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Array Bottle Shop turns craft beer into community

In the 18 months since Array Bottle Shop opened in the neighborhood, the funky space featuring local artists and fresh brews, has transformed into one of Brooklyn’s popular meet up spots. Located in the Cora Apartments building on Milwaukie, Scott Jester and Dan Kimbrow opened Array in December 2021. “We had no intention of actually getting this place, this was our first spot we looked at,” Jester told me on an overcast May afternoon. “It just kind of fell into place.”

Array is one of the stops for this year’s Brooklyn Pub Crawl on June 10th, and the guys pouring behind the counter couldn’t be happier. Opening a bottle shop that could appeal to the aficionados as well as those looking to dip their toes into the vast Oregon craft beer scene was a dream for both of the owners. However, it was not only meant to be for ales and lagers. It was a necessity that it fit into the neighborhood. Dan Kimbrow says that “spreading the love of craft beer and building community” is what Array has been about since the beginning. In the Brooklyn neighborhood, they have found their home.

“I knew Dan for a month or two before we opened the bar together,” Scott said. The two were connected through a mutual business associate with a shared vision. They did not realize that their fortuitous partnership would be the blueprint for what makes Array special: a place where strangers can get together and find common ground through a pint or two.

That attitude and laidback vibe were essential to getting the business off the ground. What surprised them most was the immediate feedback from Brooklyn residents. “[We were] surprised about how nice everyone is in this neighborhood.” Scott has worked all over Portland, from downtown to the suburbs, but was surprised by the kind patronage of his new haunt. They see it as the growing norm of Portland craft beer, citing young upstart breweries like Kings & Daughters and Via as quintessential examples of the occurring changes. More inclusion, more voices, more community. “It’s a lot friendlier now. Interesting people making and drinking beer.”

On June 16th, Array will be doing their next art installation, this time featuring the artists behind some of the striking pieces gracing local and national cans. At least one Friday a month, they have a DJ come in to set a lively tone for the beginning of the weekend. Plus, there are always more rotating events, tap takeovers, or special bottle drops happening. They compare it to a community center.

The pub crawl will be no different. Array will be featuring a flight of recently tapped beers, and offering a free 4oz taster with any pint purchase. Tickets for the pub crawl are only $10, with proceeds benefitting the Brooklyn Action Corps. Other stops along the way include The Place, Meta Pizza, Brooklyn Park Pub, and 503 Distilling. Reserve your spot by emailing ccc@brooklyn-neighborhood.org.

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