“Beer has been very good to me,” said Alan Sprints, the owner, brewmaster, and chef at Hair of the Dog Brewery. “I feel so fortunate to have been able to spend over half my life doing something I love so much.”
In a video statement released today on Facebook and Instagram, the founder and mastermind behind Portland’s Hair of the Dog Brewery announced that he is retiring and closing the brewery and taproom. He’s not selling the business, he’s closing. There is still beer plenty of beer to be sold, so Alan expects the taproom to remain open until the summer.
Alan said, “I have decided to retire from my job here at Hair of the Dog and that means we will be closing the brewery and the tasting room. I do have a few more beers to release and lots of beer to sell, so I’ll keep the tasting room open until sometime this summer.”
Hair of the Dog Brewery opened in 1993 and is a true pioneer in the craft beer industry. Not only is it a legacy brewery, but it is a fiercely creative brewery. Instead of following trends, Hair of the Dog bushwacked its own path and pushed beer drinkers’ palates to new extremes.
Alan Sprints has credited English-style barleywine as the inspiration for the kinds of beers he set out to create at Hair of the Dog. Beers like Adam, Fred, Doggy Claws, and Green Dot were the result.
Before barrel-aging was a regular practice in the craft beer industry, that’s what Alan did. He has always created big, robust, richly flavored beers that delighted discerning beer aficionados and earned international acclaim. His contribution to the industry and to the tapestry of craft beer in America is immense. If we ever construct an American Craft Beer Pantheon, we will see his name chiseled in stone.
“I want to thank all those people who were so generous with their time and helped me along my way,” he said. “Also thanks to the beer lover who believed in what I was doing enough to actually buy my beer and come visit me at the brewery.”
While congratulations are in order, the news is also sad for beer lovers in the Pacific Northwest who enjoy and admire Alan Sprints’ beers. There is a bright spot, however. “I do look forward to future collaborations,” he said in today’s announcement.
I would recommend getting there sooner than later as I expect this news will spark a firestorm of new interest from younger beer lovers. It certainly will rekindle a lot of old flames for the many, many people who have adored Hair of the Dog’s beers for all these years.
Cheers to Hair of the Dog and to Alan Sprints. Thank you!