Brewers are setting up shop in the ‘Couve. The newest brewery, Fortside Brewing Company, is located in an industrial warehouse space on Andresen, across from a Winco. They share a signpost on Andresen, and the storefront has good signage, but it still feels a little like a speakeasy.
I previously peeped in the windows of the roll-up garage door and saw a typical Northwest tap room with wood/industrial decor. Rough wooden board paneling and custom high tables and high benches provide seating, as does a a bar. You can see the brewing equipment through the glass at the back of the taproom.
They soft-opened the last week of April, 2015 and we dropped by on Thursday. They are open 4 pm – 10 pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday. They host private events M-T-W.
As Fortside ramps up production, they were pouring just two of their beers, plus their root beer. We sampled a pint of each. The Zythological Pale Ale pleased us, even though we are avowed IPA fans. It has a great snap from the Zythos hops. Hopunion describes these as having pineapple, citrus and pine notes. The Couve A’Licious Brown Ale was also very pleasant.
This allayed our fears that they might be close to home, but we wouldn’t care for their beer. I’d happily enjoy the Zythological Pale Ale any time. The friendly bar man also gives small tasters if you’d like to sample before getting a pint.
Owners Michael Difabio and Mark Doleski started as home brewers. They love to experiment and will be brewing a variety of beers. It’s good that their tastes seem to match ours! I enjoyed the small swig of root beer as well.
They have guest taps, which on this afternoon were Wild Ride Brew Hopperhead IPA (from Redmond, Oregon), Upright Brewing Redwing Lager (Portland) and Heathen Brewing Promiscuous Blonde (Vancouver, WA). Pints cost $4.50 for Fortside, $5 for guest taps, with growlers for $12.
Fortside has no food service, although they promise you can bring or order in food from nearby establishments.
The tap room was comfortable and it felt like a place we could return to for an afternoon pint often. The music wasn’t loud. They plan to install some TV screens for sports. As we quaffed, more patrons arrived to sample and it looks like they are off to a good start.
Fortside Brewing Company
2200 NE Andresen, Vancouver, WA 98661