Caldera Brewing Company
The first craft brewery on the West Coast to brew and can its own beer
Caldera Brewing Company, located in Ashland, Oregon, was founded in 1997 by Head Brewer Jim Mills. The brewery is dedicated to producing uncompromised quality ales and lagers and was the first craft brewery in the state to can its own beer. Caldera just opened its new state-of-the-art 28,000 sq. ft. brewery in Ashland, which features a large tasting room, all brewing operations, a distillery, and restaurant.
After working in a brewery tasting room while attending Southern Oregon University, Jim Mills worked his way into the brew house and washed kegs for free just to be learning the art of brewing. He eventually became a brewer’s assistant at Oregon’s Rogue Ale Brewery and spent about six months developing his business plan that would lead into Caldera Brewing Company.
Since opening its doors in 1997, Caldera beers have won numerous awards both nationally and internationally, including many Gold Medals for their famed canned IPA and Pale Ale. Jim Mills is clearly a big supporter of the canning trend, and for good reason. He points out that cans chill quicker and stay cold longer. Cans also eliminate light and oxidation, they’re lighter to carry, and they’re accepted in locations where bottles have long been banned (golf courses, concert venues, and beaches). His hard work developing the canning line has certainly paid off with the huge support his canned beers have received.
Caldera Brewing Company currently brews ten year round ales and lagers and over fifteen seasonal brews. While sipping Jim Mills’ award-winning recipes in the Caldera tasting room, visitors can also enjoy one of South Oregon’s largest bottle collections. Jim Mills has been collecting beer bottles since 1983 and finally has a large enough space to put them on display. There are over 4,000 in his collection!