Inside Gilgamesh Brewing’s upcoming pub, music venue, distillery

Special Reports

Salem-based brewery expands to Independence

INDEPENDENCE, Ore. (KOIN) — Gilgamesh Brewing is set to open its third and newest location this spring, expanding out of Salem and onto Main Street in Independence. It will include a pub, music venue and, eventually, a distillery.

The family-run business has been working hard this past year; they opened their second location, The Woods, a few months ago in West Salem. They weren’t necessarily looking to take on a new project so soon, but Gilgamesh’s Northwest Director Matthew Radtke said the building’s owner offered them the spot in Independence.

“It’s been his baby for the last nine years,” Radtke said of the 1905 building. Yul Provancha has been renovating the space, which includes a plethora of unique touches like a wrap around staircase, multi-level balcony, and rooftop gargoyles.

Radtke said Provancha got busy with several other business ventures and asked Gilgamesh to finish his vision of a brewpub.

Matt Radtke runs Gilgamesh Brewing with his dad and brothers (Hannah Ray Lambert)

The three-phase project starts with building out the bar and kitchen. The pub – to be named “The River” for its proximity to the Willamette River – will serve pizza made with some of the grains they use for brewing, as well as other pub fare. If all goes according to plan, the pub will open sometime around March.

Phase two will be finishing the courtyard and stage for musical performances. Radtke said they plan to take advantage of the city’s active music scene during the summer months.

Phase three involves starting a distillery in the adjacent building.

“In about a year we’ll be able to create our own mash and brew really unique things at the brewery and ferment them there and then distill them here,” Radtke said. They hope to have their own line of whiskeys, vodkas, gins and “even some other creative spirits that aren’t very traditional that we’re kind of inventing,” he added.

They’re looking to become a spot locals can hang out, as well as tap into some of the existing tourism that comes through the area, joining a wave of other new businesses popping up in Independence.

“We couldn’t be happier with the way the city has been to work with,” Radtke said. “(The community) has been really excited about it, and that gets us really excited as well. So we’re really looking forward to opening this early spring and being able to see the place full of people, having a beer, having a slice of pizza, and enjoying a concert.”

Gilgamesh Brewing’s upcoming Independence pub, as seen January 6, 2020 (Hannah Ray Lambert)

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