Ready to serve: Seven Brides named Business of the Year

February 2014 Posted in Business
Seven Brides Brewing has been named Business of the Year.

Seven Brides Brewing has been named Business of the Year.

By Brenna Wiegand

Raise a pint to Seven Brides Brewing, Silverton’s Business of the Year. They started as some homegrown guys with a homebrew so good the family said they ought to bottle it.

In 2008, Josiah Kelley, Jeff DeSantis and Ken DeSantis opened Seven Brides Brewing in Jeff’s shop. Eighteen months later they slipped into 1,100 square feet behind Almquist Studios before coming to rest at 990 N. First St., in May of 2010.

The 12,000-square-foot facility includes a tap room/restaurant, offices and meeting space. It is also home to Vitis Ridge Winery and Tasting Room.

In 2011, Seven Brides won a $50,000 Silverton Urban Renewal Agency grant – an investment Kyle Palmer, 2013 First Citizen, says turned out to be “the very model of what urban renewal funds should be used for.”

It hadn’t occurred to anyone that all those square feet would provide such badly needed Silverton meeting and event space for groups of up to 150.

Seven Brides instituted Septoberfest, a fresh-hop beer festival with 22 guest breweries to raise funds for breast cancer research. It served up 233 free Thanksgiving meals, with all donations going to Silverton Area Community Aid, said event coordinator Carri Lichty.

Chef Casey Craig creates gourmet beer-pairing dinners and the taproom features such regular happenings as Monday Night Trivia and Theology on Tap Thursdays. And they’re now open seven days a week. On New Year’s Eve, they hosted a midnight run/walk to benefit the Silver Falls YMCA.

First Citizen Banquet
Saturday, Feb. 15, 5:30 p.m.
Oregon Garden Pavilion,
879 W. Main St. Silverton
Tickets, $35 per person.
Silverton Chamber,
426 S. Water St.

“They strive to keep everything as local as possible, using certified Oregon hops and grain from Vancouver, Wash.; working with local food purveyors for baked goods, meats, produce and even coffee,”  Trina Riemersma said.

“We use our whole community as a resource to build our brand,” Kelley said. “We couldn’t be who we are today without the rest of Silverton being who they are.”

“With beer tourism growing, we can actually be a draw the rest of the community can capitalize on.”

Seven Brides is known for stepping in where help is needed, whether hanging Christmas garland or staging an upcoming bike run, and have helped facilitate fundraisers for numerous groups.

Josiah Kelley is one of the owners of Seven Brides, 2013 Business of the Year.

Josiah Kelley is one of the owners of Seven Brides, 2013 Business of the Year.

“They opened their doors for our Kiwanis Club garage sales,” Canen Madsen said. “We actually made $3,000 three different times.”

Jeff’s on the planning commission and city budget committee. Josiah is active with the Silverton Chamber of Commerce and the Silver Falls YMCA. And you can find them at the Silverton Fine Arts Festival.

“I view beer as a couple of things,” Kelley said. “It’s value-added agriculture and it’s art. We have made over 40-50 styles of beer since we’ve been in business and we’re making new ones all the time.”

Crooked Finger IPA, to be released in a few weeks, has been a persistent brainchild of Kelley’s for two years until he finally found the right hops.

“It’ll be very different,” he said. “With the testing we’ve done so far I believe that it will be a flagship beer…”

“For eight years on the council, we’ve talked about how to help get businesses started from the ground up,” Kyle Palmer said, “…and that’s exactly what has happened with Seven Brides.”

“There were some naysayers out there,” Jeff DeSantis said, “but the only thing we can do to prove them wrong is to be successful and to continue to provide 20+ jobs, and continue to grow and increase the tax base and diversify the tax base.”

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