to the craft beer culture of Oregon. As a craft beer writer, community events coordinator, and homebrewer, Emily encourages consumer education, community craft beer connections, resource building, informed craft beer choices, and keeping craft beer fun and accessible. Emily is also a self-taught graphic designer and trained mediator. Find her on twitter at @emilyengdahl and @ORBeerCountry.