Wed - Thu: 4pm - 9pm
Fri - Sat: Noon - 10pm
Sun: Noon - 9pm
Mon - Tue: Closed
Open Monday on Memorial Day and Labor Day
Fearless Brewing Company
326 S. Broadway St.
Estacada, OR 97023
(The center of the brewing universe)
4 - 6 weekdays
If you would like a restaurant or store near you to carry our beers, simply print this flyer and hand it to them.
The Vikings of lore feared nothing, and that was the spirit embraced by Ken Johnson, a hard headed Swede if there ever was one, when he talked his wife, Bennett, into risking their life savings on starting a brewery in the small, rural community of Estacada, Oregon. Luckily Bennett came from equally tenacious stock and so it was that Fearless Brewing Company was born.
ROMANCE AND BEER
The Johnsons met each other as neighbors and active community volunteers. Ken, who had grown up farming the same Nebraska corn farm homesteaded by his great grandfather in 1878 and farmed by his grandfather and father before him, had moved to Oregon to pursue his love of performance cars. Bennett, who grew up in the countryside west of Eugene, was an executive at a large northwest nonprofit.
After dating a few years the two married. Soon after Ken merged his automotive engine machining business with a parts distributor and became the company president. Bennett thought Ken was obsessing over the business way too much, so she decided he needed a hobby. Ken had mentioned an interest in home brewing, so Bennett bought him a starter brewing kit for Christmas.
It wasn't long before home brewing became Ken's new obsession. Soon their living room was filled with glass carboys full of fermenting beer. Bennett knew that their lives were forever changed when they had to add a new garage bay to the house in order to accommodate Ken's brewing.
Ken began entering his beer in competitions, winning medals nearly every time. To this day he remains most proud of his silver medal from the Masters Championship in Amateur Home Brewing (MCAB) which draws serious home brewers from all over the world. The Johnsons took this as a sign and began hatching a business plan to open a brewery and pub, with a rural twist. After three years of planning and saving money, the Johnsons found a 5000 square foot building in Estacada, Oregon, a small, rural town located on the Clackamas River and at the base of the majestic Mt. Hood National Forest. Ken was sure there is no better water for brewing beer than that of the Clackamas River.FEARLESS WAS BORN
And so it was that Fearless Brewing Company opened its doors on June 6, 2003 serving their first commercially produced beer, Bennett's Pale Ale. It wasn't long before locals, kayakers and rafters, hikers and campers, bikers and bicyclists visiting the area found the way to Fearless.
Those people became the cornerstone for Fearless Brewing Company's expansion into the Portland beer market. As demand for Fearless Beer grew, Ken decided to increase production and self-distribute his excess product.CANS OVER BOTTLES
In 2010 the Johnsons decided that it was time to begin packaging their beer in smaller containers. They chose 16 ounce cans over bottles because cans are a much greener choice and cans are better at protecting beer from its two worst enemies, UV light and oxygen. Plus, cans are just more outdoor friendly.
Fearless is on tap throughout Oregon and Washington and the cans are sold in most major supermarkets in addition to many convenience and specialty shops.AND WHAT IS WITH THOSE TRICKY BEER NAMES?
Several of the beers are named after mythical Viking characters, in honor of Ken's Swedish ancestry. Mjolnir (pronounced Mule-nir) was Thor's magical battle hammer, and Loki was Thor's bad-boy brother.THE NAME "FEARLESS"
Everyone asks where the name "Fearless" came from. If you ask Ken (he was the one who actually chose the name) he will tell you it was his childhood nickname. If you ask Bennett she will tell you that you pretty much have to be fearless to open a brewery and pub way out in the sticks and so far off the beaten track.FEARLESS FUTURE
What does the future hold for Fearless Brewing Company and the Johnsons? Here is what Ken has to say on the subject: "We started this place with little debt, no investors, no partners and no generous relatives. Our reluctance to assume debt has probably inhibited our growth, but we own our destiny. Our new brewing system and canning line, completed April 2015, has more than tripled our production capacity."
"We will continue to add to our line-up of beers in cans. We recently built a building just to house the cans. Every time we put a new beer in cans we have to buy about 150,000 cans, which take up a lot of space. The next time we run out of room and excess capacity we will just have to build a new brewing plant. Life could be worse!"
"We are now distributed in most areas of Oregon and Washington and our beer is now traveling to Canada. In the near future we plan to add distribution to California and Idaho, and beyond."
The Johnsons are grateful to the community, to friends and family who provided support and elbow grease when they were trying to open, and to their wonderful customers. They feel blessed in many ways.