No Rails Ale House, which opened in downtown Albany three weeks ago, has a strong focus on beer, with a plethora of styles and breweries to choose from.

The business has 50 taps (including eight ciders) and a bottle shop with 500 different varieties for sale. Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall? Please. Try more than 9,000.

“Let me tell you, it was fun putting those on the shelves,” said James Van Deusen, who owns the business with his cousin Josh Clist.

The focus on beer, however, means that No Rails doesn’t serve food. “We’re not a restaurant. We’re just a gathering place for people who want to come and have a good time,” Van Deusen said. Customers can bring in their own food or have grub delivered to the ale house, however.

With so many types of beer, 5-ounce pours have been popular, Clist said, because customers want to try new and different products. There’s even a Coors Light tap, for people who are firmly against microbrews.

Eventually, Clist and Van Deusen would like to get as many as 700 types of beer in the bottle shop, and they are taking requests from residents for hard-to-find brews.

No Rails has a rapid chiller for those who want to buy a beer from the bottle shop and drink it in house. The business charges a corking and chilling fee, however.

Some of the bottles in the shop sell for nearly $30. “Mix and match” six packs come with a $2 discount.

With the taps and the bottle shop, there’s a mid-Willamette Valley emphasis. “We’re excited about helping brewers grow the beer culture here,” Van Deusen said.

Clist said that he and Van Deusen had been kicking the idea of a beer-based business for nearly five years, and they opted against brewing, because that side of the industry has intense competition.

“We didn’t like working for other people so we decided to do something different,” Van Deusen said.

No Rails has several televisions with sports on them, and the cousins said they are football fans who will extend hours during the NFL season and other special sporting events.

The business is in the Century Building, and have been renovating their space since October. Off-site parking and the downtown location attracted the cousins to the site.

The building has three units that remain to be filled. An Edward Jones investing office, operated by financial advisor Ryan Graves, is already in another suite.

No Rails Ale House, 117 First Ave. N.E. Suite 105, is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday. For more information, call 541-497-2137 or go to www.norailsalehouse.com.

Kyle Odegard can be reached at kyle.odegard@lee.net, 541-812-6077 or via Twitter @KyleOdegard.

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