An interest in home brewing has turned into a rapidly scaling micro brewery that aims to produce 3,000 barrels of beer this year and double that number in 2018.
That’s the vision of Grant Bolt, 27, who recently established Matchless Brewing and is now expanding into 10,000 square feet for production and a future tasting room.
“We’ll grow from there as the market demands it,” he said.
Bolt developed an interest in home brewing while at the University of Montana. As he worked toward two business degrees, he also interned at a brewery in Missoula, then returned home to the Portland area. He considered opening a craft brewery in Portland, but the market is “supersaturated” with breweries, he said, estimating that the Rose City is home to more than 60 breweries.
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Instead, he decided to move to Olympia because his wife is from the area.
But before the business took shape, Bolt went to work at Three Magnets Brewing Co. in Olympia and met Pat Jansen, a longtime home brewer turned head brewer there, who is now the head brewer and a co-owner at Matchless.
Bolt runs the business side of the operations while Jansen will run the brewery.
“He can taste a beer and reproduce it pretty accurately,” Bolt said.
Matchless began its operations by renting the equipment to produce an unfermented beer called “Wort” for Three Magnets, and to use for the fermentation process at Matchless, he said.
That has produced IPAs, such as All Fluff, Hops the New Fruit and Old Pine. The business also produces lager and has plans for Belgian sour ales. Another plan is to release the occasional short run of bottles, such as an imperial chocolate stout.
Locally, Matchless can be found at Vic’s Pizzeria, Three Magnets, Eastside, Northwest Beerwerks, Old School Pizza, Westside Tavern and Skep and Skein, Bolt said.
Chris Sinclair, a bartender at Northwest Beerwerks, said the business recently had a supply of All Fluff IPA and Canada Gold, a lager. He described the IPA as a little citrusy with a smooth and fluffy body, similar to a double IPA. The lager was clear with a little bit of hoppiness, he said.
“The IPA was a hit and the Canada Gold was nice to have around and it went quick, too,” said Sinclair about customer reaction.
Bolt said the business has 50 accounts in Oregon and 50 in Washington.
▪ Owners: Grant Bolt and several investors.
▪ Location: 8036 River Drive SE, Suite 207, Tumwater
▪ Type of business: Craft beer brewery, selling beer from Medford, Oregon to Bellingham, Washington.
▪ Years in business: New.
▪ Employees: Bolt and Patrick Jansen. Matchless beer is distributed in Oregon by another business, but in Washington it’s Bolt’s job. He makes deliveries to the Vancouver, Washington, area and Seattle every week.
▪ Online: Find Matchless Brewing at matchlessbrewing.com.
▪ Did you know? Grant is from the Portland area, but the market, he said, is saturated with breweries. His wife is from Olympia, so he decided to bring the business here.