A big name in jerky is hoping to be big in beer soon.
Following in the footsteps of their foodie father – the owner of Werner Gourmet Meat Snacks – twin brothers Daniel and George Werner are creating their own treat by tapping into a popular market – microbrews.
“This is actually where the jerky company started,” George said, standing in a shop next to his Tillamook home. “It’s big shoes to fill.”
Werner Brewing Company is now the third brewery in Tillamook – following de Garde Brewing and Pelican Brewing Company.
“Bend has the most breweries to person ratio of more than 3,000 people to one brewery,” Daniel said, “And now Tillamook has less than 2,000 people per brewery.”
Currently, Werner Brewing Company’s ales can only be found in Netarts.
The Schooner Restaurant and Lounge and The Upstairs Bar and Grill are tapping the brothers’ two beers: Trask Mountain IPA and Coastal Brown Ale.
“These were our two best flavors,” Daniel said. “If we had three solid beers, we’d be happy.”
The twins, 2009 Tillamook High School alumni, aren’t brewers by trade – Daniel is a general contractor and George is a certified mechanic – but a 2015 Christmas gift led to the new adventure.
“I think we brewed our first batch on Christmas,” George laughed.
Equipped with matching kits for brewing limited batches of beer, the brothers each brewed a different type of Hefeweizen – and now hope to perfect a recipe to add to their professional repertoire.
“We have a whole notebook full of recipes we like,” George added.
And they got this far by being self-taught.
“We pretty much just learned as we went,” George said, “We did a lot of research, some YouTube and a lot of reading.”
The brothers agree they work together exceptionally well.
“Junior high was our last fist fight,” George said.
However, the only lingering sibling rivalry doesn’t stem from who can brew the better beer – but who was born first.
“I’m older by a minute,” Daniel said.
“And that minute gypped me of three generations of oldest son,” George added.
The fourth-generation Tillamook brothers are currently moonlighting as brewers late at night or on the weekends and agree they hope to one day make it their primary career. Until then, the Werner brothers said the next step in their growth will be their bottled product and beer on tap at Werner Gourmet Meat Snack’s upcoming deli – set for a summer completion date.
“Beer makes people happy,” George said, “And I like to make people happy.”