Entrepreneurship on Tap: Osmo’s Joins Medford’s Craft Brewing District
Brewing beer requires four basic ingredients: water, malted barley, hops, and yeast. Starting a business has four basic parts, too: the product/service, distribution, marketing, and customer service. At Osmo’s Alehouse, a new brewery and tasting room on downtown Medford’s South Central Avenue opened in January by Southern Oregon natives Nick and Ali Hull, beer and business ferment in plain sight.
The product, obviously, is beer—seven variations brewed by Nick Hull 30 feet from where customers perch before the taps. He plans for freshness, change, and seasonality to distinguish Osmo’s. “I wanted to make a really big, really fancy version of my garage,” deadpans Hull.
After creating award-winning beers as a home-brewer, Hull learned the commercial version working at Wild River Brewing in Grant’s Pass. Osmo’s operations fall just between nano- and micro- in size, a flexibility Hull designed intentionally in order “to bring the fun, experimentation, and diversity of home brewing into a commercial setting.” A recent tap list included Osmo’s IPA, Farmhouse, Pale Ale, Rye Amber, Extra-Special Bitter, Honey-Nut Brown, and Oat Stout.
Distribution and marketing at Osmo’s are adventurous, too. Its renovated industrial space mixes well with the neighborhood’s pawn shops, used car lots, and fruit-packing warehouses. “We like being part of transforming this area of downtown,” says Ali Hull who handles Osmo’s business side. As for the name, they dove deep into the great Finnish National Epic Poem, The Kalevala, to find Osmotar the Brewer. Exposed-filament lights and two bars fashioned from massive slabs of fir combine with rugged tables and benches and the stainless-steel brewing tanks to make an inviting space for beer geeks and the everyday-thirsty alike to drink beer.
And, beer is what Osmo’s is all about. The Hulls plan a new release every Friday. Only the occasional Portland Timbers game on the lone television or food truck in the parking lot might distract from savoring the popular ESB and conversation (wine and hard cider are also available for the non-beer inclined). The Hulls plan a grand opening for March. Find Osmo’s Alehouse at 522 S. Central Ave. in Medford—look for the brewing tanks in the windows.