Sunday, December 9

Great Happenings In Vancouver, WA

I moved up to Vancouver, WA a couple of years ago because I work here. I used to live in Portland, Troutdale, and Gresham. I miss living in Portland because of the array of businesses, pubs, and breweries. Everything was relatively close. When I moved to Vancouver, I was closer to the east side. I knew By The Bottle quite well and found that that was the only place around to grab a good beer on tap, and bring some home. Otherwise, I always tried to find places that sold good craft beer, but was limited to what grocers such as Whole Foods and QFC had. And I never knew how long those bottles sat there on the shelf unless the bottle was dated. The ones that were dated were always past the date. I don't want to drink a Stone Ruination IPA that was a year beyond the date.

Most may know, Downtown Vancouver is a quiet quiet place at night. One could hear a pin drop, or perhaps see some urban tumbleweed (newspapers) blow by at foot. The town was dead. It's like it has never recovered from the housing boom of decades ago. I don't think it ever saw the last bubble.

Things are brewing though here in Vancouver. Life is starting to show. In such a bad economic time, and most unlikely place, there is a heart beating here. Most of it revolves around good beer, but better yet, good people striving to make the local community a better place for everybody and each other. I knew I was in a great spot when I started this beer blog. It's nice to be one of few that has the opportunity to share what is happening in Vancouver. It's great to meet so many new friends and people in the industry as well.

Just in the last year, some killer places have popped up. I will do a run down of places that are a must see here in Vancouver. If I miss a few, don't hesitate to shoot me an email. I will list them below in the order I first shopped there, and what I think is a good timeline of their opening. I will also list some killer places just outside of Vancouver as well that are a must see.


Northwest Liquid Gold. I learned about this joint on the internet via Twitter and Facebook. I noticed that they had shipped beer and gift baskets containing beer in the start. They don't ship beer anymore, but they fill a ton of growlers in their taproom, and offer a nice selection of bottles. It is still growing and doing better. I believe they are soon to expand into a space next door to them as well.
11202 NE Fourth Plain Road, Vancouver, Washington
Facebook -=- Twitter -=- Website

Mt. Tabor Brewing. Starting in Portland. Eric Surface started brewing up some simple, yet great beers. He worked hard to bring his project to Vancouver, and succeeded at doing so. He got a 7 bbl system going, and is already distributing his beers to many local establishments. That was his goal, and he is continuing to brew up lots more beers for Vancouver.His taproom is primarily only open of Fridays, but does announce other dates frequently.
113 W 9th St, Vancouver, WA
Website -=- Facebook -=- Twitter

Old Ivy Taproom & By The Bottle. Formerly Salmon Creek Brewery & Pub, Dave Nunez of By The Bottle took over the brewery and pub. It's a total makeover. All newly redecorated, the space is as classy and comfortable as ever. They have some house beers that rival the best, and offer many more guest taps, boasting up to 30 beers or so. They have an all new menu which is simple, yet diverse. They recently had a re-open party and the place was a full house. Just across the courtyard space is the new location of By The Bottle. It is a much nicer area for selling bottles, while the taproom next door is great for the drinks. They too had a special re-opening party due to their move from right next door in their old space. It was tough having them away for a month or more
108 W Evergreen Blvd, Vancouver, WA
BTB Website -=- BTB Twitter -=- BTB Facebook

Loowit Brewing Company. Devon and Thom fired up this beer race car recently and hit it off extremely well. They are proving that Vancouver is thirsty, and what better way to take care of her people than give them great beer? This joint is very local-minded, friendly, and have already made a huge impact with the scene here in Vancouver. My hat's off to them. Their beers are great, and I especially dig their ESB. They are brewing at full speed, and I think people are drinking them even faster. Their taproom is open both Friday and Saturday evenings, and their beers can be found at local establishments.
507 Columbia St, Vancouver, WA 98660
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Heathen Brewing Company. Owner Sunny Parsons fired up this project some time ago in a little building on his property. They are a little more quiet than some, but do have a website and Facebook page. The beers have been showing up in kegs around town, and can be found at places like NW Liquid Gold, and other handles at various bars. I have also seen the beers in Washougal at A Beer At A Time quite regularly. I have had the wheat, and the Imperial IPA called Son of Malice. They are some good beers for sure.

Low Bar. This is the spot I think downtown Vancouver needed the most. A small and yet trendy hole-in-the-wall that took over Fat Tuesdays. Good job. It sits right next to Tommy O's and is a must-see place for everybody. It has a warm and comfortable feel, has great music in the background, a couple TV's with various stuff and games on...  and the owners know the business. They know food, cocktails, and beer. With about 5 taps, there is always some great beers on tap. In no time at all since they have been open the last few weeks, they have blown over 15 kegs. The food is sort of a Southern Style grub with gravy's, biscuits, waffles etc. What is really kick ass is the in-house pickling of their veggies, fresh ground chuck every morning, and house-made mixers etc. This place has it going on.
809 Washington St, Vancouver, WA
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Brewed. Brewed is a local coffee, wine, and beer establishment with some good eats as well. They focus on high quality and low prices. The coffee is amazing, and is a good spot to grind up a batch to bring home even. They do their own roasting as well. Beer you say? Super nice spot in the evening for dinner and a beer. $3.25 pints all day long, and very inexpensive growler fills at only $10. The food menu is great, and very simple. Go get a cup of good coffee, and bring some home freshly ground as well. You will love it. Go check it out, and try it for all 3 meals. Awesome spot for Vancouver.
603 Main Street Vancouver, WA 98660
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So as you can see, things are happening. There is lots more to come too I feel. This doesn't even include all the great things happening out in Camas and Washougal as well. A Beer At  A Time in Washougal currently has the most taps of any other establishment in Clark Country with 45. They just got a full on food menu there now as well. Camas is going to be seeing Mill City Brewerks pop up as well. Great beers and pub on its way! Railside Brewing is another in Washougal, and a brewery called Beacon Rock Brewing is around the corner. Amnesia Brewing has a spot close to opening in Washougal as well. Keep an eye out on this blog for the local Vancouver/Camas/Washougal stuff goin' on! Cheers! 



  1. Tamara Ellen FarnsworthDecember 10, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    I was born in Vancouver over 1/2 a century ago,and it is so true~it has always been tediously uninvolved,closed or just plain non-exsistant shortly after 5pm!This is a VERY healthy change,if you ask me,and I don't even like beer much at all~but community,company,gathering together of neighbors,friends & a warm welcoming well-lit door to the cold & lonely traveler,is of paramount importance to the wholesomeness & happiness of a community.The 'inns' and pubs of long ago were the places where decisions were made,where spirits were lifted and where people banded together.I am thrilled to hear that the place of my birth,which I have considered sadly lacking in diversity,taste,creativity &open hearted interest,since I was about 6 or 7,is blosseming finally to a point that it could be considered a great place just to hang out!It was also devoid of galleries,art establishments,and places of inspiration,untill a little more than the last decade.I truely enjoyed reading your possitive & enlightening views and have every intention of checking out your 'recomendees'the next chance I get to visit my home town.Thanks again,Brewmance Perry!

  2. You are very welcome, and thank you for such a wonderful reply. I agree with you 100%, and it is truly amazing. If back, let this guy know, we will go have a killer local beer at a local establishment!