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Microbrew on tap at Mahers Pub

by: CLIFF NEWELL Executive chef Alex Graham, left, and owner Mark Maher plan to get plenty of use out of this 15-gallon beer-brewing kettle during the summer. Lake Oswego’s Irish pub now is serving up home-brewed beer.

Maher's Family Pub is now making its own beer, brewed right at its own pub, putting Lake Oswego on the beer-brewing map of Oregon.

The idea is to make this beer delicious and indispensable to local beer lovers and later to other beer lovers.

'I love beer,' was Mark Maher's answer when asked why he decided to make his very own brand.

'Who doesn't love beer?' queried his father David Maher.

They figure that number to be infinitely small, especially when customers drink out on the pub's new patio this summer while they watch classic movies like 'The Big Lebowski.'

Showing a true Lake Oswego touch, the new brew will be organic beer.

'We're starting an organic garden here, so it makes sense to make organic beer,' Maher said. 'All of our hops and wheat will be organic.'

Naturally, the Maher family wants to avoid the pitfalls of producing a new beer, and the young man in charge of this endeavor is executive chef Alex Graham.

A native of Lake Oswego, Graham started his home brewing career at a remarkably early age (14), and he remembers his first effort being a total fiasco.

'This angry lady called and said all of the bottles were bursting in her garage,' Graham said.

However, Graham improved as a beer maker with age, and with Mark Maher's enthusiastic assistance he intends to turn out a most respectable brew for the pub. Graham plans to start out small then grow.

'We'll be pumping it out just here at the pub,' he said. 'We'll start out with a pilsner, a lager and maybe a cream ale. Then we'll experiment with a stout and some whiskey barrel aged stuff that has a great taste.'

'We're starting out real small. We're getting recipes. Eventually we'll have kegs and then multiple kegs. We'll even sell our first batch if it doesn't turn too stout.'

One thing Graham and Maher will be blessed with is plenty of taste testers.

'Our staff will be all over it.' Maher said.

The historic first beer will be a Northwest pale ale that is hopped up like an IPA.

'I want to call it 'Pipe Dream,' ' Maher said. 'That will be a message to a friend who didn't think we could do it.'

Maher's Pub is located at 352 B Ave. in Lake Oswego and is open seven days a week. The hours are 3 p.m. to close, Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to close on Friday; and 10 a.m. to close Saturday and Sunday, with brunch served both days.