New business — Operated by childhood friends, Deception Brewing Company opens to large crowd

The notion of two friends opening a bar together is uttered so frequently it’s a cliché. But for Ben Hoffman and Brian Wheatley, it became a reality.

“We grew up together. He’s two years older than me but we knew each other from city swim team. We were on that together from grade school until graduating high school (in Tigard),” Hoffman said. “After high school it was always, ‘It would be cool to own a bar,’ then Brian started home brewing in the late ’90s and just started getting better as years (went) by.”by: GARY ALLEN - New business - Ben Hoffman (left) and Brian Wheatley recently opened Deception Brewing Company in Dundee. The pair started the business after discussing the idea since attending Tigard High School.

The hobby took off a few years ago and the duo started considering the idea an actual possibility. Last weekend they opened Deception Brewing Company in Dundee, the result of almost two years of serious planning and work.

“It was a lot more difficult than I ever thought it would be,” Wheatley said. “You have this romantic vision of being a bar owner or brewery owner, but there’s a lot of work.”

The first hurdle was finding a space, which happened by mere chance.

“We hit a bunch of dead ends. In October through some mutual contacts we found out Jody Kropf with Red Hills was purchasing this property so we got in touch with him and found out he was purchasing the property because of the kitchen in the back because their kitchen is just tapped out,” Hoffman said. “So they just needed more space and he didn’t know what he wanted to do with the rest of the building and we came to an agreement, started leasing in January and started construction.”

Doing a lot of the work themselves, Hoffman considers them to be “walking zombies.”

“We haven’t had a day off since the second week in January,” Wheatley said.

But with opening weekend so successful they couldn’t keep up with customer demand, the pair say they are happy to be moving forward in the business process.

“We’re happy with how things turned out,” Hoffman said.

The brewery has four beers on tap at the moment, with the rest of their standard taps underway.

“We’re going to do an experimental tap as well and just let people rate it,” Wheatley said. “If enough people like it we’ll put it into production.”

Partnering with the Red Hills Market has also allowed the brewery to serve a small menu, including items such as Andouille sausage and wild boar pot pie.

“It’s been worth it in the end,” Hoffman said.

The tap room is located at 1174 S.W. Highway 99W. For more information, visit www.deceptionbrewingco. com.

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