Oregon State University Libraries and Press

Tony Lawrence Oral History Interview, September 11, 2018

Oregon State University
Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Search this Transcript

TIAH EDMUNSON-MORTON: So we will start with your name and where we are.

TONY LAWRENCE: Ok. Everybody, I'm...phone's already beeped.

TEM: [Laughs.]

TL: I'm Tony Lawrence here at Boneyard, sitting at the conference room at the production facility out in Bend, Oregon today.

TEM: Today is September 11, 2018.

TL: Ooh, straight off, it is.

TEM: And I am Tiah Edmunson-Morton.

ANNA DVORAK: And I am Anna Dvorak.

TEM: And we want to hear about your life. Where were you born? Where and when were you born?

TL: I was born in Los Angeles, 1967. My parents were second-generation. Their generation was more the surfer-hippie crowd. I grew up on the beaches of southern California.

TEM: Why were they in southern California?

TL: Well, my grandparents moved there prior to my parents. My great grandfather was a train conductor, which brought him to the West. And that was my mother's 00:01:00grandpa. My father's father was in the military, so he was stationed at Camp Pendleton. That's where they met, down there in southern California. So that had me moving up and down the coast between Santa Barbara and San Clemente.

TEM: Mm-hm.

TL: Movin'. And good lifestyle. That's kind of what got me to Bend, actually. Grew up as a surfer and skateboarder, and I fell in love with snowboarding in Los Angeles. A bunch of us decided to move out to Tahoe about '87 or '88 to go find snowboarding, which kind of eventually got me to Mount Bachelor/Bend. And then I met a guy, who we had a mutual friend from San Francisco, and he let me sleep on his couch. And then he worked at Deschutes Brewery in the kitchen. His name was Tom Steinberg, and he knew the kitchen and was looking for some staffing at the pub, the original pub down there. It was probably 1988, '89, and 00:02:00I got a job in the kitchen washing dishes and as prep cook. And I met John Harris. We talked about snowboarding, and we talked about beer, and about drinking beer.

TEM: [Laughs.]

TL: And then repeat that process over and over and over, and we became good friends. And John suggested that maybe I come wash kegs instead of dishes over there in the brewhouse. And I said, "That sounds like a great idea." And so that's kind of the very simple, organic beginnings of my career in this industry. Now, that being said, I wasn't a home brewer, but even before I moved up north, back in the Santa Barbara days, me and my group of friends would seek out imported beers and these different styles of beer. We were having a lot of fun doing that. Then Sierra Nevada came along, and we really jumped on that bandwagon. So when I got up here in the Northwest, it just seemed like a good 00:03:00fit for me.

TEM: Where you interested in science, chemistry, food when you were growing up?

TL: My stepmother would tell you that of my brothers and sisters, of that pack of the group, I was more interested in following her around the kitchen and really asking a lot of questions about what she was preparing and how. I didn't realize at the time, but she likes to remind me of that.

AD: [Laughs.]

TL: I was kind of academically challenged growing up on the beach in southern Cal. I was more interested in other activities that could be found in the streets of southern California than school. That being said, my mind definitely was geared...I was good in math. Statistics, analytics, mathematical type stuff. So that led to a good starting point for a brewer.

TEM: Mm-hm.

TL: Maybe not so strong in the science and chemical structure of this career, but I had a good foundation with mathematics.

TEM: So something, certainly, that Boneyard is known for is its-. We just took a 00:04:00tour showing the spatial awareness and spatial use, but also your repurposing, welding... Was that something that you were interested in? Did you build stuff as a little kid or arrange stuff?

TL: I think, looking back over a generation or two, yes. It's very much who I am. I was really interested in tinkering with cars and motorcycles, for instance. Sometimes I'll refer to some of the processes we do around here as taking stuff and repurposing it. It's what I needed to do in the beginning, because we didn't have any financing or anything like this.

AD: [Laughs.]

TL: It just so happened that I was super-interested in guys that take old cars and rat rods or motorcycles. I was well down that path myself prior to getting into the brewing game. So I just kind of applied some of my interests that go 00:05:00along with that culture, and thought maybe it could be applied to this culture. That coupled with a lack finances or time or what have you. So yeah, somewhere along that train something happened, it was in me. Another Deschutes story - Deschutes had a couple different things going on that spoke to me as a young man. And that was, they were really pro-education. There, as a brewer, or as a staff on the brewing side of things, and beyond I'm sure, they would try and cover your continued education at the local community college. And at that point in time the brew master was Dr. Bill Pengelly, and he was really pro in these areas. So a lot of my peers were taking classes, and I did too. I had to go to Siebel, but I didn't have the prerequisites in place to qualify for the Siebel 00:06:00program, which meant I had to go back to school. One interesting story is, I said, "Oh sure, you guys want to pay for some education, huh?" So I went and took welding classes.

TEM: [Laughs.]

TL: I came back to the brewery and the brew master Bill is like, "This is not what I had in mind, Tony." It was too late because I was already enrolled. I took advantage of that opportunity to go that direction. And the backdrop to that story is, Deschutes' foundation was to try to make us each individually better for ourselves, and then apply those aspects of a better self to their team operation. Win-win for everybody. During those times at Deschutes back then, they had their in-house maintenance and crew and engineering crew and stuff. So I really got to bond with a lot of those guys. Going back to my interest in cars and motorcycles and things like that, I really would have a lot of fun conversations with that side of operations at Deschutes, in the middle of 00:07:00the night when the pump broke down, or they were welding on some project, or something like that. I really developed a keen interest for watching my coworkers at Deschutes build all these different things. Somewhere in that era is when things flipped for me. Deschutes was saying, "empower yourself, continue your education, bring more strengths to your professional career," and I was really drawn towards engineering and installation as well as continued chemistry and things like that. It was a very interesting crossroads and I just kept going down that path. Mechanical.

TEM: Yeah. I think about southern California, and hotrod culture certainly comes to mind. What do you remember about the culture/social aspects of growing up in southern California? That are and aren't related to...who you are. [Laughs.]

TL: Sure. Well I mean, social and cultural surroundings are always a big part of who you are individually, professionally or anything. I bounced around a lot. So 00:08:00you see a lot of different things. Southern California is very diverse. I spent a lot of time in east L.A. on Whittier Boulevard watching the Chicano culture and the lowriders do their thing. So I always wanted hydraulics in my car.

TEM: [Laughs.]

TL: [Laughs.] And then, you know, just the beach culture and stuff. There's a lot of exposure to a lot of different talking points, and ultimately I think some of those things just stuck with me. I don't really recall specifically anything groundbreaking whatsoever that led that self into my interest in cars and motorcycles and stuff like that. But I think every young person and a lot of young men in particular really are drawn towards those things. It was always big for me. I remember trying to keep my 260s Z-rodding with those dual-carbs that didn't want to work. [Laughs.] From a very young age, I didn't really have a lot 00:09:00of financial backing. If you want to keep things running and get to the beach to go surfing, you have to figure out a way to get it done.

TEM: If I asked you to describe your neighborhood when you were growing up, how would you describe your neighborhood?

TL: Well, I really call home Santa Barbara. I did spend a lot of time in east LA, but where you go to junior high and high school and things like that is where you make your first bonds with your best friends or your partners or whatever it is. But it was great. I grew up one block off lower State Street in Santa Barbara, and I could just jump out the front door and skateboard down to the beach and get into some trouble on State Street.

TEM: [Laughs.]

TL: Santa Barbara is just big enough to have a lot of interesting characters and culture and a lot of fun. Whether it's music, theater, art, things like this, but it was a small down in the day. It was just really safe. So my high school 00:10:00was ten blocks to the left, the beach was ten blocks to the right. A very great place to grow up.

TEM: Mm-hm. What did you think that you wanted to do, as you were getting older? In high school when guidance counselors start asking you what you're going to do when you leave, what did you think you wanted to do?

TL: I'd say, not too much different than currently. I was a very confused young man. It's good to be humble. I was really interested in culture. Snowboarding, surfing and cars and things like that were speaking to me. I didn't necessarily care to pinpoint where to put my energy other than to keep positive energy and always wake up each day with a lot of effort and optimism. Believe that good things will happen when you have that type of effort every day. And so I kept 00:11:00going, kept going. I turned into a pro snowboarder for a while and that's where my head was at. I didn't think I was going to make any money, but I was sure living a good lifestyle. And enjoying myself. I wouldn't really recommend it, but I definitely sacrificed a good ten years of my life to living a lifestyle that I thought was super fun, while my body was able to achieve these type of things. So now payback's a bitch.

TEM: [Laughs quietly.]

TL: I work my ass off. But I had those ten or fifteen years as a young person to really live life to its fullest.

TEM: Did you think you would stay in California?

TL: Yeah, yeah. Life will always take you somewhere you didn't really see coming. What happened for me was, I was living in Tahoe, I found snowboarding, and they had a couple crappy winters back to back, that just so happened to be 00:12:00my first experience moving away from Santa Barbara and chasing my dreams. And they had these really crappy little winters, and it was raining in February. But I'd been hearing about this Mount Bachelor place eight hours north that stayed open on the fourth of July. These different variables really caught my attention, so I jumped in my truck and drove up here. Then I got a job at a brewery. I got snowboarding 'til July, working at a brewery, I like it.

TEM: [Laughs.] The rest is history. What were some of the jobs that you did? What were some of the unique jobs that stand out for you?

TL: Well, I was a lift op[erator] for a couple years in Tahoe. A bunch of us would go up there and we'd run the lifts all night long and snowboard all day. That was kind of interesting. Prior to that, I worked at some kitchens here and there. My first job was at Tony's Pizza on State Street. First job as a young man, as a young person, that really meant something to me was I delivered drapes all up and down southern California for clients. So they gave me a van, they'd 00:13:00load it up each morning with drapes, and then I'd drive down to Malibu and Thousand Oaks and Ventura and Santa Barbara and go install drapes in these really nice houses.

TEM: That had to be interesting.

TL: It was pretty fun. Especially since I had my own van.

TEM: [Laughs.]

TL: What else did we do? We moved to Hawaii for a while and were surf bums. Lift op... paper route, don't forget that. Not sure about other stuff. For a number of years in between the brewing game, for myself is when I was consulting. I had picked up a lot on the engineering or mechanical side/welding and was riding around the country building water bottling plants, building breweries for a lot of different people. Which ultimately led to the sourcing of the equipment that we use here today, because I developed all these contacts all over the country and the world. And I'd be snooping around these people's breweries for a month at time, and see a pump or a vat or a thing, some sort of operational piece of 00:14:00equipment, and then I'd be like, "Hey guys, what's up with that thing?"

TEM: [Laughs.]

TL: And I was able to ship a lot of that stuff home, store it in my garage here in Bend for about two or three years, one piece at a time. And one day I looked at it, and all of a sudden, "Hm, I think we can do this."

TEM: This is after you left Deschutes?

TL: Oh yeah. Left Deschutes in November of 2001. And chased Tim Gossack down to Phoenix. I mean, there's a lot of great stories of Deschutes. Tim Gossack and Mark Vickery and John Harris and Bill Pengelly and a lot of these guys, those were my mentors. They all had a few years on me. They were rock stars in my eye and they still are. So anyhow, Tim went off to do his own project and create his 00:15:00own brewery in Rio Salado in Phoenix/Tempe, Arizona. I was down there for a while and he was making me some pretty decent offers to come hang out with him in Arizona and work a small project. I didn't take that opportunity for about a year and half, probably, because I just didn't think Phoenix was going work for me. I'm a mountain and a beach guy. It seems so historically, anyhow. But I finally took the opportunity to go down there and work for Tim, and that was amazing. A lot of the catalysts for that was, as amazing as Deschutes was - I mean I learned so much, we brewed 56 brews per week, in-house education and so many great people and so many great things happening [such as] accolades and successes and Gary Fish, the whole thing - I really felt the need to branch out from underneath such a big umbrella and go to a much smaller platform to operate on. That's going to be more volatile, but it's also going to allow myself to 00:16:00express myself in the brewing community. In recipe design or whatever concepts you want to think of, to really try to take my career to the next level. It was a much smaller house, but my opportunities to run that factory or system were just that. They were my standard operating procedures and Tim's, as opposed to having such a set structure to operate from at Deschutes.

TEM: Yeah. And we will go back in time to Deschutes, but one thing I remember Tim talking about was that [compared to] the things that were brewed here, ingredients, styles were just different in the Southwest. Do you have memories or stories about that kind of adjustment from central Oregon to southwest US?

TL: Sure, I think it's a little more complex than that. The community of people - consumers - interested in craft beer in whatever format in that region at that time, was very small. I really don't know if for that reason Tim came out with 00:17:00his concept for Rio Salado. We brewed mostly traditional German-style lagers or German-style ales. That being said, a lot of us brewers prior to Tim's departure to Arizona, as much as we brewed ales and porters and stouts and hops, on the weekends you'd find us drinking lagers. So, we always were interested in traditional brewing techniques and German-style beers. I'm not sure which one of those lends more credibility to the reason Tim chose to do what he was doing in that region at that time. But that's how I see it.

TEM: Mm-hm.

TL: So I had a lot of fun going down there and brewing lagers, not ales. You know, we had five different yeast strains, I believe, in the brewhouse at all times. And we brewed like 3,000 barrels per year and had like five yeast strains, so that was pretty interesting. I don't know how new or creative that was at that time, but to me it seemed that way. The Weiss yeast, the Kolsch 00:18:00yeast, the house lager strain, had a house ale strain, and there was one more. Maybe the whit strain. So, good stuff.

TEM: What was it like culturally to be in that area? What do you remember about food, activities you did?

TL: Well, it grew on me quickly. August, September, maybe not so much, but I'd been cold for a while snowboarding, had a couple knee surgeries, so I was ready to go a different direction and get warm. And of course I love motorcycles, so I picked up a Harley and went down to the desert and road around with a bunch of hoodlums in Arizona. So that was a lot of fun. And I really enjoyed getting familiar with things like palo verde trees and ocotillos and all kinds of aspects of the southwest. Saguaro cactus. I had really great time. It really 00:19:00grew on me. I haven't been back much, but when I left there I always thought I'd return every year to get back to the desert. Phoenix itself, from block to block it was kind of just a big wasteland of neon signs and three-story buildings. But I rather enjoyed it, I'll always cherish that time down there. Course I love Hispanic culture and food, so that didn't hurt either.

TEM: Mm-hm. So, rewinding back to you coming to Bend permanently or almost permanently since we just talked about you not being in Bend. What are your early memories of getting hired at Deschutes? Again, thinking about what it is you remember seeing, some of the people that you remember being there, what the job was like.


TL: Well, the industry was so young as a whole. And Deschutes was growing so fast. It was such a fun, successful, vibrant place to be. I mean that really sticks with me. A lot of my really good friends were also coming up. Widmer or other breweries. And we still laugh 30 years later, just how small the space was at that time and what these companies and these individuals have aspired to do by sticking in the game for 30 years. I really cherish that bigger picture, more specifically late '80s, early '90s at Deschutes. It was so much fun. I was living my dream. I was snowboarding all day, making beer all night long. And dealing with a cast of really interesting individuals. Some people which I already mentioned, or Daniel or Franklin or all these other casts. A lot of 00:21:00crazy stories. Being with a company, from brewing fifteen hundred barrels of beer a year to a hundred and fifty thousand barrels of beer a year, and all the adventures and successes and failures to make that happen.

TEM: Mm-hm.

TL: A lot of fun for me. Again, I think being along for that ride at that period of growth by volume or by brand or by any other areas of the space you can think of, really to observe all that happen on my watch, or be a part of that watch is just a lot of who I am today. Good times.

TEM: What are some of the points that you remember as being milestones in growth or milestones in change while you were there? Is there anything that stands out to you?

TL: Yeah. I mean, first of all, Bill Pengelly, for the department he was 00:22:00controlling, really brought a much higher level of accountability and operations to the brewing process that really lent itself to me. As a young brewer, you're so interested in traditional brewing techniques and beer styles. Not that we didn't brew with those techniques and styles, but his emphasis really seemed to ratchet down, I wouldn't say on the quality of the beer, but on the expectations of the quality of the beer. So that's my personal thing I really enjoyed. I mean the transition from the ten-barrel brewhouse on Bond Street to the fifty-barrel brewhouse on Simpson, now that was exciting stuff. When JV Northwest came in and 00:23:00put in this big fancy brewhouse and got new gizmos and switches and things, it was, ah, shock and awe. I'll probably come up with a few more interesting tidbits here shortly, but it was just a great ride. Great time, great place, great ride. And when I say that, I just mean Oregon, or the Northwest, to share that not just with my peers at Deschutes, but with my other colleagues. Jamie Floyd and Ben Dobler and all these other cats. It's just fun to see these guys 30 years later. Like, "What? How did we do this?"

TEM: [Laughs.] What was Bend like in the late '80s?

TL: Oh, I'd say it was skiers, snowboarders and cowboys. That's about it. Pretty small town. This is probably not true, but I was probably close to one of the first California transplant snowboard kids to show up. I think culturally for me, it was very interesting. But all I cared about was snowboarding, so nothing 00:24:00else mattered. But it was a pretty small little redneck town. And they were still running on cowboy culture and sleepy little Oregon style. So that was pretty interesting for me, and I'm pretty sure they thought I was pretty interesting as well.

TEM: [Laughs.]

TL: But, like I said, all I wanted to do was eat and breath and snowboard and make beer. And I had all the opportunities in the world to do both of those things. So I couldn't have been more content.

TEM: When did you decide that you wanted to move on from Deschutes?

TL: You know, I think Tim was the catalyst in that. He just kept offering me this job which then really starts your thought process. I've got some other unique opportunities in this beautiful industry, and what does that look like to 00:25:00me individually? What opportunities may I have regionally or professionally and why? So that just sort of teased me into going down those thoughts. I mean, things couldn't have been going better for me, quite honestly. I was living in Bend, I had a great salary position with Deschutes that really took great care of us. I'd been there so long that maybe I was referred to as lead brewer or something. Not head brewer, not brew master. I had some tenureship. And it was going really well, but I think I got hurt a couple times snowboarding, and I was just looking to maybe get warm. I don't know, all those things congealed together, and you end up doing what you do. I think ultimately, at the end of the day, it would be more along the lines of I was just looking to stimulate myself under a different environment. See what happens.

TEM: What do you remember about styles at that time? Kind of, what you wanted to 00:26:00brew, what you were learning about, and also what did people want to consume during that period? What do you remember, I guess, about the consumer culture and style preference?

TL: I have really two categories, which are my peers professionally and then the consumers. They're all my friends.

TEM: [Laughs.]

TL: I still feel this to be true to this day, that the people I brew beer with and talk about beer with professionally, at the end of the day or the month or year, were a few years in front of what the consumer really wants to taste. So going all the way back to the '80s or early '90s in the pub environment, the consumer - and this is still true - really want a shock. They want the Jubelale. Big, big alcohol, big flavor, big everything. At that same time, a lot of us 00:27:00brewers kind of got bored of big everything. We wanted to refine things and make a simple, clean, crisp - doesn't mean it can't be interesting - flavors. Ultimately I watched the consumer followed that same circle five years later. At that point it seemed to me, as a brewer looking at beer styles and beer considerations, we were really held to strict standards back then. Nowadays anything goes. But a style guideline was a style guideline, and that's...that's the Bible.

TEM: [Laughs.]

TL: "X" color, "X" ABV, "X" malt profile, "X" hop profile, no deviation. I was brought up under that tutelage. It's been a little difficult for me to see what's happened these days and just, anything goes. I'm finally making my adjustments. I'm not saying that everything I brew is strictly to the style 00:28:00guidelines, but more or less, I look at a formula and consider why it would be this way or not. Some things have happened around here recently where I was like, "take the handcuffs off, you guys go." I'd say in summary, we really stick to style guidelines, and a lot of brewers wanted to make simple - simple isn't the right word - but it didn't always need to be [overly complicated.] Even way back then we were making golden ales and blonde ales and then trying to put some extra hops in them here and there. That's a lot of what we wanted to drink. Back when I was brewing there we brewed a lot of Black Butte Porter and Mirror Pond Pale Ale. That's what payed the bills, I suppose, and it's what the consumer wanted from the limited offerings that they had in those days.

TEM: Mm-hm.

TL: First beer I was interested in brewing - Tim Gossack was with me, he can vouch for a lot of this - was a Doppelbock. Again, German brewing tradition, 00:29:00very respected back then. We were brewing it at my house, home brewing it, that is, and we ordered a Domino's pizza because we were hungry. And then this became the name of Dominator, which is my Doppelbock that we brewed with Deschutes way back when. We brewed it here last year for the first time in ten or fifteen years. That's what I was brewing back then. I brewed a Vienna lager, that's what we did for our thirty-year anniversary. That was one my first recipes with Deschutes that I was able to scale up and take to the pub brewery and brew there. And when I was approached about doing a thirty-year project I tried to remember what I was thinking about back then and tried to find an intersection between back then and nowadays. I thought that would be kind of a fun way to approach this project. I'm not sure how well that worked out. We made a great Vienna lager, but my concept was to take the Vienna lager and rescue it from 00:30:00back then, maybe take some American Bridal Hops, not make an IPA or even an IVA - India Vienna lager or something.

TEM: [Laughs.]

TL: But still trying to put both concepts together. I think it came out more like the old-school Tony than the new-school Tony, but that's what we tried to do. One other beer that I was working on forever in my old-school days at Deschutes was my interpretation of a dry stout similar to or highly inspired by Guinness. And so I worked on that for years in the old days at Deschutes. I've never actually brewed it at Boneyard, strangely enough.

TEM: What did that process of tinkering look like? How did you work on something? Did you make smaller batches, did you try home brewing, could you scale? What does it mean to you to work on something over years?


TL: Well, all those and more. I think inspiration is key. You have to go look at what the best in the category is and try to aim right at that. So Guinness, for example, at first glance doesn't seem like a very difficult beer to brew. Well, it's rich, malty and roasty. That gives you a lot of masking ability to hide other things behind that, rather than a lager or a pilsner, which is very delicate and clean and comparatively light. See, there's very little to hide behind in a recipe like that. So going back to the Guinness considerations, it is a very complex beer in my opinion. I tried to identify what the complexities were there, like you would with any obstacle for which you have to find the solution. One of the more difficult things, in my opinion, that took me a long time to observe in that style of beer is how to nitrogenate the beer, how to get the nitrogen in solution. How much carbon dioxide, how much nitrogen, and that 00:32:00blend of the two to make that nice rich creamy head. And these different considerations is where a lot of my energy went on that particular project. I think I still remember that recipe. 15% roasted, 30% flakes...ah, never mind.

TEM: [Laughs.]

TL: So that was a long time ago, but again, just going right at the very best ones. It's not a bad job description to sit down with some of those beers that you're trying to emulate and break them down. I drink a lot of beer is what I'm saying.

TEM: [Laughs.] We were talking about hops earlier. Did you have an awareness of suppliers when you were at Deschutes?

TL: Well, it was a lot smaller game back then, but one of the extracurricular responsibilities I had at Deschutes - each one of us had some sort of an extracurricular; somebody was the malt guy, or the hop guy, or the safety person 00:33:00or something like that - so for a number of years I was the hop guy. I did my weekly inventory, created purchase orders to the hop suppliers, and because that allowed me to go up to hop selection and become friends with Ralph of the Hopunion and stuff like that. So I got to be familiar with that process pretty early on. I'm not saying I'm a natural at selecting the best hops, but I spoke the language pretty early on.

TEM: Mm-hm.

TL: The features, the contacts, the price per pound, the names and individuals at the different individual brokers. And hop varieties by brand and name, and things like that. So I was close to it pretty early. That was a lot of fun. Strangely, at that point in my career, Deschutes was using all whole cone flowers, raw hops. I'm a Deschutes kid, so that makes a lot of sense to me. Raw hops, raw hops, raw hops. It took me a long time to make any adjustments to 00:34:00actually use pellets or use oils. Strangely, after fifteen years of that transformation, I'm pretty much all pellets and not really raw hops. I think they make better beer to be honest. That being said, that time was very special in my hop considerations. I think a few other things happened for me. Boneyard makes mostly hoppy IPAs and ales and things like this. Historically, at least, that's what people think about us.

TEM: Mm-hm.

TL: So I went off and worked for Tim for a while, and then I ended up at Firestone Walker for a year. Strangely enough at Firestone Walker I was kind of co-managing the packaging department. I wasn't even on the brew deck. But, you'd be surprised, where does brewing begin and where does brewing end? I mean, the 00:35:00whole thing, if you're at a brewery, is brewing. Hop features, hop selection, recipe formulation, making a brew schedule. So I got to spend a lot of time at Firestone and hang out with Matt Brynildson and Jim Crooks and all these other brilliant brewers and see how they think about making beer. And how they made beer even though I wasn't on the brew deck. I picked up a lot of tricks there.

TEM: Mm-hm.

TL: Then I was off doing a bunch of work for 3 Floyds for a couple years. I didn't really work on the 3 Floyds team, but they'd bring me out - I was really tight with those guys - and they'd bring me out during times of expansion or difficulty with staffing concerns. I was always available for a few years there to jump on a plane and ride out to Chicago. I left the Northwest, went down to the Southwest and stayed in the Southwest, and then I went out to Chicago. And a 00:36:00few other things happened during those five or six years. It broke me out of my mold. No disrespect, but it broke me out of my Northwest recipe design formula templates, general procedures, and I was kind of freed of those constraints. I grabbed more pieces of my journeys around the country, and when I moved back to Bend, I took what I knew from Deschutes and took little bits and pieces from each one of those observations and turned them into Boneyard. And that's how we've approached our recipe design, our hop usage, our hop selection, hop whatever.

TEM: Before we move on to Boneyard, I am curious whether in the mid '90s - the time when you were the hop guy - did you go to farms? Was that part of the crossover of brewer, brewery and farmer? Did you feel like there was that direct 00:37:00access, or was the broker facilitating that? Historically it seems like there's been that separation, and with the craft industry that the brewers themselves are having a lot more interaction with the growers themselves. Did you feel like that was happening then?

TL: Not so much. The brokers would take us to the farms and show us how the operations take place. So they were kind of showing off, and we'd be introduced to farmers and farming techniques, and [they'd] show us why you might want to buy from this farm, that farm, because of the processing tools and attention to detail. There was a lot of exposure along those lines, I believe. That's how I recall it. Not specifically trying to bridge the gap between the user and the 00:38:00grower. You see a lot of that nowadays. Not so much for Boneyard. Maybe we've just been too busy or maybe I'm too old-school. A lot of my friends have developed that direct connection.

TEM: Mm-hm.

TL: Which gets them closer to quality control and individual understandings of this and that. But we haven't really done it yet. Yeah.

TEM: So, at what point did you decide that you wanted to have your own brewery?

TL: I think a few things happened. One is, I think I understood early on that I probably wasn't meant to be contained in a normal work environment where some third party was going to be responsible for telling me what to do each day. Or limit my potential. After that, I really didn't know what the heck that meant.

TEM: [Laughs.]

TL: But I always felt that desire. Either too creative, or too much a risk 00:39:00taker, who knows. I just always had that kind of fire down there. When that really switched gears is when I was working for Tim down in Arizona. I had some time, I was living by myself. Being left alone with your thoughts in the evenings, you start to take some notes and do some things. I had been in one particular industry for fourteen years or something and I didn't see myself ever leaving this industry. After ten plus years of doing it for some pretty intelligent people at some pretty bona fide operations I was like, I've seen a lot of stuff. I've done the Siebel, and I've worked with these brilliant people. I guess I made the decision that brewing was my lifelong goal. Now coupled with a sort of inner desire to take some risk and branch out on my own, I started 00:40:00writing some really funny little business plans, you might call them, down there when I was living in Phoenix.

TEM: Mm-hm.

TL: They were just notes to myself in a pad. I wish I could find them, but I remember specifically thinking, I like Phoenix. Maybe I can go buy an old gas station. And they usually have two bays. On one side I'd build a car or motorcycle, and on the other side I'd be making beer. And you'd put a bunch of picnic tables out front and you could serve the beer that you made when you were doing the cars and motorcycles. So that was my first vision. Then somehow I got up here and figured it out later.

TEM: [Laughs.] What was it like to return to Bend after having been gone for a handful of years?

TL: I never thought I was going to move back here. I moved back to the central coast of California, was back in my home area code and I rode my home neighborhood in the central coast. I was surfing and I was loving it. I had a rental here, long term renters were in there but they were going to move out. So 00:41:00I came up in the spring to sort of clean up the house and get it rented, and started hanging out with my old friends in the old neighborhood and I just never left. Bend's amazing. I didn't really plan it. I just came up and had a house that I owned. It was empty. I'll just stay for four weeks, and that was ten years ago now. It changed a lot. Bend had definitely grown up over that seven years I was away. The houses were bigger, there seemed to be a lot more money. There seemed to be a lot more culture in town, which I'm fine with. There was more music and food and art and all kinds of stuff. It kind of reminded me more of where I grew up. I was happy to come back to Bend. Bend's pretty much home now. I think somewhere along this journey I've lived in Bend half my life and I've lived in Cal half my life, so I think I'm from Bend now, not from Cal.


TEM: [Laughs.] So, talk about your cofounders and your cofounding of Boneyard. How did the translation between the notepad and the reality, the making beer, look?

TL: Like most things in my world, it was a very serendipitous pathway. I wouldn't say it was by chance, but you've got to stay creative and flexible and aware, and things seemed to happen for those who are looking for them. I'd been collecting that equipment that I was telling you about from at least thirteen different breweries. I need to go find that list of the breweries. Beer Valley, Valley Brew, 3 Floyds, Deschutes, Yakima Brewing, I think probably Firestone. I 00:43:00mean, it goes on and on and on. So I'd been hoarding that equipment. Picked up my welding skills well enough in those same years. So Maddy and I - who's still with me, long story there - would sit down in my garage and weld a [inaudible] onto a tank and configure this whole brewhouse. I should give Nick Floyd some props. He really helped get me going. His first brewhouse or brewery was a five-barrel brewhouse, really funny little equipment. That's what I first acquired from him in trade for some of my labor. That's what I was tinkering on. We'll get to the business part in a sec.

TEM: [Laughs.]

TL: What happened, though, is I was just about ready to launch with this five-barrel brewhouse and rented a warehouse, which lends itself to the conversation about where Clay and Melodee got involved. I'd released the warehouse, and they were the neighbors to that warehouse. So I was going to install the five-barrel brewhouse, and if I wasn't on the road trying to earn a living still, and I was in Bend, I'd be down there cutting concrete or moving 00:44:00some conduit around or just making it happen one day at a time. But through that process I got to know Clay and Melodee Storey very well, because I was subleasing from Clay and Melodee Storey. Well, they ran their gutter business in unit A, and I had unit B. So Clay would come around after work and we'd have a beer, and I'd be struggling with some project and he wanted to chip in and make it happen. "What are you doing over here, Tony?" "I'm trying to build a brewery." Clay's like, "A brewery? This is cool." There were a couple obstacles with the original partner thing that kind of fizzled out. So here we are. He was just watching me and helping out and lending a hand, and he saw some opportunity because I was struggling financially. And he's like, "Boy, what's it going to take to finish this?" I said, "I think about 25,000 dollars to finish this. You got it?" And he's like, "I can find that money." And I was like, "Cool, let's get to work." And so, again, met a couple or a guy or a team with some really 00:45:00great assets to lend to the project. The time was right and we got to work, and here we are.

TEM: What was it like to enter the market yourself at that time? So that's 2009?

TL: We were building in 2009. We kind of call Cinco de Mayo, May fifth of '10, our anniversary month. I wasn't quite sure whether to call it the day I got my certificate of occupancy or the day you mash in your first beer, or the day you sell your first keg of beer. I just took that whole area and made it our launch. So that's May of '10. The economy was really struggling, and craft beer had a lot of success and interest, but it hadn't quite popped off with what you're 00:46:00seeing today. I sometimes call us the newest of the old school, the oldest of the new school. Is that true? I don't know, but we're already here. It was difficult, but the consumers were starting to look for this. And if the consumer's looking for it, retailers out there are pushing it. Clay more than me would put ten kegs in his truck and drive down to Eugene, Corvallis, up to Portland, sell the ten kegs and turn it around and come back to Bend. And that's what we did for quite a long time. And in Bend of course. We did that. And there was a young distributor coming up through the ranks at that point, Point Blank Distribution. We somehow met those guys. So we had an event up at the Green Dragon in Portland, and the Point Blank guys came down and Clay and I and Mel were there, and we had beers, and developed a friendship which developed into a professional relationship. It just worked out really well for both of us. The 00:47:00timing, we got lucky. [It was a good arrangement] for two young companies. I thought it was a really good fit for us. A lot of the face of the wholesale distribution side at that point in time seemed to be dockers and top-siders and all this type of thing, which I didn't feel was a good fit for my brand. Hey, we're just being ourself over here, and you be yourself, and you be yourself, I'll be myself and we're going to love each other anyhow."

TEM: Mm-hm.

TL: That being said, this brand's a little rough around the edges for that time, and Point Blank came up, and these guys were wearing shorts and Van's tennis shoes and stuff. "I kind of like you guys." And they're like, "We like you too." So we made beer, they sold it, and I do think that we put a fresh look at what a hoppy style at that time (going back nine years ago) could be. A little less 00:48:00malty and rich, a little less bitter, just very floral and aromatic. We let the consumer find that out one beer at a time. That's kind of how we did things. In my opinion, I knew this early on, I couldn't afford a tier system. And really, if the manufacturer, that's us, could speak to the consumer, and we could have a bond or a kinship of sorts, the wholesaler and the retailer are just going to have to get out of the way. It takes a team. I've sworn to speak to the consumer, make a high-quality liquid, give them a chance to try it, and then if they repeatedly purchase what we put on the table, that was going to work. And that's exactly how, in my understanding, we were able to do what we've done over the last eight years.

TEM: Did you have people knocking on the door? What was that facility like? Did 00:49:00you have a taproom of sorts?

TL: Well, that's an interesting story.

TEM: [Laughs.]

TL: Because we just launched the pub this summer. No. I believed I knew how to make beer in a warehouse environment, I was a production brewer. That's all I ever set out to be. To work for myself, to make a high-quality liquid, pay the rent and mortgage. That's what I aspired to do. In that funky little warehouse on Lake Street, 2,000 square feet is what we got started on, in that five-barrel brewhouse that I was talking about a minute ago. Then somewhere along the line, I ended up a with a twenty-barrel brewhouse. Then somehow, we made 18,000 barrels out of that little warehouse on Lake Street. Those were not easy years. Everyone knows that if you're going run your own business, the first sixty 00:50:00months or maybe 120 months are all sacrifice. Clay and myself and Melodee and some of the other early team members were able just to hunker down. It was all tough.

TEM: Mm-hm.

TL: I mean, we lost a lot of staff along the way, it's fun to see those guys around now and share a beer and remember some of the interesting times. It's a start-up that had very little funding, so everything from engineering or insulation or building standpoint was kind of sketchy, not easy to use. Not easy on the eye, then you look at some of your friends that have really pretty equipment. So it's always a very tough environment to be at for not just myself but a lot of the employees. But we made it work, and we made some pretty tasty beverage out there. I think what really counts is the liquid that falls into that glass if the point is sale, regardless of the address we brewed it at. We eventually did put a tasting room in over there. We moved into the second 2,000 square feet of that building after Clay sold his gutter business, and that allowed us to break down the walls and move some things over and spill into the next 2,000 square feet. Then the original offices, which is about 300 or 400 00:51:00square feet, we were able to turn into a little tasting room. We didn't serve pints, we were just open from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Monday through Sunday, come get your three ounce samples if you like, maybe buy a t-shirt and a growler, and hear a little bit of the story, peek through the window, and be on your way.

TEM: [Laughs.]

TL: So that was good though. We got a lot of people. Bend Ale Trail came along at the same time. The interest in Bend brewing, or brewing and the world, or brewing craft beer or IPA. There's no denying Bend was vying for some statistics, most breweries by capita in the country or something like that. And 00:52:00so there was a lot of interest that came along with being a brewery from Bend. We capitalized off that.

TEM: I imagine, though, that there was a certain level of demand on your time that wasn't the demand to brew or to run a business. That if there is the Bend Ale Trail angle of giving tours or having people peek through, I would imagine that took some balancing or added an extra level of complication while it also added promotion.

TL: I mean, I'm living my dream, I'm all in. Clay and Mel were all in, they have since taken a backseat. They have a family to take care of, and other considerations. I don't know. I think I'm extremely tired. It's been ten years 00:53:00of nonstop, but I'm living my dreams. You get better each year at what you do. Some of the difficulties that I was expressing a few minutes back about the first five years of brew one have been alleviated a little bit. Being able to pay the bills helps. Being able to pay the mortgage helps. So those things have become less stressful. But, I don't really know how to juggle them all. I just do the best I can.

TEM: Yeah.

TL: We get better. We each do individually. I've set a lot of boundaries and goals for myself over the last three years. Have I achieved them? No. Getting closer? Yes. To have a better balance. A lot of people close to me have not been able to find a whole lot of Tony over the last ten years. It's difficult. I've 00:54:00got to get better at that.

TEM: When did you know you needed to expand? And I used "needed" on purpose. You can use "wanted" if you want. But when was the point when you realized that that facility on Lake Street was not a long-term solution or a viable solution?

TL: Probably year two or year three. I don't watch a lot of the numbers anymore. We watch a lot of the growth numbers from the nation, or from OCES reports here in the State of Oregon. It's gotten fun to see 40% growth. I mean, this is very common in this industry. I mean, we were clocking some names back then. But there weren't nearly as many players back then. So that was fun. That gets you moving. But at the end of the day that space just wasn't going to cut it, regardless. Pretty simple numbers. We either put the brakes on right now before 00:55:00year three is over and be confined to this little warehouse that's kind of just not...you don't want to hang out there every day. It's beautiful, don't get me wrong, but very tight quarters. How about this. It wasn't even year three and we were left were no more plays. It was either be done or don't be done, and we knew we weren't done so here we are.

TEM: [Laughs.] So how did you find this plot of land that we are on?

TL: Well, my buddy Sanders owns this building. The bank does not own it, so there's a difference there. And we were looking to lease a new warehouse to further our ambitions, there was plenty of stuff here in Bend. We got brewing here July 2nd of '14. We probably signed the lease almost two years before that. 00:56:00So probably in '12 we signed the lease. And in all of these neighborhoods there were lots of great opportunities to get big warehouses, but I kind of realized or believed that they were probably all bank owned, and a lot of real estate was very volatile, and you didn't want to get this much money in the project and then have the bank come repull it, yada yada yada.

TEM: Mm-hm.

TL: But Sanders and I, he's an old snowboard buddy of mine. We used to travel around the country and the world and snowboard together. And he was running his business out of here, he and his wife Danielle. They had a really fun business manufacturing. DANI - they made high-end lotions, soaps and candles. They had this kind of manufacturing plant out here already, correct voltage, power configurations I guess, and different little things like that. It just came together really easy. DANI was moving out, my friends owned it outright, and he wanted to see me successful and we cut a deal and here we are.


TEM: What was it like to come into a space that was this much bigger? And we were just in there, were everything is artfully arranged.

TL: Well, clearly super exciting. You know, the Lake Street address, as much as we respect and love it, it was kind of crappy! But we made do. So yeah, this building is a lot taller, a lot bigger, a lot newer construction, and easy on the eyes. That was super exciting. We actually leased half of it out for the first year and half, or something like that, because we didn't need all this office space and all this other stuff. It took us a few years to grow into the size and scope of this facility. It was just great. We just loved it. We ended up acquiring a property behind it. I think I briefly showed you guys that. So that way we could spread our wings that direction. Just amazing. Just happy to 00:58:00be here filling it.

TEM: What did you feel like you wanted to do once you moved here? We were looking at the pipe fence, also the different types of tanks. What were things that you wanted to brew that you felt like you could brew here now, that you didn't have the opportunity [to brew previously?] And maybe it's the question of, did you allow yourself to think bigger or think differently immediately, or was it a couple years in that you had some space to think?

TL: Clay and I had a lot of fun. I mean, this barroom you see us in, it's basically Clay and I in here. We're able to take a lot of risk, to adapt quickly 00:59:00to considerations and make those decisions rapidly because it's just me and him. We kind of think alike. A lot of friends of mine wanted to certain things with branding, or maybe move this direction, that way in the industry. They had to go through board rooms to make the transitions, and we never did. So we're able to act quickly on whatever the heck it is we thought was right. But we always wanted to be ourself. We still want to operate from that platform, not chasing any styles of beer. If we're not interested in it, I don't care.

TEM: Mm-hm.

TL: Branding, marketing, if the colors have gone pastel-y versus black and grey, we don't care. We're always going to be ourself. And I've always thought that was key. I believe in people that operate from that platform, that create high quality products under their own terms and conditions. That is definitely a success, so that's what we're shooting to be. That being said, going back to 01:00:00what we're allowed to think like or maybe act on here at this address when we have new opportunities because we have more tanks, more capacity, those were fun decisions to discuss. And Clay and I would go at them at length. We've had slightly different viewpoints. I said, "Well, let's put different skews on the platform. Let's get other things to talk about other than RPM." There'd probably be other hoppy beers called pale ales or other IPAs or other things like this, but it just could be diversified from a brand standpoint.

TEM: Mm-hm.

TL: And Clay is like, "I understand all that Tony, but if we stop putting up IPA handles, someone else is going to put an IPA in that spot that we left vacant. So I suggest we keep brewing IPA, RPM in fact." And so we would struggle over these things, and slowly over the last two to three years, because we increased 01:01:00capacity so we feel like we can keep that IPA handle in place and not let someone else grab that. But at the same time, start to bring more brands to the table, and see what the consumer wants to hear us say. And one that's been doing a really good job of that last year or so is that Incredible Pulp brand. I freed myself from style guidelines, we took blood oranges and put it with citrus and tropical style hops and pilsner malt and ale yeast and made this really fun new...not a new style of beer, but kind of a style of beer I suppose. Put that on the table and the consumers really enjoyed that. So we're having a lot of fun these days trying to put other stuff on the table. Just see where it takes us.

TEM: Mm-hm. So what has it been like to have a much larger serving facility?

TL: Marvelous.

TEM: [Laughs.]

TL: Yeah! Sorry to cut you off. Very exciting and very difficult. A lot of 01:02:00emotions going on there. I mean, it's very clearly been quoted, and it's known to have said things like, "We just manufacture beer." As a matter of fact, we rarely do any brand advertising or marketing. You know, I believe branding is slightly different than those two other things I just mentioned. But we did some trades with the local radio station at some point in the past which gave us some credits with them, and we did some ads. One of the very first ones was like, "No burgers just beer." We were kind of saying,' "We know how to make beer. We're not going to be deluded and distracted with other talking points that have nothing to do with making beer. That's for you guys, not for us." Well, here we are.

TEM: [Laughs.]

TL: We got a big ol' pub now that seats about 400 people. We got going this July. And in retrospect, I'm super excited. The industry has changed a lot and will continue to evolve. There's a lot of consolidation. Either the manufacturing or consolidation of the wholesale. And even at the point of sale, 01:03:00somehow there's some consolidation practices going on there. The reason I bore you with all that is, as we slow down here at Boneyard Beer in our expected annual capacity by volume that we brew, I'm going to take about ten percent of that and channel it down to my own house. That is not because of revenue streams or generation considerations. It's actually that I have a house that I can represent this brand through correctly. I've never really had that. So now when people come to Bend, whether they're beer geeks or not, they can come to The Boneyard and see that we have thirteen or fifteen beers on tap and that we do make things other than IPAs. And we have all these other expressions of ourself from brewing platform. Since we're doing that, we're going to bring food along for the journey too.

TEM: I mean, it makes sense. I imagine too that you get an interesting feedback loop of having that direct interaction of staff and people with the beer almost on-site.


TL: Oh, absolutely. I mean, hey, we're just getting' going. It's only been a couple months. I have a first big meeting after this, actually. Probably not the first big meeting, but we got past Labor Day, we survived the first couple months of summer. We launched in July - you know, that's pretty risky. We got past Labor Day, now we're going to exhale and take a good look around and see what's working and what's not working. That's what we're doing today. Again, I've been very excited, and even though I purposely haven't been there that much. That's not true, every morning we work on considerations and operations. But you're not going to find me there drinking a bunch of beer yet, because that's pretty taxing. Everyone wants to talk. But again, I'm just so excited to have the house, a domain that we can invite people over to to taste our wares. We went from probably 28 employees to 75 or 80 employees.


TEM: That's a lot! [Laughs.]

TL: But hey. The brand is on a whole different platform than it ever has been before, so we're just going to have to own that. And again, I think that I have now secured our spot to always be ourself regardless of other third-party interpretations of who we are. So that's what we're trying to do.

TEM: So, we are at the "reflection" point of the interview. I'm curious about the industry when you started, what are some things that you call out as really different now or at its core the same? And I'm broadly using the term industry, so that can be consumer, that can be producer.


TL: Well, I have a lot of thoughts on that. I try to wrap my head around it and that changes every six months or so. Emerging markets are evolving territories. You know, Clay and I have spent a lot of time right here in this room discussing what's really happening out there with some of the acquisitions at the manufacturing level. Clearly some of those mergers did not make sense financially. It didn't pencil to me. Like, why would company "X" want company "Y"? I know how many barrels they make, I know how much debt they have, more or less. The pattern is starting to show itself like spokes on a wheel. So, that's one of the first things that we're really paying attention to from the manufacturing side. And I see some of these similar patterns trending on the 01:07:00wholesale side. And if you take those two pieces of the pie together, it kind of goes back to what I was just telling my pub. It's going to be more and more difficult for me to control the direction of this brand. Historically, I think, brands could control their own direction for the last twenty years or more. There were a lot less difficulties...well, there was a lot less money! So they were a lot less challenges because there were a lot less speed bumps between you and your path to success, whatever that may look like to you by volume or revenue or whatever have you. So, now it's just getting more and more difficult. The competitiveness is fine. We used to show up at the Craft Brewers Conference or GABF twenty years ago, and believe me, it's still nothing but love, really, but it was a lot easier back then. The conversations that you'd find yourself having were nowhere near similar to the conversations that you find yourself 01:08:00having now. Conversations then were always, "Wow, this is working really well." "Wow, what beer are you working on?" "Wow, what's that malt?" "Wow, what's that hop?" Now you find yourself 25% of the time talking about other successes in the industry which are ultimately leading to other topics that aren't so fun anymore. I don't know. That didn't really come off very well, but I mean you got to pay attention to what's happening. I mean, I wonder what my opportunity may look like five years from today. I think we're going to be making as good a beer as ever if not better. I think the number of consumers in the Northwest is only growing, consumers for the craft beer space. But I don't think that would lend itself to a fairly user-friendly future. But, to be honest, I personally feel 01:09:00it's going to be more and more difficult each year, not easier and easier.

TEM: What I heard you talking about on the difference at the Craft Brewers Conference is that maybe you were talking more person to person about beer, about facilities and operations on a smaller more personal level, and then now you feel like it's more of like a larger industry discussion. So you're talking about trends, that there's that distance maybe, between what you're making, what I'm making, as opposed to...?

TL: It's possible it's the evolution of myself as well. Because I'm a businessman now and not just a brewer. But I would offer somewhere between both the things I just mentioned. But ultimately, yes, I believe this to be true: a lot of conversations that hold up individual boardrooms or at trade behind the bar or at a professional conference or gathering of some sort, you can't deny 01:10:00that I'll offend the room. A lot of conversations always end up going that direction. I would argue that it's very healthy. You have to have these discussions to understand what your future may look like or the difficulties you may be faced with. Some things, maybe, are more ego-related than bottom-line related. An example for me personally would be that I came here - I'll choose my words wisely - I came here as a snowboard rat. Fell in love with Bend, fell in love with Mount Bachelor, fell in love with IPA, craft beer, Deschutes Brewery, things like this. I spent a lot of my years on Mount Bachelor. Somehow I was able to launch this project and then, lo and behold, I've got a beer that people are recognizing, it's on tap at a spot in the mountains here in central Oregon that really are very personal to me. And then things happen along that journey 01:11:00that create obstacles for me to continue to feel as proud as I once used to be about that address. So is that my ego? Probably more than my bottom line or the books or something like that. It's always, like most things in life, a little bit of a wrestling act. I just remember, back in the day, all we did was talk about IPAs and snowboards and now we talk about this other stuff.

TEM: [Laughs.]

TL: So is that the industry, the space, or is that where my life has taken me because I got to run this ship?

TEM: Yeah. It's like if we could have parallel universes. We only get one, we only get one track.

TL: You know, and to be fair, America is amazing, and business is amazing, and I believe every business definitely has the right to run their business as they see best fit for them, regardless.


TEM: Mm-hm.

TL: And I think everyone should leave me alone to do the same thing. I'm really at a clean understanding of that. That being said, I have to understand how their decisions, whoever "they" may be, what obstacles [their decisions] may bring for me and my company.

TEM: Yeah. What do you notice about the people who are brewing beer? I guess I'm interested in demographics. So the people who are making the beer. Have you noticed a change in who applies for jobs or who you see as people that you would want to work for you? How have your colleagues within the brewing facility changed, or have they changed? This is the change, not-change question.

TL: I was going to start with the "When I was a young brewer..."

TEM: [Laughs.]


TL: [Laughs.] No, but it's the truth. When I was younger, I always wondered what it took to be a master brewer. I mean, I was a brewer for probably thirteen or fifteen years before I took the title of head brewer, and then about another five, seven, ten years later I said, "You know what? Maybe I'm a brew master now." But I owned my own brewery, so I guess.

TEM: [Laughs.]

TL: But nowadays I see a lot of people come right out of school and accepting a job because there's so much opportunity in this space to go grab a job at a brewery that's funded because of some statistics that show that a brew pub is going to make a bunch of money. And they give themselves the job description of brew master when really they probably never even brewed much beer. So now it's automatic.


TEM: Mm-hm.

TL: But these kids are coming up the ranks quickly, they're highly intelligent, they're thinking outside the box, the way I once used to, and making a lot of high-quality products that are just blowing me away. Same old thing is what I'm saying. I was young and cocky too.

TEM: [Laughs.]

TL: So there's some stereotypes of late. There's a lot of attention on this space, there's a lot of great events and festivals and activities and accolades and awards and travel. It looks kind of glamorous. But brewers definitely work hard. You have to be very committed, you have to be very intelligent, you have to be very thorough in your observations and your execution. I think you see a lot of them come to the space and they find out very quickly it's not near as glamorous as it looks from the outside. And once you got to get in the trenches and actually do all the dirty work...and historically, it doesn't pay that well. 01:15:00It's a manufacturing job at the end of the day. So it chases a lot of people off. That's been difficult for us. Currently we're at a really good place, and I can't tell you how happy from my desk that makes me. Because you're surrounded by good people that seem to be enjoying what they're doing, helping this whole thing that we do here operate cleanly, and [making] everything taste really well. We're doing really well right now. That's actually what scares me the most. It's taken the better part of ten years to get to standard operating procedures and some platforms - [but] it's still sketchy around here, believe me - that really seem to be working. Mark Henion, Ben Dobler, we just got a really good crew. Believe me, we had a few years where that wasn't the case. And that 01:16:00really is tough on everybody. So, we're doing well.

TEM: You were talking about that earlier, that it feels good to bring people into this company that you'd worked with before and that it was exciting to have old faces in a new space or however you want to put it.

TL: Sure. I mean, technically I can say I've got like three or four brew masters here, maybe four or five. And so that's building in a lot of buffer capacity and insurance into overall operations awareness and execution. But, more personally, these are guys that I grew up brewing with fifteen, twenty, twenty-five years ago. So, I have a character reference and a professional reference and a personal reference. And we get to circle back into this thing that we do called 01:17:00brewing, this thing that we love, and do it together. I hope they stay forever. We've been working really hard here in my opinion, on company culture rather than growth by volume. For two years now we really haven't been up - like 2% or 3% for the last two years, and that's by design. We let off the gas pedal. That continued growth was really taxing me personally and many other assets of operations of the company. And just really trying to take a strong look at making an even higher quality beer under more safe, more efficient conditions that are more user-friendly to the people that run the facility, so they go home less taxed and less stressed. That is a lot of where we're trying to focus right now. At the same time, I will not deny some of the other observations about how a lot of other facets of the industry are changing rapidly, and maybe not around me. So what's our best insurance? To make sure that we're happy, we're strong, 01:18:00we're doing our job as best we can. And do that for a few years, put our head up, take a look around and see what the industry looks like after we get done with that exercise.

TEM: What has it been like for you to go from working at Deschutes, working on the production side, to being very very hands-on with this company in its early early stages, to now being in your role? Does that feel like a natural evolution, just as you have grown as a person and aged and been a professional longer? What do you think about that transition for you?

TL: [Laughs.] This is what keeps me up at night. For years, for at least two years now. First five years, the volatility, the helter-skelter, the nothing but sweat and equity, is an area that I thrive in, I think. I mean, inherently - I 01:19:00use this terminology - I'm more of a hunter-gatherer than a farmer. So the first five or six years, this seems more like a hunter-gatherer project. I brought in Mark Henion and Nick Murray and a few other guys to try to think more strategically like farmers than hunter-gatherers. So, I struggle with this. I don't have a clean answer for you. To be brutally honest, I think other people would be much more efficient at what my current job description is. But you know, everything takes a few years, so around year five or six I've kind of committed to being aware of these topics and figuring out how to transform either myself or the operations to better nurture this topic, and we're about halfway if not more through that process. Where will I end up? Well, I'd like to design some beers again and talk like a brewer.

TEM: [Laughs.]

TL: Right before you guys walked in, we were looking at unemployment claims and things like this, which is just the very truthful reality of what it takes to 01:20:00run a plant of this size.

TEM: Yeah.

TL: So I surround myself with better people than I to try to run this thing. They're still answering to me, but I'd like to actually like to hand that off as well.

TEM: Well, I imagine that that "run" is a good verb. That you ran really fast for a long time with this company, so I imagine that it can be like, "Whoa." [Laughs.] That stability of size maybe.

TL: Well, we're working on a couple other things. We just got the pub open in July, and that's a huge project. I mean, a huge project. And the age-old proverb is "if you're not growing, you're dying", but I just explained to you that I tried to grow the last couple years in-house. It may not be for other people to observe or notice, but we were definitely growing and getting stronger as a 01:21:00brand, as a company, as a higher quality liquid, as efficient operations under safe conditions, things like this. Now the pub is another extension of the growth of the brand, so that's a big one. We're working on one other thing right now. It's on the streets, people know about it. We're right at the very difficult phase of the project. We're finishing up some permits and some financing and some things like that. We rented another warehouse here in Bend and we're moving into the nonalcoholic space, something we're calling Elixir. And I wouldn't really call it a tea, I wouldn't call it a juice, I wouldn't call it a soda. Probably has aspects of all three. There's a lot of movement in that space right now, and I wouldn't say we strategically sat in this boardroom and said, "We're going to enter this space!"

TEM: [Laughs.]

TL: What happened was we were opening a pub, and I said, "Let's make root beer 01:22:00and ginger ale and cream soda the way brewers should do for craft artisanal offerings for the youngsters or whoever doesn't want to drink booze.

TEM: Yeah.

TL: But as that whittled down and whittled down and whittled down, it boiled down into, well, starting another wing of the Boneyard brand. Rented another warehouse, got a canning line coming, which is interesting because we don't even can Boneyard beer.

TEM: [Laughs.]

TL: But I think in a space that really operates from a packaging off-premise consumption more than on-premise. So here we go. We have a lemon-ginger type of thing, the boys want to make a high-quality cola, which doesn't really go into my version of what the elixir thing is, but it is the most widely consumed beverage on the planet, so we challenge ourselves to make a cola. I think the next one is a passion fruit-turmeric. So not sodas, not juice, not tea. Highly 01:23:00carbonated, some natural ingredients in there that have health benefits, including CBD. There's a lot of movement in that space. Personally, it took me a long time to know what I think I know about it currently. I don't smoke marijuana, I did in the past, and it was from the hemp planters. But it has no psychotropic properties. But the further I dove down to the education side of it, for anti-inflammatory purposes or...mainly that is the platform I operate from. It seems like it has a lot of amazing health benefits, and it's an emerging market. So, we're combining all those concepts and putting them in a little package here, which will be going. The canning line should show up, I hope, on the first week of October. So, definitely by the fourth quarter of this year, we'll see a lot of traction.

TEM: Can you use industrial hemp to extract that, or is it from the actual 01:24:00cannabis plant?

TL: Industrial hemp. So it's hemp. Yep. And I think they strip it just like hops, take it off the vine or the stem. And they process about 90% of that organic matter and they extract the CBD from it. We're all hoping that there's some movement at the federal level, rather than state level, here soon to be, and that it can cross state lines. We feel real strong about it. We're really excited, and it's really tasty.

TEM: [Laughs.] Most importantly. What was it like to brew that thirty-year collaboration beer? What was it like to be part of that anniversary?

TL: Well, amazing. I mean for many, many reasons, proud to be invited on that 01:25:00adventure, with the other people who were also invited to participate in that project. Because I look up to them as my mentors and icons. So among that list? I guess. And that along with Deschutes, which clearly, you know, means a lot to me. They gave me my opportunity way back when, and that has made a stepping-stone for me to evolve and become who I am. It's also right here in this community of Bend, so then taking this brand that we've been able to achieve, and then marry it with the brand that I grew up on. I mean, it's just that and so many other things. And it also came on the heels of a really good couple years for me personally or for Boneyard. You know, we did the Widmer thirty-year anniversary a couple years ago, so to get invited along on that project was quite an honor. Somewhere between that and the Deschutes thirty-year, Sierra Nevada asked us to brew on their beer camp series that they 01:26:00do, beer camp around the world. And you're here talking to me today.

TEM: [Laughs.]

TL: I mean, what's going on? I've been doing this for quite a while and people are taking notice. I'm doing something okay.

TEM: What's the first beer that you remember drinking?

TL: Well, my mom used to drink Michelob. I think I was poaching her Michelobs.

TEM: [Laughs.]

TL: [Laughs.] Yeah, it was probably something like that. Then I think after that, as a young person having other people buy stuff for us in the corner, I remember we drank a lot of Mickey's Big Mouth, and then quickly that transformed. I was hanging out with this guy Kent. Two polar opposite guys, I 01:27:00mean he liked Rush and all these guys, and I liked Black Flag and all these guys, and he didn't surf or skateboard. But we lived in the same neighborhood and we combined our forces. And Kent really just was one of those peppy [inaudible]. To have that individual musical talent and things, he just took that same energy...well, he was a magician. I think we was wired that way, to beer. We would just sit around and go into all these imports. And after you drink your bottles, you'd kind of collect them in your room. And your mom's like, "What' all this?"

TEM: [Laughs.]

TL: Newcastle, and all these other things. So, Michelob, then Mickey's, then right into the imports. And then found Sierra Nevada. I was on the Sierra Nevada train probably '86 or something, '85.

TEM: What is your favorite beer memory? What is your favorite spot to have a 01:28:00beer, favorite beer memory?

TL: Well that a difficult one. I'm not historically someone that has a top three, a top three, a top three. I mean, that could change every three years, it's always evolving. In the last few years, last five years or so, I've been really fortunate to travel around the world a whole lot and drink a lot of beers in a lot of cool places with a lot of cool people for a lot of cool reasons. And I don't think I've even caught up to all those experiences yet and boiled those down because I've been kind of busy around here. We're getting ready to go to Tokyo in two weeks, so that one hasn't happened. Boy, you know...[whistles] I 01:29:00just don't got an answer for you.

TEM: [Laughs.] Well, I think that is an answer though! I think that you have that variety of experiences, and I imagine that ever-changing variety of experiences and memories and processing through that.

TL: Yeah. I'll need a minute to boil that one down. I'm looking for some extra time to consider thoughts like that.

TEM: What did you think that we were going to ask that I didn't ask you?

TL: What? Oh!

TEM: [Laughs.]

TL: Oh boy. You know, I guess it's like we briefly spoke about before you turned the cameras on. So, "Ok, what's the process here". I noticed you didn't submit any questions for me prior, and you said, "Well, you know, sometimes we do, sometimes we don't. It's really just going to go with the flow of things." To be 01:30:00truthful, I didn't even consider at all what we were trying to achieve here today before we sat down. I had it in my calendar, ten o'clock with you guys, and so here we are. I really did very little preparation. But I live my life talking about this project, so I figured I'd probably be able to fill in the blanks. You know, I think if I had to say something though, which I find myself repeating a lot but probably didn't say today, in this interview, is sort of my philosophy on manufacturing or brewing beer. Because people sometimes are quick to pass judgement on me for a couple things they may or may not have seen me consuming at some point in the past. And you know, beer brands, a lot of people 01:31:00are so excited about the craft space. They're like, "Oh, God" this brewery or that style, they just think it's everything. If you're caught drinking something that maybe doesn't qualify for them as interesting or groundbreaking, given my job description they can't quite bridge the gap. They're like, "I don't get it, Tony." So anyhow, here at Boneyard I have a pretty simple order of operations in terms of brewing philosophy: clean, balanced and interesting. What is a beer that's manufactured that's not clean? It's not consumable. What is a beer that is manufactured that's out of balance? It's probably consumable, but you know. The pint warms up a little bit, you get toward the second half of that pint and you're ready for something else.

TEM: Mm-hm.

TL: And what is a beer that is interesting that is not clean and balanced? It's interesting, but's it's not really clean or balanced. So, sometimes it's okay to have a beer that may not be interesting, as long as it's clean and balanced. And I often find myself choosing that style of beer. 5% alcohol, fizzy yellow little 01:32:00beer. And it's usually clean and balanced so it meets two or three of my criteria. In fact, the order of operations number one and two. So, when it comes to making beer at Boneyard, we try to make beer that's very clean, very balanced, and yes, we try to make beer interesting. Sometimes if we fail to make a beer that's not as interesting as you'd like, it still should be clean and balanced. Clean and balanced beer always wins, so that's kind of how we approach our game plan here.

TEM: I have a final question that I think you've kind of answered. But do you feel like a history maker?

TL: This is rather embarrassing. Last night, my partner says to me, she's like, "Man, I feel like I want to make a movie."

TEM: [Laughs.]

TL: This just last night. The tales never stop. No. I've got a lot of work to do 01:33:00yet. I think one thing that people took notice of for Boneyard or for myself is when I was able to bring some of the nuances and flavors and brewing techniques that I borrowed from other people and other regions and bring those back to Bend. And I came back to the Northwest and I said, "Boy, they haven't quite picked up on some of these techniques and systems yet." I said, "If I apply these here, people should take notice," and they did. So all I did is borrow some things from some other people and some other areas and bring them back to this neighborhood, and people took notice of it. And I did that before most other people in this region, so that's my story.

TEM: Do you think there's something that could happen that could make you feel conclusively like a history maker? Like, if you had a movie made about you? Not this interview.


TL: [Laughs quietly.] Well, I'd like to see what the next chapter of Anthony Lawrence offers. If I'm able to stay healthy and find some free time and apply that to what's next. I'm trying to find out what that is. So, we'll see if on that next journey there's something interesting. I think there will be. I mean, I'm working on some things right now, not the elixir, that may lend themselves either to continue the story of this person or even a brewing version of this person. You know, a lot of brewers want to, maybe, slow it all down at the end of the day. Go have a little brewery somewhere that's just their little tinkering spot, that doesn't succumb to the pressures of distribution or competitive revenue generation or any of these considerations you can think of 01:35:00that typically this platform has to be built from. If that happened on a little beach somewhere out of this country, well then...that'd be pretty interesting, wouldn't it?

TEM: Mm-hm.

TL: So. That might happen.

TEM: Dun-dun-dun! [Brief pause.] Thank you for talking to us!

TL: You're welcome!