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Craft-beer pioneer keeps it fresh through innovation

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Craft-beer pioneer keeps it fresh through innovation

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Craft-beer pioneer keeps it fresh through innovation

Karl Ockert Brewing Services LLC Karl Ockert: ‘I consider my experience at Anheuser-Busch as my master’s degree in brewing.’ Karl Ockert helped found a brewery in Portland, Ore., when there weren’t many around. He began brewing india pale ale before it was a style as widely embraced (and heavily hopped) as it is today.

This year, he returns to a brewery payroll just as West Coast brewers begin their push to the East.

Earlier this month, Deschutes Brewing Co. in Bend, Ore. — the seventh-largest craft brewer in the country and 12th-largest U.S. brewer overall — named Ockert as its new director of brewing operation. It brings Ockert back to a brewery in Oregon for the first time since ending his term as brewmaster at BridgePort in Portland, Ore., in 2010.

That’s no small deal. After graduating from the University of California, Davis, with a degree in fermentation science in 1983, he helped Oregon winemakers Richard and Nancy Ponzi open BridgePort in an old rope factory in 1984.

During BridgePort’s earliest years, when it was known as Columbia […]

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