Hopworks joins Vancouver Scene

The opening of Hopworks new brewpub in East Vancouver on Friday, December 30th is but the latest in a recent trend of new breweries to be opening their doors and finding a home in Vancouver. Outside of McMenamins, which had arrived on the Columbia River roughly 20 years ago, most of the Clark County craft brew scene had grown locally, organically.  It was a slow steady process, but all that has changed in the last two years. An explosion of breweries has been occurring throughout the County   Including but not limited to:

  • Heathen- Whose pub, Feral,  is located on Washington in downtown Vancouver
  • Trap door. On the upper end of Main Street
  • Doomsday A favorite from Washougal with a location on Main Street  as well
  • Fortside Off Andresen
  • Loowit  Down on Columbia- the guys who really started the downtown scene
  • Ghost Runners out on NE Minnehaha, using the lite industrial setting
  • Railside NE 76th and Hazel Dell avenue
  • Trusty  On Evergreen Blvd and Broadway in downtown Vancouver
  • Victor 23. Off St. John’s Blvd just north of Clark College and the Veterans center.
  • Mt. Tabor. W 9th Street and soon to locate in Felida
  • Barrell Mountain along Main Street in Battleground
  • Mill City in Camas
  • Amnesia and 54-40 in Washougal

Most all of the locals had stayed in lower overhead locations, small, often older buildings, low rents,  limited hours. Several such as Trap Door and Fortside, embrace the food truck culture, another phenomenon that has gained great momentum in Vancouver the past two years.  These breweries are also giving birth to many taprooms, such as Tap Union and Thirsty Sasquatch, which pour local beers and grow the social scene in parts of town that are becoming ever more like some of the urban neighborhoods in Portland.

Hopworks arrival signals a newfound critical mass for the craft brew scene.   This new venture is right in the heart of the Mill Plain / Columbia Tech corridor.   Their Landlord is PacTrust a significant commercial real estate developer of Vancouver’s thriving east side, and a key economic development driver of the Portland -Vancouver metro area.   They recruited one of the premier brand names on the Portland brewing scene into a high rent/ high traffic / high visibility site in a key demographic area.  Clearly, PacTrust and the owners of Hopworks are confident that the craft beer scene in Clark County has moved beyond the start-up phase and into a new level of maturity.  Other larger brewpubs may now eye Clark County for these higher volume/ traffic commercial real estate locations.