Getting to Know Central Station Taps
How do you go from dreaming about a place where people in the community can enjoy local beers to making it reality? Central Station Tap owners, Bill and MaryBeth sat down to share their story.
Where did your love and passion for beer start?
Bill - "My dad, Grandpa Bill, was not a huggie, lovie guy. "I love you" was not a phrase that came out easily for him. But he showed his love with a welcoming ice cold beer. Family and my friends were always greeted with his warm smile and a PBR. I have enjoyed a cold beer for longer then I care to admit. I should interject here that cheap beer was his thing. Which is why we generally keep PBR on tap amongst the craft brews. And we have an homage to Grandpa with a picture of him holding up his favorite beer at his favorite spot on the Oregon coast, the flag from his funeral, for his service in the coast guard, and a PBR tap handle. My passion for craft beer developed along with the craft beer scene in Portland. I love trying different beers and have never tried a beer that I could not finish."
When did you decide to open a taphouse and what was that decision like? Bill - "I have always loved beer and a basic bar. I travel for my "real job" and often end up spending the night within walking distance of a bar. A bar/taproom is my happy place. I have always thought that standing behind a bar and talking and pouring beer would be a great job. The start of Central Station was New Years Eve 2018. Our family was having an enjoyable time in Seaside at the Relief Pitcher. We got to talking with our kids, Billy and Maggie, about their futures, hopes and dreams. The idea of a Taproom came up during that discussion. The tables were turned and it was more about my dreams and starting a taproom in Beaverton.
At the time there were few places for young adults to gather in Beaverton so they would go downtown. A casual taproom seemed like a good idea. We talked about it most of the evening. I went along assuming the idea would be forgotten in the morning. They remembered."
MaryBeth - "We were drinking with our kids and Bill was daydreaming about a taproom as usual. Billy was lamenting that Beaverton needed better places to drink so he and his friends wouldn’t always have to go to Portland. Next thing we knew, Billy and Maggie had started to write a business plan with market research and the whole bit—I guess those economics and business degrees paid off! Yay OSU!"
How did you decide that it would be a family business?
Bill - "I woke up January 1, 2019 with my family on their computers developing a business plan for the taproom. This was always going to be a family business. I can sell and talk to people but an actual plan is not in my wheel house. They did the plan and I crunched the numbers over the next few months. I thought the idea would fade away when the initial investment from all was discussed but they kept going. We looked at a few options but the location across the street from where we live was a perfect spot for a family business."
You've brewed your own beer, can you share how that helped prepare you for opening a tap house?
Bill - "I started brewing in 2013. The brew kit was a birthday gift from my kids. Brewing is a messy, smelly process when you do it in your kitchen. "Sticky Floors' would be a great name for a craft beer.
We tried to bottle once but kegging was easier and we went through it pretty fast. I had the perfect refrigerator in the garage and centered a tap coming out the side and built a small bar (in the garage, very classy). We had a problem when we decided to brew a second beer. Does the tap go to the left or the right of your first tap. Then it's not centered so we added two more for a total of three. All was centered. We did not experiment too much but came up with a Pale, an IPA, and a Red that we liked and always brewed. It was always about sharing with family and friends. We welcomed people to our home with a cold beer.
MaryBeth - "Symmetry is a really big deal for Bill! So two taps that were off-center was never a viable option!" What is your hope for the tap house in the Beaverton community?
Bill - "We seek to create a warm, inviting space for people to gather and try local beers, ciders, and wines, to chat with friends, old and new, and experience the Central Beaverton area. Our plan is to live, work, and volunteer in the Beaverton community. My hope is that the community enjoys our casual taproom."
What sort of beers and drinks do you hope to share with your customers?
Bill - "We have plenty of Oregon beers on tap but do not limit ourselves to this area. We want to try as many beers as possible. With few exceptions we try and put something different on when a keg blows. We want our menu to be different every time you come in. We hope you will be open to trying new tastes. Thats why you come to a taproom. They are all great.
MaryBeth - "I’ve never thought about 'curating' taps, because the term seems more in line with a museum or art gallery, but that is exactly what Amy and Bill do. They put a lot of time and effort into keeping our taps fun, interesting, and appealing to a variety of palettes/preferences. And we also keep in mind our patrons who don’t drink with non-alcoholic beers, citrus-derived CBD drinks, and soda and juice for the kids. We also have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to craft breweries and cideries, so it’s fun to be able to support them."
We hope you come by to try out a few taps and say hello!