North Bank Beer week a chance to explore local breweries’ autumnal brews

By Scott Hewitt, Columbian Arts & Features Reporter



If You Go

What: North Bank Beer Week, featuring various events, releases, festivities at participating pubs and breweries throughout Southwest Washington.

When: Sept. 22-30.

Where: Various locations; check the website for full details.

Admission: Individual establishments set own prices.

• On the web:

What: Vancouver Brewfest’s Fresh Hops Festival.

When: Noon to 6 p.m. Sept. 30.

Where: Vancouver Landing amphitheater, 110 Columbia St., Vancouver.

Price: $15 admission comes with eight quarter-pint tokens; additional tokens are $1.25 each.

• On the web:

Downtown Vancouver is great, but the “brothers” who started Brothers Cascadia Brewing apparently were destined to launch their business on a slightly puzzling Hazel Dell corner. You know how Highway 99 is: If you’re approaching from the south, you can pull right into the parking lot at 9811 N.E. 15th Ave.; but if you’re coming from the north, good luck to you. Try darting left onto 96th Way and hooking back up 15th. Be careful!

It’s worth the tricky maneuver. Brothers Cascadia occupies a tall, spacious, airy building nicely adorned with wooden barrels and gleaming steel tanks, 12 taps behind the bar and a new outdoor patio just going in. They specialize in classic and “experimental” IPAs and “clean lagers,” according to brewer Jason Bos. If you live in Hazel Dell but have yet to discover this place, you’re in for a sweet surprise.

That’s how discovering this building was for brewing “brothers” Richard Tiffany and Sherman Gore, who assumed they’d launch in downtown Vancouver before unexpectedly falling in love with — and dramatically remodeling — the abandoned car repair and upholstery business as Hazel Dell’s newest brewery and taproom.

“There’s nothing like it around here,” ever since the folding of the late lamented Hazel Dell Brew Pub, Tiffany noted. “Hazel Dell was definitely ready for a new pub.”

ISAs and PBJs

Sweet, sudsy surprises are the whole idea behind North Bank Beer Week, a celebration of the booming Southwest Washington beer scene, from Long Beach (North Jetty Brewing, of tiny beachfront hamlet Seaview) to the Columbia River Gorge (Everybody’s Brewing, based in White Salmon). A whopping 38 breweries are participating — and the vast majority are located here in Clark County.

They even pulled together to brew up a special beer for this occasion, a “NorthBank Collab ISA.” That’s a “session” beer — meaning that its alcohol content is relatively low, so you can enjoy several without getting smashed. The Collab gets tapped Sept. 22, North Bank Beer Week’s opening night, at two separate downtown Vancouver hot spots — the Tap Union Freehouse and the Brickhouse.

All sorts of special events are planned for the rest of the week. A brand new Battle Ground pub called 38 Below will open its doors on Main Street for the first time at 3 p.m. Sept. 23; on the same day, Northwest Liquid Gold on Northeast Fourth Plain Boulevard in Vancouver will release its collaborative Peanut Butter and Jelly ale. And, that crazy people-powered CouveCycle has been booked for a fun, slow-paced pedal from downtown Vancouver’s Loowit Brewing, up the street and around the corner (approximately half a mile) to the Tap Union Freehouse, which collaborated with Loowit on a new brew for this occasion. Pedalers get a discount when they arrive, so don’t give up!

Check the North Bank Beer Week website for the whole schedule of new brew releases and extra fun — sush as darts and “Mortal Kombat 3” tournaments at Loowit; screenings of the documentaries “Blood, Sweat and Beer” at Loowit and “PDX: Brew City” at Washougal’s 54?40′ Brewing Co.; a beginning brewing class at Bader Beer and Wine Supply; and a paint night for imbibing artists at the Heathen Brewing Feral Public House in downtown Vancouver.

It all winds up at Vancouver Landing on Sept. 30, with the Vancouver Brewfest’s seasonal Fresh Hop Festival — featuring the very freshest, locally harvested hops in some great new handmade brews. Twenty-five autumnal beers will be on tap; you can meet the brewers, take in some live tunes, enjoy views of the lovely Columbia River from the Vancouver Landing amphitheater — and appreciate the reason behind the Cascadia Brothers name, according to founding “brother” Sherman Gore:

“It’s an homage to the area,” he said. “This is a special, unique region in the world. We’ve got world class breweries all over the place. We’re the brother- and sisterhood of beer.”

Join the family during North Bank Beer Week.