Vancouver’s Loowit readying for remodel

Brewery’s taproom will be rebuilt, transformed into fully realized restaurant

By Troy Brynelson, Columbian staff writer

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Weeks after Loowit Brewing Company’s flagship beer vanished and re-emerged with a new look, so too will the brewery’s taproom.

Loowit, founded by Vancouver residents Devon Bray and Thomas Poffenroth, will rebuild its five-year-old taproom into a fully realized restaurant. That means a new kitchen and a menu, more indoor seating and a patio for outdoor seating.

Likewise, there will be more beer. The list of beer taps will expand in the new space, and more cellar space for fermenting and storage will make for a 60 percent increase in brewing. The company said it brewed 2,000 barrels last year and hope to breach the 3,000-barrel mark this year.

Becoming a restaurant was always in the plans for Loowit, Bray said, but they first felt they needed a command on the brewing industry.

“We just figured one new venture at a time,” he said. “We’ll see what the future holds. You might see a couple of these around town.”

The renovations of its taproom, at 507 Columbia St., will start this week, Bray said, and wraps up in August. Food service could start by late summer. Bray said the renovations will be mostly indoors, “essentially doubling our retail footprint in our existing location.”

“The addition of a pub to our space will give us a great platform to share our love of local beer and engage the community even more, all while we continue to produce the excellent beer people know and expect from the Loowit brand,” he added.

Loowit, founded in 2010, last made headlines for dodging a copyright claim over the name of its flagship beer, Shadow Ninja IPA. The name ran into a trademark belonging to a brewery in North Carolina, so Loowit renamed its beer Shadow Shinobi IPA and marketed it with a comic book.