Doug Rehberg / BREWER
WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO BREWING: Doug began his career with Widmer Brothers in 1994. Exposed to craft beers through his time in Seattle and his work managing restaurants Walla Walla, he moved to Portland with a goal: find a job in wine or beer. As luck had it, the first week he was going through the want ads, Widmer Brothers Brewing had a job listed.
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A BREWER: “Being adaptive and able to shift to whatever is going on is something learned from my time in restaurants. It is a good skill for operations at the brewery,” says Doug. “Being task oriented helps as well. Most guys here make a list for the day and it is all checked off by the time they leave.” Doug goes to taste panel everyday. It helps keep his mind towards flavor. “Understanding what the finished beer is going to taste like really helps in recipe development,” he says.
WHEN YOU AREN’T BREWING: Doug was car-free, bike-only for 2 years. He still rides quite a bit, as many others at the brewery. Doug also says he enjoys running, then humbly proceeds to list a rather impressive resume including, Hood to Coast 5 times and sprint distance, Olympic distance, half Iron Man, and Xterra triathlons and races.
WHERE ARE YOU GRABBING A PINT: Grain and Gristle, Saraveza and Hop and Vine are Doug’s neighborhood haunts in Portland. Saying he is spoiled to live next to so many great places, “They always have a good rotation—always something different. I get to taste international and national beers that I wouldn’t normally get to taste. It’s a great way to spark some new ideas.” Speaking to the communal nature of beer Doug says, “I like sitting at a pub drinking a beer and talking to whoever is next to me. I meet lots of great people that way.”
BEST BREWING STORY: “When I first started in the 40-barrel brewhouse, it shared a window with the Gasthaus pub, so people could watch you work. At the time we would make doppelbock in late winter. It was notorious for boiling over. In the brewhouse there was a set of stairs to climb to get to the kettle. Once you finished mashing in, you came to boil in kettle, then you went upstairs and get next beer started. The next beer I was brewing happened to be a doppelbock. It has lots of malt so it took awhile. So, I come back through malt room door to go down stairs, and can’t see anything. I know exactly what’s happening. It’s full of steam. I can’t see a damn thing and the pub is in operation. I turned on the spritzer and hose to calm down the boil. The fog starts to clear and the whole pub is looking through the window. So I took a bow. You were really in a fishbowl in there. People used to catch me dancing on that deck too. But really the best story of all is the people here. It’s why I’ve been here since 1994. The people day in and day out are awesome. They are what keeps me coming back every day.”