Three New Portland Breweries in the Works: Gateway, Leikam and Culmination


There’s never a dull moment in Portland. Three new Portland breweries are in the works–Gateway Brewing, Leikam Brewing, and Culmination Brewery are all coming our way.

Gateway Brewing plans to be the first family-friendly brewpub in the outer northeast Gateway area of Portland, around the hundred and thirty-third block of NE Glisan. President/Brewer Joel Sheley is an industry veteran; he graduated from the American Brewers Guild in 1992, worked for historic but long-defunct Nor’Wester Brewing as a brewer/cellarman, and most recently worked at Widmer Brothers Brewing for 15 years as a cellar lead and a packaging lead.

Joel Sheley is setting up and licensing and setting up Gateway Brewing as a 1/2 barrel nanobrewery in his garage as phase one, while finalizing a location and 10bbl brewhouse. The goal is to open a full-size, family-friendly brewpub in the neighborhood within a year. Joel Sheley on what makes his brewery special: “we will be serving a community that we think needs a place where families can get together for good fun, good conversation, and good beer. This is also our neighborhood, so that gives us extra incentive to help improve and better the area around us.”

Leikam Brewing (pronounced like I “like ‘em!”) might be called a large nanobrewery, inspired by the likes of Beetje Brewery and Grain Station Brew Works. It will be operated out of a home detached garage with a Community Supported Brewery angle. I call it a large nano because it will be a 5 barrel system, a step up from the usual 1-3 barrel systems of most nanos. The brewery will also offer membership deals in the CSB format that pay back in promised growler fills and gear, and while there won’t be a tasting room, the crew plans to operate a retail side through year-round farmers markets.

Leikam is the project of 7 year veteran homebrewer, Theo Leikam, and his wife Sonia Marie. Leikam is one of the first prospect students out of Portland State University’s Business of Craft Brewing program. After consulting with many pros, Theo decided on the 5 bbl brewhouse because he can double batch to 10bbl for a mobile bottler or canner to pull up in his driveway and package the whole load in one day. The Community Supported Brewery idea was Sonia Marie’s, and is most closely modeled after Chicago-area Begyle Brewery. “The CSB model will be a part of the complete plan for the brewery, but I am going to also focus on tap houses, community organizations, farmers markets, and other local settings. We are working on when people can sign up for the CSB, but most likely by October 1,” said Theo Leikam. The CSB idea reminds me a bit of a Kickstarter, but instead of one-time rewards for your investment it is maybe more like subscribing to your favorite magazine. Theo Leikam continues, “Subscribers will have a few options. Subscribers will be able make an appointment for a growler fill at the brew site and to begin, we hope to have a booth at the People’s farmers market on Wednesday afternoons, since it is a year-round market. There will be expansion in the summer markets as well, for extra growler fill locations. We are really aware of our capacity and don’t want to over promise, so we will be dialoguing with our subscribers to also see what works for them.“

Leikam Brewing seems to be nothing if not carefully thought out and not overly ambitious allotting themself a gracious opening period projection of before the end of the year. Interestingly, Leikam Brewing is just a block or so from Bazi Bierbrasserie off of SE Hawthorne.

Culmination Brewing may finally be a reality. Having been written about multiple times since 2013 on The New School, the previous location near Providence Park fell through due to overzealous building inspectors. However, owner/founder Tomas Sluiter has found a nice spot in the newly developed The Bindery Annex off of 21st and NE Sandy. This new 7,000 square foot space will house a brewery and tasting room with roll-up doors at the front of the building with a parking spot right in front leased to a food truck for eating options. Stay tuned for more info and images.

More New Brewery Updates:
BTU Brasserie Chinese Food Restaurant & Brewery hit its Kickstarter fundraising goal and should be opening soon.

Montavilla Brew Works tapped their first keg (from a homebrewing setup) last weekend at Thatcher’s Brew Fest and finally received their building construction permits which have been holding up progress. Production is looking good for fall.