as told to Bronte Dod | photos by Craig Mitchelldyer
My family and I have lived in West Linn for the past fifteen years. A year ago, I opened Coin Toss Brewing in Oregon City, which is right across the Willamette River. We now split our time between West Linn and Oregon City.
Sometimes we wish we were closer to Portland, so that we could enjoy “big city” life. At the same time, we also like the peace and quiet of the ‘burbs. Both West Linn and Oregon City are growing communities, and so many great things are happening. We hope the charm and livability aren’t compromised by the growth.
Where we live is all about the people. We spend a lot of time with our neighbors in West Linn. When we’re home we like to hop on the bikes, climb some hills or take the kayak out for a paddle.
I had my eye on Oregon City for the brewery, because it’s been underserved when it comes to locally brewed craft beer. Three years ago, there wasn’t a single brewery here. Now we’re up to five. Oregon City has been historically a blue-collar, yellow-beer-drinking town. We thought it might be inclined to support something local. Right now we self-distribute in the Portland metro area, sharing our story one customer at a time. Our primary goal is to serve the community of Oregon City.
We’ve been overwhelmed with the support we’ve received from the Oregon City community. It’s humbling. Our Coin Toss customers and colleagues are some of the greatest people we’ve met. We love the history and people of Oregon City. Since we launched Coin Toss last year, we’ve met so many wonderful new friends, often over a beer at Coin Toss.
I’ve been a home brewer for twenty years, but was never one of those people who thought I was going to launch my own brewery. I used to work in broadcasting, which was a cut-throat industry. After getting to know the craft-brewing community, I became convinced that I wanted to be part of that incredible group of people.
We were blown away by the collaboration in the craft brewing. Everyone wants to see each other succeed. The community’s enthusiasm has helped turn our dream into a reality.