Satisfying craft beer fans’ cravings for new taste experiences for six-plus years (officially; more like 15 years in unofficial form), Orf Brewing made what we called “American hybrid ales.” In the melting pot of our brew kettle, we would take traditional elements from diverse origins and let them mix and mingle in non-traditional combinations. The results: exceptional, distinctive recipes that still stand apart from typical craft beers being produced today. While some beer styles are currently produced by two or three—or even more—Texas breweries, our styles had no rivals.
Orf Brewing was based in south Austin, in an area of town that turned into a sort of “brewery row”. (Can you say “brewery tour bus?”) Our facility consisted of a 2500 sq. ft. production bay and 950 sq. ft. tasting room in a warehouse strip populated by such industrial small businesses as auto mechanics, custom woodworkers & welders, and more. We did construct a small beer garden around huge 300-year-old oak tree outside the front of our roll-up door.
THE MAN BEHIND THE BEER
Chris Orf—chief brewery officer, owner and fizzionary. Orf has a Master’s degree in chemistry from Oregon State University, home to a world-class hops breeding and research program. He has studied brewing and brewery operations at the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago, IL. Prior to moving to Austin in 2006, Orf lived in New York City for twelve years, where he homebrewed regularly; ran a small theatrical and film production company; played much basketball on the hard courts of the city; and worked for a massive advertising firm in Manhattan. His comic short films have screened in multiple festivals worldwide and garnered several awards. His versatile background in entertainment, performance, marketing, and science all contribute to his abilities to craft and subsequently market and sell new brews. He is also rather tall.