Since Montana's statute of limitations on a minor possessing alcohol has long since run out, it's safe to say that Dan's been brewing beer since he was 17. After some early batches with extracts, it took less than a year to trade up to all-grain brewing in a friend's basement apartment. The youngest of six in a family of caterers, he may have it in his genes to provide others with food and drink, and the early experiments proved a hit at weekly parties on Missoula's University Avenue. Dan tried his hand at the homebrew standards--stouts, porters, English-style ales, etc.--but also made a mean hefeweizen (no lemon, please), alt, marzen, dunkel, and other Continental styles. Since moving to Portland in 2001, he's quenched the thirst of friends, neighbors and guests--not just college partygoers but beer geeks who live in Beervana for a reason. After a slight detour for law school and the cat-herding world of criminal defense, Dan swapped his back-porch setup for a bigger set of kettles and fermenters. Dan has lived in North Portland since 2003 with his wife, Margaret. Their daughter, Jane, can legally sample Daddy's product in 2029.
Though it is true Ben hails from Missoula, MT, rumors of his raising by grizzly bears are mostly exaggerated. A man of tremendous discipline, Ben never tasted alcohol until he was of legal age. After circling the sun the appropriate number of times to appease the government, he sought to understand why his college buddies could never remember the night before. When his virgin palate repeatedly rejected yellow beer offered by friends, Ben instead embraced the bountiful craft beers available in the Northwest. Soon he was interning (read: paid in beer) at a local Tacoma, WA, brewpub, Engine House 9. There, he not only learned about making beer, but also how to earn a living doing so. The seed was planted. Forced to get a real job after graduation, Ben continued to “study” the ever-growing list of craft brews available, planning one day to add his own tap handle. Mercifully, the failing economy freed Ben from corporate life, allowing him to join forces with his brewing mentor, Uncle Dan. After living in Seattle, WA, for four years, Ben dragged his girlfriend to Portland in 2010 to focus on building Occidental. Their dog, Bentley, can legally purchase Occidental Brewing Co's products in 1.5 years.
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