For the team, Green Dragon Brewing isn’t a hobby, it’s an extension of what we love and our continuing commitment to make the best beer we can, to build a community of friends and supporters, and to craft unique, small-batch beers that showcase the creativity, innovation, and inspiration that come from elevating our skills and desires beyond our kitchens and back yards.
For our hosts and sponsors, Green Dragon Brewing is a unique project and opportunity to connect with, contribute to, and learn from Portland’s thriving homebrewing community.
For the homebrewing community, Green Dragon Brewing is a unique opportunity for local homebrewers to help design and brew a recipe that will be brewed on the nano brewing equipment and made available to the public. Emphasis is placed on educational aspects of recipe formulation, all-grain brewing techniques, quality control, and marketability. In addition, we hope to further improve the link between commercial craft breweries, their patrons, and the homebrewing community, and attract new homebrewers, while at the same time producing unique and exceptional beers.
In over twelve years of operation, the Green Dragon brewing program has produced over 400 batches, hosted over 100 homebrewers, and clocked in over 100 years of brewing experience.
In 1979 Rich brewed his first beer and began learning and experimenting with brewing processes and ingredients. It became a passion and he’s lost count of the number of beers brewed.
In 2009 he helped launch the Green Dragon Brew Crew and built a one barrel nano brewery with support from Rogue Ales.
His favorite beer: Augustiner Helles. Close second: Descent Into Darkness RIS (just can’t drink as much of it).
Alex fell in love with homebrewing in 2008 and decided that brewing life was for him. After a short stint at Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago, Alex moved to Portland, Oregon in 2012 and joined the team shortly thereafter. He is now a Cicerone Certified Beer Server, BJCP Recognized beer judge, and former Brewer at Montavilla Brew Works.
Steve brewed his first batch of beer as soon as he turned 21 back in his home town of Eugene, Oregon in 1991. Just as so much has changed in the brewing industry in the past 25 or so years, so have Steve’s brewing interests evolved from hop-headed IPA fanaticism to current interest in exploring the sublime nuance of classic European style lagers and ales. It’s tough to beat a well-made Kӧlsch. Steve enjoys collaboration with talented local guest-brewers to share the Green Dragon experience with others and maintain the collective’s roots with the amazing Portland homebrewing community.
Tracy brews beer and has opinions about what fermented beverages should taste like. When not brewing, she reviews beer for Beer Connoisseur Magazine, serves as the Pacific Northwest Assistant Rep for the Beer Judge Certification Program and is the Judge Director for SheBrew. She was recently profiled by Beervana writer Jeff Alworth.
Dylan joined in April 2016 and has been home brewing since 2012, when he decided to change careers. The Oregon Brew Crew homebrew club, for which he was Treasurer for 3 years, was pivotal in his experience. Their focus on education and connections to the Portland brewing community was a huge help in ensuring he developed good brewing habits. Dylan loves to brew belgian styles as well as IPA, CDA, and stouts. Dylan is also a BJCP Recognized beer judge and founder of Labyrinth Forge Brewing Company.
Dean started brewing around the year 2000 and attempted to brew all the beer styles in the Beeriodic Table. However, he was soon distracted by the delicious Belgian beer styles and European lagers before he could complete the ambitious project. He’s won best of show in several competitions, including Widmer Collaborator and the Willamette Week Pro/Am. Dean is a Certified BJCP judge and his favorite beer style is Saison Brett.
After receiving an extract kit and a copy of the Joy of Homebrewing in the mid-90s, Verian has been brewing ever since; including an opportunity to gain experience at AleSmith and San Diego Breweries. He would eventually find his way to Portland, where he would become one of the Founding Four of the Pill Hill Brew Crew, and is a Recognized BJCP judge. Verian enjoys both the creative and collaborative process of brewing, and is excited to be one of the newest members of the Green Dragon Brewers.
- Michael Kora: Brewer/Owner, Montavilla Brew Works
- Rick Strauss: Brewer/Owner, Bent Shovel Brewing
- Vanessa Morea: Brewer, Beer’d Brewing
- Todd Beach
- Josh Blender
- Warren Johnson: Brewer/Owner, War & Leisure Brewing
In all the years that we’ve been hosting guest brewers, we’ve been fortunate to brew with some homebrewers who’ve won awards and gone pro, some pros who’ve become friends, and a ton of interesting characters who make up the Portland beer scene.
Here are just a few:
- John Maier: Brewmaster Emeritus, Rogue Ales & Spirits
- Lee Hedgmon: Brewer and Distiller at McMenamins, and now Founder of The Barreled Bee
- Shane Watterson: Brewer at Laurelwood Brewing, Founder of Level Beer
Contact with the Green Dragon Pub occurred in September 2009. The discussion was about how to get this beat up old broken down nano system in what was supposed to be the brewery up and going to “Finally” brew some beer at the Green Dragon. When Rogue bought the Green Dragon Pub from Jim Parker and his legion back in 2008 they were “working on” getting a brewery going there. When they (Parker et. al.) bought the lease for the building there was a brewery there (NorthWest Ales or something like that). Parker and Lolo (his partner the brewer) were always saying they were going to open a brewery but ended up selling the pub to Rogue, without ever establishing a brewery.
Except for the broken down nano system…
In early September 2009, over a beer or two, the manager of the Green Dragon Pub inquired of some Oregon Brew Crew guys what they thought about trying to get the nano system working. The work began to overhaul the nano at that point. We tore it down, bought some new parts, straightened out dents and got the system going. The first beer brewed on the nano system was brewed on November 9, 2009 and was aptly named “Finally IPA”.
Over the next several months the founding members busted butt to keep making beer at the Green Dragon, but theOregon Brew Crew‘s level of interest diminished as did their involvement. After making 33 Wednesday night releases in a row, Rogue ended it for a few months while they renovated and built Buckman Brewing. Just prior to that we learned that the nano system we fixed up actually belonged to Rogue’s head brewer, John Maier, and he wanted it back. So, Rogue’s owner, Jack Joyce, tells the Green Dragon Brew Crew to go buy what you need and Rogue will pay for it. That led us to designing pots and burners to efficiently make one barrel of high quality beer. Over the years we put the right hardware together to make it work, Rogue has generously paid for all the parts, maintenance and ingredients and we have been making great beer since then.
A long time ago (early 2011), Brewing TV came to visit us and made this short documentary of our early history:
A lot has changed since then: members have come and gone, equipment has been upgraded and expanded, Buckman Brewery and the Green Dragon Pub and Bistro have become Rogue Eastside Pub, dozens of breweries have opened and closed in Beervana, and we kept brewing.
In 2022, Rogue and the Green Dragon Brewers parted ways, so that Rogue could pursue a new direction for the location, and generously gave the entire nano brewery to the Green Dragons to follow our own path. About six months later, we found ourselves on a new path when Labyrinth Forge Brewing Company (founded by one of the Green Dragons) decided to take over former location of Hair of the Dog Brewing and invited us to set up shop to brew as the Green Dragons and use our system as the pilot brewery for LFBC.
As we embark on this new chapter for the Green Dragons, you can follow us on social media to see our progress and announcements on our next releases!