Terminal Gravity Brewing in Enterprise, Oregon

Terminal Gravity brewpub and brewing facility
Built in 1990 the front house was a sausage kitchen, with a bakery added later before Terminal Gravity added the brewery.

On our way back from Joseph, Oregon we stopped in the tiny town of Enterprise at Terminal Gravity Brew Pub, where Mutiny Brewing’s owner, Kari, interned before opening her brewery. Naturally, for us this was the only reason needed to justify a stop at a second brewery on the way back to Walla Walla.  We saw the sign to it on our way to Joseph, so it wasn’t too difficult to find the turnoff and then the brewery.  Looking like a craftsman style farmhouse built way back when with wide, dark stained wood trim and retro looking hardware and fixtures at the front and then built onto, it is really a 1990 built-to-look old building that housed first a sausage kitchen, then added a bakery, then the brewery minus the sausage kitchen and bakery to become what is now Terminal Gravity’s brew pub.  With picnic tables outside and a small bar inside where the still hot air seemed like a heavy winter coat we knew we were on a mission to taste what was on tap with the intent of taking something special home with us.

A retro icebox style fridge inside Terminal Gravity's brewpub in Enterprise, OR.
A retro icebox style fridge inside Terminal Gravity’s brew pub in Enterprise, OR.

Stirling, our bartender, and a part-time brewer, has worked there for the last five of the 18 years Terminal Gravity has been in business.  They produce a lot of beers, the pub seems to fill to capacity during the nice weather, they have quite a bit of swag for sale and we have seen their 22 ounce bottles for sale in a couple of places as we traveled Washington and Oregon; apparently they also distribute to Idaho.

We tasted 8 beers from Pilsner style lagers to Quad style Belgians were on tap that day.  We came home with two bottles of the Good Gravity, a collaboration of Goodlife Brewing in Bend (where the beer was made) and Terminal Brewing, we will evaluate that beer in another blog as we haven’t opened it yet.  Our favorite beers:

  • Dortmunder Export – 5.3% ABV 25 IBU, this is a German Recipe that works well with hard water, which is what Terminal Gravity has to work with.  Clear gold with a white head this lager is herbal and clove on the nose with a nice malt body and citrus finish of Crystal and Ultra hops
  • IPA – 6.7% ABV 70 IBU this is the original beer that put Terminal Gravity on the map of Northwest Breweries.  Copper colored with a light head, this beer is full-bodied with nutty, toasted malt mid palate with apricot and grapefruit toward the finish
  • Tap Out 9.7% ABV ~40 IBU is a clear, copper-colored Belgian Trippel with a creamy head, white flower/floral nose and sweet treat and spice body
Early art for Terminal Gravity that hangs on the wall of the brewpub.
Early art for Terminal Gravity that hangs on the wall of the brewpub.

We talked motorcycles with a couple of locals, Deep Sea fishing out of Alaska with Stirling and, of course, beer with those that waited for their order beside us.  Lots of t-shirts and caps (baseball and beanies) left during our visit.  We had come across the bottles in a couple of places, but we hadn’t purchased many.  As we travel we will look for the four or five that are bottled and distributed.  (Apparently Hawaii is a fortunate recipient of Terminal Gravity beers!)  Watch for our review of the Good Gravity bottles – 2015 grape harvest is underway in Washington, so good beer will be a necessary part of the wine making process!  Have you seen Terminal Gravity’s bottles by you?  Have you tried them? What did you think, bottled is certainly different than draft.

Cheers!

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