Why are you called Tiger Town?
To quote a line in the movie The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, “When legend becomes greater than truth, print the legend.” The legend starts as a freighter’s wagon was lumbering along the newly commissioned Fort Dalles/Fort Boise Road. The wagon was made by The Mitchell Wagon Company - the Cadillac of wagons - the cargo was whiskey, and the terminus was Canyon City. The unfortunate freighter broke a wheel where today sits the town of Mitchell. Fearing that his wagon would be looted if he left it for any length of time, he decided to simply set up shop where the wagon had come to rest. The industrious entrepreneur took the sideboard off the stranded vehicle, laid it over two whiskey barrels and officially created the first saloon in the area. Thus, the spot became known as Mitchell after the wagon’s moniker. If you choose not to believe this legend, you can visit Wikipedia for a much less interesting story. But we’re setting the stage here so let’s continue shall we?
The little hamlet of Mitchell began to grow up in the narrow Bridge Creek valley as loggers, gold miners, and ranchers settled the area. The main street was infamously rough and tumble, and at at its peak kept 5 saloons and a house of ill repute in business. This part of town was given the nickname “Tiger Town” while the respectable folk constructed homes and churches on the hill above Main St. which would become known as “Piety Hill”. This later area expanded to include “Oakie Flats” which is known today as Huddleston Heights.
The miners and loggers have since moved on, but the cattle ranchers remain and make up the primary economic resource. and while Main Street sees more tourism than prostitutes these days, the owners of Tiger Town Brewing Co. have tried to create a little nod to the town's colorful past.
Are you guys from here?
This question gets asked a lot in wide eyed disbelief. It’s true! Some people really do grow up in small towns.
Tiger Town is owned and operated by three partners;
Robert Cannon is 5th generation Mitchellite and the brewery resides in the property passed down from his grandfather. The building used to operate as Cannon’s Tire Center but the location moved onto the highway in 1969 where Robert’s dad Dan Cannon still operates his tire shop (one of the first Les Schwab’s.) The building remained unused until 2015 when we began work on the brewery. Robert is the facilities manager responsible for construction and maintenance of the building and systems therein. He also serves as the Cellarman for Tiger Town. Robert is a musician and has released several CDs as both a solo artist and as front man of the NeverCanEvers.
Eric Charapata is another Mitchellite though Eric grew up on the family cattle ranch just out of town. After a stint in the Marine Corps, Eric returned to Mitchell and worked the ranch until 2015 when he joined Robert and Shawn in the planning and starting of Tiger Town Brewing Co. Eric is the operations manager at Tiger Town. We call him “The Mouth” as the most outgoing member of the team. Eric handles most public relations and also tends bar most nights. Eric too is a musician and plays bass with the NeverCanEvers. He also has the uncanny ability to break just about anything, no matter how indestructible it might seem.
Shawn Hawkins is the non-local. Born in Portland and raised in McMinnville, Oregon, Shawn moved to Mitchell in 2011 and took up the hobby of home brewer soon thereafter. In 2014 with 100‘s of brews and dozens of original recipes under his belt the notion that he could turn his hobby into a career took root and a plan was hatched between friends and musical cohorts Robert and Shawn to bring the old station back to life as a brewpub. Shawn brings with him 15 years in food service as a trained chef and a passion for brewing European style ale’s. Shawn is both Brewer and business manager. Shawn, too, is a musician and has released several CDs.