Self Distribution – Let’s Try This Again

the_garageFor those following along, The Commons recently partnered with Morgan Distributing to distribute our beers throughout Oregon (see previous post). Morgan took over  distribution January 1, 2014 and things were going swimmingly. A handful of days into January we learned that Morgan had been purchased by A-B InBev. Speculation and rumors aside, this was quite a surprise and we were definitely disappointed. I’m confident ABI has a different business model than we do and as such I decided it was in our best interest to bring distribution back in house.

With that goal in mind, I began the legal journey to make it so. Oregon is a franchise state, which means regaining our right to distribute is not as simple as saying, “…thanks, but no thanks.” There are a number of stories/rumors out there about ABI /Morgan “dumping” all the craft brands in their portfolio. I don’t know all the details, or inner workings of this deal. I do know that I promptly started working with Morgan to exit our contract and within a few days we had reached an agreement to allow us to do just that. Reasonable people arriving at a reasonable solution.

Starting January 25th, 2014 we will begin self distribution again and will do so for the foreseeable future. The Commons team is well versed in self distribution and we take that privilege seriously. No doubt, it’s difficult work but we enjoy being able to build relationships with our retailers and customers. The beer will continue to flow throughout the Portland metro area and we are committing to a farther reach this year (Salem, Corvallis, Eugene, and Bend we are talking about you).

We wish our friends, the people, at Morgan all the best going forward.

- Mike


The Commons Brewery Partners with Morgan Distributing

Morgan will distribute The Commons Brewery beers in package and draft throughout Oregon beginning January 1, 2014.

“The plan from the beginning was to self distribute until it was no longer reasonable to do. With two years of self distribution under our belt, we are now ready to partner with Morgan to help us with the daily logistics of delivering our beer throughout Oregon.”, noted Mike Wright, Founder of The Commons Brewery.

“We believe Morgan is a good fit with our company culture and future goals. Partnering with Morgan allows us to give the appropriate attention to making beer, and building and maintaining relationships with our retailers.”

“We are very excited about our partnership with The Commons Brewery. By combining The Commons Brewery’s outstanding beers with our established business in beer and beverage distribution, we are delivering an exceptional product to a demanding, sophisticated market.” said Rachel Aughenbaugh, Craft Brands Manager at Morgan Distributing.

The Commons Brewery recently doubled its production capacity by adding two 30 bbl fermentors bringing its annual capacity to 1,500 bbls. The partnership with Morgan will allow The Commons to extend their reach and better serve existing customers.

The brewery started in Mike Wright’s garage in 2010 on a 30 gallon system as Beetje Brewery, which roughly translates to “little bit”. A year later the brewery was renamed to The Commons Brewery and began operating in small commercial space in Southeast Portland in 2011. The Commons is soon to celebrate its 2nd anniversary in early December.

The Commons Brewery crafts small batch approachable and balanced European-inspired beers. The tasting room is located at: 1810 SE 10th Ave., Unit E (entrance on SE Stephens between 10th & 11th). The Commons tasting room hours are: Thursday, Friday 5-9pm, Saturday 2-9pm, Sunday 2-6pm.

For more information, contact Mike Wright at or 503-819-0758.


For 53 years, the Morgan Distributing family has called Portland, Oregon home. During this time – more than half a century – Morgan Distributing has proudly served the area as a primary wholesaler of beer and beverages. Morgan Distributing can be found online at

For additional information please contact

Portland Beer Book Release Party

Portland Beer Book Release Party

The first book to cover the history of beer and brewing in Portland will be officially released at The Commons on Saturday, Sept. 28. The event is open to the public and will run 2:00 to 6:00 p.m.

The book narrative opens in the 1850s and runs through contemporary times. The heart of the story is the craft revolution that began here in the 1980s and continues to this day.portland-beer-cover

Author Pete Dunlop has observed the Portland beer scene for 25 years and based the work on extensive research and interviews. The book contains numerous photos of locations, individuals and artifacts from Portland’s recent and not-so-recent past.

Dunlop and Angelo De Ieso (founder of, who wrote the foreword, will be at The Commons on the 28th to mingle and discuss the project. Books will be available for purchase and to be signed. Anyone who purchases a book online or from a local retailer (official publication date is Sept. 24) is welcome to bring it to The Commons for signature.

 The Commons is a small brewery inspired by European brewing tradition and Northwest ingredients. Coming up on its second birthday, The Commons has gained a following for its simple, refreshing European inspired beers. They will have standard and seasonal beers on tap for the event and may be pulling something special from the cooler.

The Commons Brewery Releases Emelie

The Commons Brewery Releases Emelie

[Read more...]

Where to Find Urban Farmhouse Ale: Willamette Week’s 2013 Beer of the Year

Where to Find Urban Farmhouse Ale: Willamette Week’s 2013 Beer of the Year


Urban Farmhouse Ale was named Beer of the Year in Willamette Week’s 2013 Beer Guide. For a small, new brewery this is quite exciting. We realize our small scale leaves a lot of uninitiated people, so below is a list of establishments, roughly organized by geography, that currently carry Urban Farmhouse Ale. Check out Willamette Week’s excellent write-up on Mike’s journey from clean-shaven cubicle dweller to sort-of bearded farmhouse ale crusader here.

Note: Many establishments rotate draft and bottles. Because of this, the list will continually be updated during the next few weeks.

SE Portland 

39th Mini Mart (Bottle)

Apex (Draft)

BeerMongers (Bottle)

Beer Bunker (Bottle)

Belmont Station (Bottle)

Cheese Bar (Bottle)

Fire on the Mountain (Bottle)

Green Dragon (Draft)

New Seasons Seven Corners (Bottle)

New Seasons Hawthorne (Bottle)

New Seasons Happy Valley (Bottle)

New Seasons Sellwood (Bottle)

Lauretta Jean’s Pie Shop (Bottle)

Le Pidgeon (Bottle)

Pacific Pie Co. (Draft)

Portland Bottle Shop (Bottle)

Zupan’s Market Belmont (Bottle)

North & Northeast Portland

1856 Bottle Shop (Bottle)

Barrique Barrel (Bottle)

Beaumont Market (Bottle)

Bridgetown Beerhouse (Bottle)

Hollywood Beverage (Bottle)

Hop & Vine (Bottle)

Ned Ludd (Draft)

New Seasons Arbor Lodge (Bottle)

New Seasons Concordia (Bottle)

Made in Oregon PDX Airport (Bottle)

Saraveza (Bottle & Draft)

Whole Foods Fremont (Bottle)

Whole Foods Hollywood (Bottle)

West Side Portland

Clyde Common (Draft)

Food Front Hillsdale (Bottle)

Food Front NW (Bottle)

Hot Lips Pizza – Jen Weld Field (Bottle)

Little Bird (Draft)

Market of Choice Terwilliger (Bottle)

Whole Foods Pearl (Bottle)

Zupan’s Market Burnside (Bottle)

Zupan’s Market Macadam (Bottle)

Greater Portland Metro Area

Barbur World Foods – Tigard (Bottle)

Market of Choice West Linn (Bottle)

Made in Oregon Washington Square Mall – Tigard (Bottle)

New Seasons Cedar Hills – Beaverton (Bottle)

New Seasons Mountain Park – Lake Oswego (Bottle)

New Seasons Progress Ridge – Beaverton (Bottle)

Scratch – Lake Oswego (Bottle)

Whole Foods Bridgeport Village – Tigard (Bottle)

Whole Foods Tanasbourne – Hillsboro (Bottle)

Zupan’s Market Lake Grove – Lake Oswego (Bottle)


16 Tons – Eugene (Bottle)

Bier Stein – Eugene (Bottle)

Capital Market – Salem (Bottle)

Corvallis Brewing Supply (Bottle)

Venti’s – Salem (Bottle)

Market of Choice Corvallis (Bottle)

Market of Choice Willamette – Eugene (Bottle)

Vancouver, WA

By the Bottle (Bottle)

New Seasons Fisher’s Landing (Bottle)