Episode 37: How Brian Koch turned Lombard House into Oregon's best beer bar
The owner of the 2022 Oregon Beer Award's best beer bar on how he went from delivering jars during the pandemic to delivering an unexpected speech in front of his peers.
The reason for this podcast? I’m damn proud of a friend. For the better part of pandemic, Brian Koch was driving up and down the streets of North Portland in a Volkswagen van trying to keep his dream alive.
He opened up Lombard House in 2016 and quickly turned it into one of the area’s best community hang outs. Then the pandemic shut him down, switching Brian’s role from friendly host to delivery person.
“It got weird, man,” Brian says. “I drove around in that Volkswagen for nine months, all day, every day, delivering super expensive jars of beer to people who were essentially handing me charity money.”
Brian is no longer the pandemic milk man. Lombard House is back open, only now with a new designation: Last month, LH tied with The BeerMongers for the award of “Best beer bar/tap house” in 2022 Oregon Beer Awards.
I sat down with Brian this week at Lombard House to talk about keeping his dream alive, camping spots, good places for lunch and how this random bar in St. Johns turned into Portland’s best Philly bar.
— Tyson Alger
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