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‘Born in Bend – our home’: Crux has no plans to leave, despite putting its tasting room property up for sale

(Update: adding video, comment from managing director)

Instead, it plans to lease SW Division site back; $5.5 million sale will 'free resources to reinvest'

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — Crux Fermentation Project announced Monday that it's selling the property that has served as the brewery’s iconic Bend tasting room since 2012 -- but only with the intention of leasing it back from the new owners.

Cam O'Connor, the managing director, said Tuesday, "It's really going to solidify our financial position as a company moving forward. It's going to be a nice cash infusion to the to the business."

In regards to its long-term goals, O'Connor said, "We were born in Bend and, you know, this is this is our home." He says Crux does not intend on leaving Bend or finding a new property for the tasting room.

O'Connor also is adamant that the sale won't impact customer experience. "We'd just have new owners that we're paying rent to every month, and the customer is really not going to see that much change here."

When asked if Crux is concerned they won't be able to lease the property back after a sale, O'Connor said, "We haven't really made a decision on any of that. Right now, we're really pushing forward for the lease, the sale and lease-back option."

Here's the rest of Crux's announcement:

Listed by Bend’s Compass Commercial Real Estate Service for $5.5 million, Crux says the sale of the building at 50 SW Division Street in Bend will generate resources that will reinforce its current growth and continue to invest in innovative new products, including its expanding portfolio of non-alcoholic and unique craft beers.

Crux says it "aims to establish a long-term lease agreement to ensure the sustained presence of their iconic pub, a vital component of the Crux brand and a cornerstone in the Bend community."

“We’re so proud of how Crux has become one of Bend’s most beloved gathering places, even beyond our original expectations,” said Paul Evers, who partnered with Larry Sidor in 2012 to launch Crux. “When we first opened our doors 12 years ago, we were tucked away, off the beaten path, in an old industrial area. Now, we have a front-row seat overlooking the new development catalyzing Bend's next exciting chapter, right below the view of the Cascade Range.”

Crux converted the former AAMCO transmission shop into its tasting room and production facility in 2012. The brewery later expanded the building to 8,816 square feet, adding additional indoor seating and a new bar. The grassy area of the 1.57-acre property has also become one of Bend’s most popular outdoor hangouts, filled in the warmer months with patrons who want to take in Central Oregon’s sunshine and stunning sunsets while enjoying Crux’s award-winning craft beers.

“From the beginning, our dream was to create incredible craft beer and a true family-friendly public house for all to come and enjoy,” said Sidor, co-owner and co-founder of Crux Fermentation Project. “Rest assured, Crux will continue to be a place for this community to come together.”

In addition to continuing operations at the Bend tasting room and its first Portland Pub, Crux says it will continue to operate its 40,000-square-foot brewing facility in northeast Bend. 

Crux’s retail sales are also strong. Over the six-month period that ended on March 31, Crux’s NØMØ line of non-alcoholic beers was the top-selling locally brewed non-alcoholic beer in the Pacific Northwest, according to data from Chicago-based research firm Information Resources Inc. Crux was also the fastest-growing Central Oregon brewery for retail sales of craft beer over the same period.

“Even in a challenging market for craft beer, we’ve managed to increase our beer sales and grow our pubs,” said Cam O’Connor, Crux’s managing director. “Our new pub in Southeast Portland has been well-received. And with our expanding NØMØ line and unique brews such as Bochi Bochi, a Japanese-style rice lager, and Hang Tight West Coast IPA, we continue to meet the ever-evolving tastes of our customers. This sale will help free resources to reinvest in even more new products and boost our pub operations. In short, this is an exciting opportunity to expand on what has been already a successful first 12 years.”

About Crux Fermentation Project:

Founded in 2012, Crux Fermentation Project is a brewer-owned and operated community of craft beer lovers based in Bend, Oregon. Fermentation is our passion and after 12 years of experimentation, we make beer, non-alcoholic beer, wine, and whiskey. Available on store shelves in Oregon, Washington, California, and Nevada, we also invite you to try our latest releases at our flagship tasting room in Bend while taking in views of the Cascade Mountains with food from our kitchen or food carts. In 2023, we opened our second pub in Portland, Oregon’s historic Dairy District, with a new food menu and the same great beers from Bend. For more information visit Cheers!

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