About Us

The Program

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 Rogue, 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 at the Rogue Eastside Pub & Pilot Brewery. 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 nearly ten years of operation, the Green Dragon brewing program has produced over 400 batches, hosted over 100 homebrewers, and held weekly release nights at Rogue Eastside Pub & Pilot Brewery in Southeast Portland.

The Brewers

Rich Hawthorne

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 Graham

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 Assistant Brewer at Montavilla Brew Works.

Steve Carper

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.

Warren Johnson

Warren joined the team in 2014. Motivated by both the science and the “magic” of brewing, he enjoys crafting experimental ales with creative techniques and non-traditional ingredients. He’s an avid brewer that believes in the power of beer to bring people together to foster a stronger community.

Tracy Hensley

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 VanDetta

The newest member of the team joined in April 2016. He’s 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.

Former Members

Our Guests

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, Rogue Ales & Spirits
  • Lee Hedgmon: Distiller, McMenamins
  • Shane Watterson: Brewer, Laurelwood Brewing, Level Beer

History

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 John 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 inquires 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 the Oregon Brew Crew’s level of interest diminished as did their involvement. After making 33 Wed 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 and Pilot Brewery, dozens of breweries have opened and closed in Beervana, and we keep making and releasing a new beer every week…

Join us every Wednesday evening at Rogue Eastside Pub & Pilot Brewery.