Beer Library hopes still alive
Oregon City Brewing Company impressed Canby City Council members in May with its vision for a multi-use, family-friendly brewery in Canby's old library building, potentially called "The Beer Library."
But the offer price of $10,000 for the 11,000 square-foot building that appraised in 2016 for about $952,000 didn't work for the councilors, who ultimately decided to ask Economic Development Director Jamie Stickel to go back to the company and ask them to consider a more favorable deal.
OC Brewing's modest offer came after the COVID-19 pandemic had drastically affected the company's operations, with the forced closure causing them to lay off 13 of 15 staffers. And the offer was not entirely out of place at the meeting where three other businesses had also submitted offers, the highest of which was $167,700.
But Stickel did check back with OC Brewing, and the company's Managing Partner Bryce Morrow returned June 24 in an executive session to raise his offer.
Despite Morrow offering the highest amount of anyone else in that round of proposals, he said, his offer was again denied.
Set on bringing Canby its first brewery though, Morrow still did not give up. That same day, he sent in another proposal with an even higher offer – his final – he said. He opted not to disclose the amount of the offer before councilors had a chance to review it.
"It's like the old adage: 'If you first fail, try try again.' So this will be my third bite at the apple here," Morrow said.
And now he waits.
"I can be patient," Morrow said. "That building has sat there for four years. I hope that it won't sit there for another four years even if I don't end up getting it."
According to Stickel, it is unclear whether the city will consider this final offer, but she said they are exploring all options concerning the library building. The topic has not yet made it onto an upcoming meeting agenda.
Even if his final offer is not considered or is denied, Morrow does not intend to give up on expanding to Canby.
Morrow said he was born and raised in the area and recalls frequenting Canby as a child since his dad worked in town.
"I really think that Canby is a great city, and I think that it deserves a great community gathering place like our brew pub in Oregon City," Morrow said. "So even if this deal doesn't work out, I'll continue to have my eye in Canby and look for a different location."
OC Brewing currently operates in Oregon City at 1401 Washington St. out of a transformed building that was once a carpet store. The company has a history of being charitable, having raised more than $25,000 in three years for local nonprofits.
To find out more or to plan a visit, visit www.ocbeerco.com/.
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