As originally published on New School Beer…
Unassuming and under-the-radar, the long awaited Brothers Cascadia Brewing will open Wednesday, April 12th at 3PM. Their hours will be Tuesday-Saturday from 3PM-10PM at 9811 NE 15th Ave, Vancouver, WA.
Local beer lovers with their ear to the ground have heard rumblings of a brewery coming to the NE Hazel Dell area of Vancouver for over a year. That’s when former brewers of Battle Ground’s Little Dipper Brewing (located inside Northwood Public House in the former Laurelwood Brewing space) set out on their own to renovate a warehouse space set back off Old Highway 99.
The opening isn’t being called a “grand opening”. That’s just how these guys roll. Quiet, hardworking and genuinely friendly. This opening has been preceded by 3 events.
Event 1: An industry bottle share. They brought together 40-50 brewers, bar owners, writers and beer geeks for a sour ale bottle share. The dregs of these bottles were collected for their yeasty goodness for a mixed fermentation barrel-aged sour to come soon!
Event 2: Founders Event. BCB invited friends and neighbors out to experience the space first with an opportunity to invest at 3 different founding levels – each level with it’s own special benefits.
Event 3: An industry preview soft opening. This is the event we’ll describe here now.
On Monday, April 10th, BCB opened up at 3PM with six beers ready on tap. The exterior of the building hasn’t changed as drastically as the inside. One noticeable difference: A large Cascadian flag hangs proudly over a large garage door framed in beautiful wood. Inside, it’s a masterpiece!
Concrete floors and walls are brightly lit and accented by wood furniture. The shiny stainless steel tanks of the brew system and fermenters are on display as the centerpiece of the facility. A tiled back-bar has small tap handles with rounded knobs. The bar itself is an incredible concrete slab with the Brothers Cascadia Brewing landscaped logo on each corner. On the near side of the bar sits a Crowler machine – but don’t you dare call it that. This is the Doug Firkan machine and it fills 32oz aluminium cans for $8ea ($21 for 3 of ’em). At the far end of the bar, you’ll take a hard right to the restrooms or a soft right to a staircase that takes you up to a lounge with a couch, a few tables, standing room with a hand rail wide enough for your beer and THIS VIEW…
As beautiful as this space is, the bar has been set high for expectations for the beer. Here are all six inaugural libations.
- The People’s Pilsner: A traditional German-style pilsner. Everything you’d hope for in a pilsner and nothing out-of-bounds that you wouldn’t expect. Clean, crisp and easy-drinkin’ at 5% ABV.
- Best Day Ever Session IPA: Bright and hop-forward. Of the four standard (that is to say, non-barrel-aged) beers on the opening tap list, this would have to be this author’s personal favorite!
- BCB IPA: This beer is a trip to yesteryear. Remember when IPAs had distinguishable taste characters derived from malts, yeast… you know, things that aren’t hops? This IPA has a strong malt backbone with dank and soft hop character laid on top. Several guests in my vicinity referred to this as an “old school NW IPA”.
- JP’s Meetinghouse Brown Ale: Solid brown. Great deep toasty malts and nuts in a beer that’s super quaffable yet full of flavor.
- Hellcat – Wine Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout with Raspberries: At 9.5% and a deep, rich mouthfeel, you quickly recognize you’re playing a different ballgame than the top of the taplist. This is a slow-sippin’ dessert beer reminiscent of chocolate-covered raspberries. The beer was just a tad ‘hot’ or ‘fresh’ as some might describe it – that is to say that it’s fantastic now, but could be even better in the coming weeks and months (if it lasts).
- Saison De La Mancha – Wine Barrel-Aged Saison Dry-Hopped with Mandarina Bavaria: This is it folks. This beer is why the bioregion of Cascadia must secede from the Union immediately. We need to take our snow-capped peaks, sometimes-blue skies, green pastures and Doug Fir trees and form our own nation where THIS can be our National Beer. Taste it and join the cause.