Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Dirty Hands Brewing Company

The day after our busy run through Portland for Zwickelmania 2014, I thought I'd seek out a quieter locale. Vancouver, WA, just across the river, is just such a place. Although it is the fourth-largest city in the state (pop.161,791), the old downtown area has a decided small-town atmosphere.

I was hoping to visit a couple of the breweries and brewpubs there, but it seemed that all but one are closed on Sunday. The only one that was open was Dirty Hands Brewing Company.

Dirty Hands Brewing Co.

Co-owner and brewer Phillip Chou had experience in both the beer (Miller) and wine (Gallo) businesses, and he opened Dirty Hands in November 2013. The building has an old style charm, and the interior features clean and lean decoration, with several New Deal era and progressive labor-themed paintings on the walls

I was just about the only customer at the time, and he was more than happy to give me a tour of the basement brew area. It has a small, 3.5 barrel system and four fermenting tanks. The building had long been the home of a local newspaper, and Phillip found the old thick-walled archive vault perfect as a temperature-controlled storage area for brewing supplies.
There were six beers on tap, with all pints priced at $5, and sampler flights of four 4-oz. pours for $6. Growlers for $12. Currently, the food menu is limited to dishes brought in from the catering company next door, but Phillip said that he is planning to install a kitchen soon.

The beers are all clean and flavorful, sort of middle of the range styles, and most have names that call to mind the hard work ethos of the 1930s and 1940s (and, of course, of all brewers anywhere): for example, Lunch Pail Ale, Steel Monkey IPA (reference to bridge builders), and Liberty Ship Stout.

So, when you are not hard at work yourself, pay Phillip and his crew a visit and sample the fruits of his labor.

Dirty Hands Brewing Company
114 E Evergreen Blvd
Vancouver, Washington, USA 98660

(360) 258-0413
Hours: Sun & Mon & Thur: 3 to 9 pm / Fri & Sat: 3 to 11 pm
Facebook: dirtyhandsbrewing
Twitter: DirtyHandsBrew 

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