Made in the Northwest: Lumberbeard Brewing

SPOKANE, Wash. – Lumberbeard Brewing opened its doors in December at the corner of E. Third Ave. and S. Pine St., just off of I-90, in a building that dates back to the 1940s.

“This building was originally a diesel repair shop,” said president and head brewer Bret Gordon.

But the building needed a lot of work to bring it back to that classic feel.

“We did a lot of things aesthetically to kind of mirror what they did to try and kind of bring back that heyday back in the building,” explained Gordon.

Gordon actually started his career in the finance industry, before deciding to brew beer for a living. He’d visited family in Spokane for years and decided he wanted in on the city’s craft beer scene.

But where did he come up with the name Lumberbeard?

“It kind of fits because I have a giant beard, so I was like lumber, Pacific Northwest. Very lumber central,” laughed Gordon. “And beards. I mean, you can’t go wrong with beards and beers.”

Gordon says the brewery makes several different styles of beers, including a variety of India pale ales.

“We have, I think, an IPA for everybody, if that makes any sense. I also love Belgian beers, so we have a couple Belgian beers on tap.”

And with a 20 barrel brewing system, Lumberbeard isn’t messing around.

“We can pump out some beer and we can service all those bars and restaurants who want good, local craft beer,” said Gordon.

Lumberbeard enjoyed a big first month in December and a successful grand opening in January.

“I was blown away by how many people showed up.”

But the coronavirus shutdown means it faces an uncertain future.

It’s hard enough being a new brewery in town, trying to find your way. Now, imagine trying to do that without anyone in your taproom because of coronavirus. That’s the reality right now for Lumberbeard.”

“It’s going to be very tight for the next couple weeks,” lamented Gordon. “I mean, the only way we’re going to kind of stay afloat is if you guys keep coming in and keep helping us out.”

And you can help Lumberbeard out by getting growlers or crowlers to go. A crowler is a 32 oz. can that will stay fresh in your fridge for a month or so.

“You can do a call in order and we can fill it and bring it to you in your car if you don’t even want to get out of your car. We do curbside pick ups. All that kind of thing,” said Gordon.

Gordon is hopeful Lumberbeard can survive. He hopes to start canning beer for the taproom and select stores soon, while also extending beyond the greater Spokane area.

“We’re probably going to try to get to Post Falls, Coeur d’Alene this summer.”

And establish Lumberbeard as a local brewery that’s here for the long haul.