Established: January 1990
2012 Brewery Production: 126 batches • 1498 kegs • 185,752 pints
The Thompson brewery, which opened in 1990 in a house built 85 years earlier for a Civil War veteran, is the longest-running post-Prohibition brewpub in Salem. A succession of brewers with big, strong personalities created a number of beers with big, strong personalities. All which satisfies the big, strong personalities of Thompson's regulars just fine, thank you very much.
Black Widow Porter — featuring a healthy dose of black licorice — is one such brew of distinction. The Widow (as well as a sweet woodruff-infused version know as the Black Widower) still ventures out into the light every year around Halloween. Beer behemoths such as Old Cthulu, Romulan Imperial Ale and Pole Ax -- all big ideas that grabbed hold and found voices in the Thompson's old stainless Grundy fermenters.
Today, Thompson brewer Jennifer Kent keeps cantankerous resident spirit Franklin at bay while creating all kinds of interesting and unique ales. Here you will find such concoctions as Ginger Red, Spanish Coffee Porter, Magnuson Strong Ale (a tribute to a Thompson regular lost), and Bumble Blue Pale Ale. Jennifer's fine ales also represent at outside events such as the Oregon Garden Brewfest in Silverton and the Yamhill Lavender Festival.
Thompson's Barley Cup Brewfest held every September, and presided over by the Capital City Homebrewers, is one of the most popular of McMenamins brewfests.
Interested in purchasing a keg? Call the brewery at (503) 371-2945 and review our list of keg sales frequently asked questions.