Old-world traditions and Northwest ingredients are coming together in a repurposed warehouse within sight of Willamette Falls to create Oregon City’s first beer in more than 100 years.

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Dave and Mark Maher want to open a taproom at 415 S. McLoughlin Blvd., in the brewery's historic Oregon City neighborhood of Canemah.OC attracted Dave and Mark Maher due to its proximity to the beautiful Willamette River, its strong sense of history, and its need for a revival of a brewing tradition that had ended when Henry Weinhard moved his operations to Portland in the late 19th century.

by: PHOTO BY: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Mark Maher enjoys using larger barrels for brewing at the Oregon City facility he operates with his father.Dave Maher home-brewed in the 1970s in Dublin, but he didn’t have the patience to let the beer ferment completely during his spare time as a taxi driver. Mark Maher, who brewed his own experiments while attending the University of Montana, honed his brewing skills by taking courses in beer analysis and microbiology for the brewer at Oregon State University. There he learned aseptic and yeast-acculturation techniques while visiting hop and barley farms on the campus.

With their newfound appreciation of Willamette Valley-grown hops and barley, the father and son started brewing beer together in 2011 for customers at Maher’s, the family’s Irish pub in Lake Oswego. Offering wheat and fresh-hop beers in late summer, they specialize in pale-malt beers like Irish red ale that feature hoppy aromas and fairly low alcohol content year-round. Due to its popularity, they started the Feckin Irish Brewing Company in Oregon City, where they went from a 1.5-barrel system to a 7-barrel system.

“The quality of the beer has really jumped as we’re able to keep things much cleaner and colder in our new setup here,” Mark Maher said. “We’ve really come a long way from brewing in our garage.”

Although they are “tapped out” of capital funds, they now want to open a taproom at 415 S. McLoughlin Blvd., in the brewery’s historic neighborhood of Canemah about a mile south of downtown. Through, they’re looking to raise $15,000 to build the bar.

People already have pledged more than $2,400 as of last week, with a deadline of Saturday, Jan. 18, to fund the project. The Mahers are offering backers of $275 or more the opportunity to brew with them before a traditional Irish lunch; smaller backers get posters, pint glasses and/or clothing with Feckin logos.

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