Brewery hosts ax throwing

Ax throwing is a growing sport. (Photo: Brian Warner/KATU Sports)

It’s a Wednesday night at the Feckin Brewery in Oregon City and yes, it’s a good night.

“Just out having some fun,” says David Tate, a patron at the brewery, adding, “Having a couple of beers and some good old food and throwing axes.”

That’s right, they throw axes at a board with a target.

“They refer to us as ‘thunk junkies,’” says B. J. Snyder, a woman, who loves throwing axes. “It has to do with the sound that it makes when it hits just right. It’s this incredibly satisfying thunk. It reminds me of the satisfying click of two cue balls hitting when you get that just right.”

Eilif Knutson owns the Portland Axe Throwing Co., which he started three years ago in his backyard.

“We ran numerous events all across Portland,” says Knutson, adding, “We run out of places in Salem. We travel all over with our mobile unit. That’s how it started here,” he said, talking about Feckin Brewery.

“It’s very methodical,” says Knutson. “We have trainers on all the time. We have this place staffed with a trainer every night of the week. Any sort of axe throwing that goes on here is overlooked by Portland Axe Throwing. So, we have a strict rule set.”

They are throwing, and the sport is growing. It started on the East Coast and it’s now in Los Angeles, Seattle and Utah.

“I’ll wear my league shirt and people will say, ‘That’s funny, do you really throw axes?’” says Snyder. And she answers, “I’ll say, yes and knives.”

“Finesse is almost the best thing you can do,” says Tate. “Too much muscle, too much exertion, too much just given it all you’ve got, isn’t the best thing. More ladies, on a regular basis, are better than men. Because they know the finesse game.”

Snyder admits that is part of the fun.

“I won’t lie,” says B.J., adding, “Part of it for me is the gender equality. In fact, gender advantage that we have.”

It all adds up to a great night.

“It’s all friendly,” says Tate. “We do an axe tap. We do a handshake. Then we have a beer, and then we throw some more axes.”

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