“What we’ve created is what’s known as a third space…[Migration is] a place for the community to come together, that hosts the community and a place that engages with the community and helps facilitate other people’s dreams and aspirations. It’s a place for people to celebrate, to mourn, to raise money for a cause or whatever their thing may be.”

~ Colin Rath, Co-Owner, Migration Brewing

Colin Rath is the co-owner and head of day-to-day operations at Migration Brewing, located at 2828 NE Glisan Ave in Portland Oregon. Along with partners Mike and Kevin, they have created an amazing community gathering place since February, 2010.

Migration Brewing Patio

Before opening the brewery, Colin and Co. were brewing at home not far from the current brewery. On Sunday’s, they would throw large block parties where they’d close close down the street and celebrate their neighborhood.

“There would be cops hanging out (just to see what the fun was) and we’d do everything we needed for permits. [We would have] live music, beer, and tons of neighbors.”

Eventually, they thought it would be cool to see if they could make a living out of it, and after entertaining the concept of opening a coffee shop, settled on what they knew best – beer and community.

Originally, they opened as a tap house, selling other people’s beer. Slowly they began taking tap handles as their own, now exclusively sell Migration brews (with the exception of a guest cider).

“We focus on the hop forward beers. Mike our head brewer and Kevin really enjoy the fun beers too. You always have to have the beers that everyone enjoys so you can make the fun beer as well.”

Migration is my local neighborhood gathering place. I’ve eaten many meals there with my family, met buddies for a drink, watched sporting events, and met colleagues for afternoon work meetings. It really has become the third space Colin and crew hoped it would be.

In this episode, Colin and I discuss:

  • The process of going from brewing beer for neighborhood parties to opening their own brewery.
  • What it takes to engage the community.
  • The subjective nature of defining great beer, and the importance of appreciating how everyone has a unique pallet.
  • How to enjoy whatever beer happens to be in your hand.
  • The quest to make beer more sustainable and brewed using green practices.
  • The little things all of us can do to be more mindful of our carbon footprints.
  • Some of his favorite Portland things.

And much more!

The Beer We Tried

Colin generously treated me to three of the latest, “interesting and funMigration beers.

Tiny Hands Peach Sour (seasonal)

A crisp, tart, light-bodied farmhouse ale with aromas of peach, banana and white wine. Three days in the kettle growing Lactobacillus creates a refreshingly tart character to Tiny Hands sour ale. Pure peach juice was blended into the wort post boil to balance the low PH from the souring process. ABV 5.3% IBU: 19

This was originally going to be called the “ImPEACHment” sour, but another brewery already had the name. This was my favorite of the bunch. I see this pairing well after a hot summer run.

Saison Blanc

A crisp, light-bodied farmhouse ale! Plenty of earth, spice and fruit characters from the top fermenting Belgian style yeast used, with aromas of lemon, banana and white wine.

I’ve had this beer many times, and absolutely love it. It’s very drinkable and to my simple palate, goes with just about any food or after any run.

Straight Outta Portland IPA

West coast IPA with big tropical juicy aromatics and crisp finish.abv: 7.3%  IBU:69

If you like IPA’s, you’ll love this! It’s big and bold, but doesn’t smack you in the face. It recently won Gold at the 2017 Denver International Beer Competition. I’m not a huge fan of IPA’s, but I appreciate this one and can understand why it won a gold medal.

Migration Bottled Beer

Want to hear another Brewery related interview?

I am in the process of interviewing all of the brewers/owners of the breweries hosting our 5K runs this year. If you haven’t heard my chat with Josh Grgas from The Commons Brewery, that’s a fun one. We kind of ramble a lot, but it’s interesting.

Another fun one is my chat with John Harris from Ecliptic Brewing. He’s a legend in the brewing world. So much knowledge, wisdom, and humility!

Want a discount to one of our 5K fun runs?

We’re offering you discounts on our upcoming 5K fun runs. The first five people who use promo code MIGRATIONFREE will get a complimentary entry! Alternatively, use MIGRATION5 for $5 off to ANY of our next runs.