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Gorge Owned: Sense of Place lecture focuses on ‘hoppy history’



Just 30 years ago, American beer drinkers didn’t have many options. The U.S. only had about five breweries, and most were brewing light lager-style beers.

But a handful of people started thinking that beer should have a bit more flavor and character. As part of the craft beer revolution, they began brewing beers akin to European and British ales. Dave Logsdon was part of that transformation. He moved to the Columbia River Gorge to pursue his dream of brewing and opened Wyeast Laboratories to manage and culture yeast for brewers.

As people around the country grew thirsty for craft beer, the Pacific Northwest turned out to have all the ingredients needed to make it — an optimal supply of hops, malted barley and pristine water. Logsdon’s lab brought a fourth key element — superior yeast strains.

The beers brewed in the Columbia River Gorge have developed a passionate following. While some dismissed the industry as a passing fad, the craft beer trade in this region has grown to produce the highest concentration of breweries per capita in the nation. In his talk, Logsdon will discuss the history of brewing in the region and introduce the entrepreneurs who made the Gorge the brewing capitol it is today.

Logsdon is the founder of Wyeast Laboratories and a founding member/owner and the first brewer at Full Sail Brewing Company. He has worked in all aspects of the brewing and beverage industry, from brewery start up, product formulation, laboratory manager, packaging development and marketing. He lives in Oregon, where he graduated with a science degree in food science and technology, and is a course instructor at the American Brewers Guild.

Logsdon will speak on Wednesday, Feb. 3 at Columbia Center for the Arts. Doors open at 6 p.m. for a sampling of local beer by Brewers in the Gorge (BIG), and the lecture begins at 7 p.m. Gorge Owned’s (GO!) Sense of Place is an annual lecture series that seeks to foster a deeper understanding of and connection to our landscape and to one another. There is a $5-$10 suggested donation.



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