NORTH JETTY MARKS 10th ANNIVERSARY

North Jetty Brewing celebrated its 10th anniversary with the owners tending bar and cleaning tables.

Erik and Michelle Svendsen were happy to pitch in, given the fact that the cozy brewery they founded in Seaview, Wash., was packed all day Saturday with hundreds of their fans. 

It was so busy in the taproom, in fact, there was no time for speeches or handing out birthday cake, which sat, pre-sliced, on the bar.

The only craft brewery on the Long Beach peninsula, it seems, is making all the right moves.

The 10-barrel brewery recently expanded its kitchen to offer a variety of savory paninis and the taplist has ventured beyond beer, offering cocktails for the first time. There’s even a non-alcoholic hop water called Slow Your Roll available.

North Jetty has always been a family-friendly public house, but now it regularly offers live music and a steady stream of events. It’s a fair bet that the brewery’s slogan – “Meet me at the Jetty!” – is a common utterance around these parts every weekend.

The 10th anniversary crowd at North Jetty.

While the dreary winter months on the peninsula are generally locals only, during the rest of the year North Jetty has earned a place on the craft beer trail, drawing tourists as well as fans from Oregon’s North Coast.

When the brewery opened in 2014, a few weeks before Buoy Beer Co. in Astoria, it was something of a gamble, Eric Svendsen recalled.

The home brewer had stopped doing CPA work to focus on beer and building a small business. Michelle, an office manager who didn’t even drink beer, learned how to brew. 

“It’s going well. The community likes us here,” Eric said Saturday. “I hoped that it would, but you never know what’s going to happen.”

Erik and Michelle built the peninsula’s only craft brewery.

One of the couple’s best moves was to hire head brewer Titus Bentley two years ago. Bentley has proven to be a budding star who loves collaborating with other breweries and experimenting with flavors.

It’s no longer surprising to see a North Jetty beer at some of the premier festivals in the region, including Dark Arts, Lupulin Ecstasy and the Pacific Northwest Brew Cup.

“I think we’re at the highest points for Jetty right now,” said Bentley, who was at the anniversary party with his wife and young son. “We have to stay fresh and relevant, and reach new people. Our tap list is more diverse now than it’s ever been.”

The brewery is known for offering a wide range of beer styles. In time for Saturday’s festivities, North Jetty released three beers, including Wave Cutter, a smooth-but-potent barrel-aged imperial porter. 

Asked to reflect on his brewery’s first decade, Erik said he didn’t mind leaving hands-on brewing to focus on bringing other ideas to life.

“The fun part for me is creating things,” he said. 

And steering the business in the right direction. Like offering heartier food and cocktails to appeal to a broader demographic. 

“The word around the block is you got to move from being the fun, cool brewery to the fun, cool bar. You’ve got to be more things to more people.”

So, what has the past 10 years taught him?

“I’ve learned that the right people are very important,” he said. “People that buy into your vision – that’s huge. You can’t do it yourself.”

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