From dishwasher to head brewer, from trash heap to production brewery, Boneyard Beer has climbed from humble origins to the top of the Oregon beer scene.
“The skull references stuff that was left out to die,” co-founder and brewer Tony Lawrence said, explaining Boneyard Beer’s distinctive logo. “The cross bone wrenches are because we do most of our own welding. We like to be pretty handy with the tools.” And they’ve had to be. Nearly every piece of equipment at Boneyard was discarded by another brewer (they have equipment from at least 13 breweries) before Tony and his crew patched, polished and cobbled it together to build one of Bend’s most successful breweries.
Since their first beer was released in May 2010, Boneyard Beer has become synonymous with high-quality IPAs with brews like RPM and Hop Venom earning widespread recognition. Tony credits their success to what was, at the time, a different approach to the category. “It’s about having a beer that’s hoppy and floral in aroma rather than being bitter. I often laugh about people who post about their 120 IBUs. That’s such a crappy reference.”
Tony’s also trying to take more time to appreciate Boneyard’s success. “We’ve been working so hard in this humble little building on a dead-end street that I know nothing else. I’m still having a difficult time realizing what we have achieved. I do the numbers every month so I’ve seen the growth curve and that’s pretty rewarding but in the last year there have been so many kind comments from people, bar owners and home brewers, all interested in what we’re doing and I’ve really gotten a kick out of that. That’s what’s made me feel like we’re doing something and we’re being noticed.”