Excitement brews for Clackamas County's first rooftop bar
Excitement is indeed brewing in Canby as Oregon City Brewing owner Bryce Morrow provided an update on the progress of the incoming Beer Library, to be located at, you guessed it, Canby's old downtown library.
Morrow's original plans had the roof blown off part of the building to provide an outdoor atrium for guests to sit at. However, his newest plans show rooftop seating instead. He said he believes this will be the first rooftop seating available in Clackamas County.
"It will have the benefit where it will be covered, the bulk of it, and then it will be heated," Morrow told city leaders at the July 21 city council meeting. "We will have infrared gas heaters in there.
"And it overlooks beautiful Wait Park. Public Works was kind enough to bring out an extension ladder for me. I got up there and took photos of what it would look like, and it's just beautiful with all the foliage. I think the community is really going to enjoy it."
Below the rooftop seating will be three retail spaces with large glass garage doors and individual access to Northwest Third Street. Inside the building, there will be four micro-kitchen spaces to create an elevated food court vibe and the brewery, for a total of eight tenants, Morrow said. As of now, he has letters of intent from seven, leaving just one retail space available on the Northwest Third Street side.
Beyond all that, the company will also have more than 200 French oak barrels on display and three massive oak tanks to age beer in. According to Morrow, they do not, however, plan to brew at the Canby location. That process will remain at the Oregon City location. But they will make some cider in house at the Beer Library.
City councilors expressed excitement at the new plans, and one of them, Shawn Varwig, admitted he's already a fan.
"Bryce, it's good to meet you in person," Varwig said. "I remember in probably about 2017, I was driving through Oregon City, and I saw the 'Free Beer' sign. And I said, 'I gotta stop.' … Then I realized there was words on top and bottom, and you tricked me, but you pulled me in. And I've been drinking your beer since, and I really enjoy it."
Varwig was referencing a sign outside of Oregon City Brewing that appears to read, "Free Beer," but in fact has ultra-small print below "Free" that says, "Wifi" and above "Beer" that says, "Great." So, it reads in full, "Free Wifi, Great Beer."
Varwig also suggested that Morrow name beers after all the city councilors.
Councilor Sarah Spoon expressed relief that the city opted to extend the library to a private sector instead of the city attempting to come up with a project.
"We often say Canby has all the puzzle pieces now; we just need them to fit together," Spoon said. "And I think this is going to be a huge component in fitting all those puzzle pieces together. … It's going to take us to the next level."
Councilor Chris Bangs piped in with similar praise.
"I think this is going to be a gamechanger for the downtown area, and I'm looking forward to seeing what beer is named after me," Bangs said.
Councilor Traci Hensley suggested Morrow will likely see big crowds on the rooftop for events like the July 4 parade and Wait Park concerts.
Morrow seemed thrilled at the opportunity to bring folks together at his Beer Library location.
"I like to say, and I think the same thing about Canby, that my company exists for two reasons," Morrow said. "One is to make great beer and the other is to build community."
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