Oregon State University Libraries and Press

Rick Allen Oral History Interview, November 16, 2016

Oregon State University

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0:00 - Interview Introduction

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Partial Transcript: Okay, so start with your name.

Segment Synopsis: Allen introduces himself, his date of birth, the current date and the location of the interview.

Keywords: Heater Allen Brewing; Oregon Wine Country; Wine country

Subjects: Beer and brewing Breweries McMinnville (Or.)

0:31 - Childhood in California / Family History

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Partial Transcript: So you were born in California, is that right?

Segment Synopsis: Allen briefly describes his childhood, which he spent most of in Palo Alto, along with some time in Connecticut. He traces his lineage back to New Hampshire, with some of his ancestors traveling on the Mayflower to North America in the 1600s. Allen then details how his grandfather eventually got to the Oregon Agricultural College by way of training for World War One. He also notes what Corvallis was like in the early 20th century.

Keywords: Methodist families; Military enlistment; Pilgrims on The Mayflower; The Great War; WWI training

Subjects: Corvallis (Or.) Factories New Hampshire Oregon Agricultural College Palo Alto (Calif.) World War One WWI

4:52 - Grandparents' Studies at the Oregon Agricultural College

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Partial Transcript: Yeah. What did he study? What was his course of study?

Segment Synopsis: Allen mentions the paths of study his grandparents took while at the Oregon Agricultural College (OAC), making note that women had fewer options for degree fields during the early 20th century. He describes how his grandfather like to play pranks during college, the biggest of which being blocking the road to trick Oregon Ducks fans during a Civil War game. Allen also describes his grandmother’s upbringing, and why she probably went to the OAC.

Keywords: Adolescent rebellion; Beavers versus Ducks; Beavers vs. Ducks; Civil War Football games; College pranks; Education--Math

Subjects: American football Corvallis (Or.) Home economics Oregon Agricultural College Oregon State University Pranks


Hyperlink: The History of Oregon State University

8:53 - Grandparents and Parents' experiences in Hawaii

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Partial Transcript: So then the two of them get together and they go to Hawaii

Segment Synopsis: Allen discusses how his grandparents moved to Hawaii after graduating from college, and some of the events they and his mother experienced while living there. He describes how his parents met at an OSU alternative Thanksgiving retreat, and how they continued their relationship during summers in Hawaii because of his father’s involvement in yacht racing.

Keywords: Alternative Thanksgiving; Island life-- concerns; Working in Hawaii; Yacht racing-- Hawaii

Subjects: Hawaii International travel Oregon State University Pearl Harbor (Hawaii), Attack on, 1941 Pearl Harbor (Hawaii)--1900-1920 Yacht racing

12:53 - Parent's Experience at Oregon State College

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Partial Transcript: So did she go- how did they both end up at, it's OSC then?

Segment Synopsis: Allen explains how both of his parents ended up also studying at Oregon State College (later OSU); his father through transferring from UC Berkeley and his mother from Hawaii because there was no college there at the time. His mentions his parents’ names and their areas of studies while at OSC. Allen specifically describes his mother’s minor in food technology at the time, and her career interest in working for Dole Foods.

Keywords: College classroom size; Dole pineapple; Food Technology during WWII; OSU College of Engineering; OSU department of business

Subjects: Dole Food Company Food Technology Frozen foods industry Military draft Oregon State College Oregon State University University of California, Berkeley

16:46 - Parents' careers / Siblings and Oregon State University

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Partial Transcript: So she, what did she end up doing with that degree then

Segment Synopsis: Allen details his parents’ careers after graduating from college, his mother being a housewife and his father working as an engineer for the Bechtel Corporation. He discusses the education and careers of his siblings, and mentions that his brother Bob had passed away in 2003. Allen then describes his eventual choice to go to Oregon State University, and how he had hoped to go to other universities originally.

Keywords: Gender roles

Subjects: Bechtel Corporation First-generation college students Housewives Oregon State University Siblings Teachers USDA

20:10 - Academic Program at OSU / Atmosphere around Vietnam War

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Partial Transcript: So did you know you wanted to study business though?

Segment Synopsis: Allen discusses his various academic interests going into college, and how he stayed away from science fields to avoid drafting for the Vietnam war. He states that he picked business as his major, but he really wasn’t sure what he wanted to pursue. Allen then describes the responses of communities to the Vietnam War, specifically in the protests by certain universities. He explains that his family tried to avoid the topic, and that his parents’ views on the war were quite different from his own.

Keywords: Conservative and Liberal views on war; Conservative attitudes; Polymathy; Sheltered communities; Social awareness; Vietnam War--Protests

Subjects: Chemistry Oenology Oregon State University ROTC University of California, Berkeley--1960-1970 Vietnam War

24:41 - Perceptions of High School and Coming to College

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Partial Transcript: What else did you do in high school? I don't think I

Segment Synopsis: Allen describes the academic rigor of his high school program, and how he was drawn to math and the sciences. He also discusses his various extra-curricular activities, including sports and environmental activism. Allen then explains his interest in attending a large public university, and his observation of local climate and campus size in Corvallis. He details why the weather can get stormier in Corvallis than in Portland.

Keywords: Bottle return laws; Corporate interests; Eco-action groups; Environmental activism; Student anonymity

Subjects: Environmental accountability High school sports High school student activities Oregon--Climate Public universities and colleges Science education

31:49 - Atmosphere around Oregon State University

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Partial Transcript: What about things on Monroe street?

Segment Synopsis: Allen describes the atmosphere and businesses located on Monroe Street while he attended OSU, commenting on the banning of alcohol there in order to protect students. He then explains why the student body detested the university president at the time, for reasons including his cuts to collegiate sports funding. He notes the written dissent people offered about the president in the student yearbook and newspaper. Allen then mentions several traditions at the university and in greek life, as well as the various events he participated in with his fraternity.

Keywords: Alcohol control; Civil war football games; Greek life traditions; University dissent; University politics; University traditions

Subjects: Alcohol abuse Collegiate sports Oregon State University Small businesses Student behavior University presidents

44:58 - Involvement in Greek Life / Relationship with Future Wife

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Partial Transcript: So you were in Beta Theta Pi

Segment Synopsis: Allen recalls various memories from his time living in the Beta Theta Pi fraternity, including social activities he learned and the issue of hazing. He goes on to tell the story of how he met his wife through Greek Life at the end and after he graduated from OSU. Allen details how his younger brother convinced him to try dating her, and how he eventually agreed. He notes that his wife doesn’t often talk about her experiences at OSU, and how their times at the university were separate.

Keywords: College parties; Fraternities and Sororities; Fraternity stereotypes; Romantic relationships; Smoking rooms

Subjects: Beta Theta Pi Education--Study and teaching Fundraising Hazing Oregon State University Pedagogy Smoking--Social aspects

51:27 - Job Experiences in Investment Banking

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Partial Transcript: So did you get a job straight out of college?

Segment Synopsis: Allen describes the level of difficulty while he was trying to find a job after graduation, along with the various factors influencing competition within the job market. He discusses the areas he looked into for work, as well as noting his independence from his parents during college. Allen then details his introduction to investment banking for the Bank of California, and how that lead him to banking work in Seattle and at the 1st National Bank of Oregon in Portland. He mentions his family life with his wife and young children at the time, and also describes the structure and culture of Portland, Oregon during the 1970s.

Keywords: 1st National Bank of Oregon; Banking securities; Cost of living (Calif.); Oregon job market; Stay-at-home parents; Student independence

Subjects: Independence Investment banking Parenthood Portland (Or.) Seattle (Wash.) Wells, Fargo & Company Wells, Fargo & Company. Banking Dept

59:30 - Interest in Home Brewing and Wine Making

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Partial Transcript: Were you home brewing at that time?

Segment Synopsis: Allen describes the influences that lead to interest and practice in home brewing, including publications by the OSU food technology department. He discusses the different breweries present in Oregon during the 1970s, and how few there were at the time compared to now. Allen then recounts his interest in winemaking from his trip to Europe before college, which also introduced him to high quality german beer. He details the different kinds of beer he learned to make when he first started home brewing, the influence of his late brother Bob, and the level of detail he put into recording and diversifying his brewing process.

Keywords: BridgePort Brewing; Essentials of Beer Style (Eckhardt, Fred); European beer; Hard cider; Henry Weinhard's brewing; Home brewing

Subjects: Beer and brewing Computer science Food Technology Lagers Oenology Wine making

71:42 - Decision to Open Heater Allen Brewing

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Partial Transcript: Was there a point where you thought about doing this professionally?

Segment Synopsis: Allen details how he began to consider running a brewery as the 1st National Bank of Oregon merged with Wells Fargo, which changed the environment of his workplace. He discusses the influence his late brother Bob had on the final decision to open the brewery. Allen then outlines the stylistic focus he picked for the brewery, and what he learned as his home brewing equipment got larger and more elaborate. He also describes his job experiences between being fired from Wells Fargo and starting the brewery.

Keywords: 1st national bank of Oregon; Experimentation in brewing; Memorializing family; Memorializing siblings; Pilsners; trial and error; Vienna-style lagers

Subjects: Beer and brewing Lagers Mead Wells, Fargo & Company Wineries--California

79:59 - Perspectives on Brewing in Wine Country

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Partial Transcript: We talked about your choices in the end of Lisa's interview

Segment Synopsis: Allen describes his experiences as a brewer in Oregon wine country, and how the surrounding wine makers are many of his consistent consumers. He explains his candidacy for the Oregon Brewers’ Guild board and how he has a better perspective on common concerns for smaller craft breweries. Allen then describes the various problems breweries can run into, especially in terms of packaging and storing beer.

Keywords: Beer storage; Beer transportation; Brewery representation; Brewing representation; Concerns in brewing; Craft breweries; Craft brewing

Subjects: Beer and brewing Beer--Packaging Brewers' Guild Microbreweries Wineries--Oregon Wineries--Oregon--Yamhill County--Maps


Hyperlink: Oregon Brewers' Guild Board

87:29 - Challenges of Running a Taproom

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Partial Transcript: What about- one of the things I thought you might say

Segment Synopsis: Allen describes the challenges attached to running a taproom for the brewery, specifically in terms of attendance. He explains how he was inspired to open a taproom from the model used by wineries. Allen postulates that business in the taproom would be more frequent if they were located in a more beer-focused area, and he states that he’s wary of giving advice on taproom management given their poor success with it.

Keywords: Beer tourism; Beer varieties; Brewery taprooms; Craft beer; Oregon Brewers' Guild; Taproom models; Wine taprooms; Wine tasting rooms

Subjects: Beer and brewing Beer tasting Breweries Brewers' Guild Sensory evaluation Wine tasting


Hyperlink: Information about the Heater Allen taproom

90:07 - Impacts and Future Plans in Brewing

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Partial Transcript: So what's next? What are you looking forward to?

Segment Synopsis: Allen summarizes his overall impressions of the brewery’s success, as well as his goals for the future as he retires. He discusses his impact on the presence of lagers and Bavarian beer styles in the craft brewing industry, as well as importance of drinking beers locally in terms of quality consistency. Allen also discusses the overall impact of his late brother on his brewing journey, as well as his brother’s own home brewing interests. He concludes the interview by mentioning his upcoming transition into running the McMinnville Education Foundation.

Keywords: Bavarian beer styles; Craft brewing; Craft lagers; Local beer; McMinnville Education Foundation

Subjects: Beer and brewing Breweries Education Family business Lagers McMinnville (Or.) Mead


Hyperlink: McMinnville Education Foundation homepage
0:00No transcript.