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News / Business / Clark County Business

Recluse Brew Works opening soon in Washougal

Business coming to Washougal at port’s industrial park

By Doug Flanagan, Camas-Washougal Post-Record
Published: October 30, 2023, 5:22pm

August Everson acknowledges the fact that him naming his new Washougal brewery after himself, an admitted introvert, is laced with irony.

“The whole brand is a little bit of a contradiction because it’s called ‘Recluse,’ somebody who doesn’t like to be around other people,” he said earlier this month. “And yet here we are, building a watering hole to bring people together. As a recluse, I shouldn’t like people, but I love seeing all the activity and how close it is to all of this pristine nature and industry. It’s pretty cool.”

Recluse Brew Works is set to open next month in the Port of Camas-Washougal’s industrial park, 4035 S. Grant St., Suite No. 102, Washougal. Everson has tentatively set an opening day of Nov. 18, but he said it might be pushed back, depending on when he receives approval from the Clark County Health Department.

“I feel great,” Everson said. “I’m very excited. It’s been a great process, and I’ve met a lot of really cool people along the way. We built something that I think is truly beautiful and becoming more beautiful every day. And I’m pumped to be in this community, too. Almost everybody has been exceptionally welcoming. I really like a lot of the other local businesses, and I like the vibe of Washougal and Camas.”

Port commissioners approved an agreement in July 2022 that allows Everson to lease two 3,330-square-foot bays inside Building 20, a 50,000-square-foot industrial facility that opened earlier this year.

Everson was born and raised in Ohio and performed data analytics work for startup businesses in the Midwest for several years, but found that he “just couldn’t sit behind a desk.”

After studying brewing at the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago, Everson moved to the Pacific Northwest and worked for Widmer Brothers Brewing and then Wayfinder Beer in Portland. He accelerated his business plan once he found out about the opportunities at the Port of Camas-Washougal’s industrial park. He left Wayfinder in late 2022 and has been focusing on launching Recluse Brew Works ever since.

“The plan was always to have my own (business),” he said. “I didn’t think it was going to happen this quickly. I wanted an industrial park, close to the river, closer to the Gorge than Portland, and when Building 20 popped up, (I took it as) a sign. Part of what drew me to the Pacific Northwest and the Portland metro area in general, and then farther out here to Camas-Washougal, was the juxtaposition of industry and nature. It’s so striking and so beautiful in its own way.”

Everson will brew a variety of beer styles, but focus on lagers.

“I do like introducing people to how versatile (lagers) can be,” Everson said. “My first one is just a fizzy yellow beer, but they can be dark, they can be light, they can be amber, they can be bitter, they can be malty. Just like pales and IPAs (India pale ales), they can be very versatile.”

The tasting room doesn’t have a kitchen, so food, other than pre-packaged snacks, won’t be on the menu at Recluse Brew Works. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that beer drinkers will go hungry.

“Outside food will be always welcome, and we will be trying to (host) food pop-ups and food trucks in the parking lot,” LaRue said, “It’s mutually beneficial, because we don’t have to have a kitchen, so we don’t have to deal with that headache; but also, it’s good for (food truck operators because) they don’t have to pay rent to a food cart pod and they get a steady spot. It’s good for everybody.”