Ruse Brewing’s MultiBeast Takes Flight

Ruse Brewing Multibeast label print final

Ruse Brewing is the one-man operation of Shaun Kalis, a Northwest farmhouse-inspired brewery sharing space in NE Portland’s Culmination Brewing. Already receiving rave reviews (though very difficult to find outside of the Culmination taproom), Ruse Brewing will release its first bottles of “Multibeast,” a mixed culture saison on Thursday, August 4th, at Imperial Bottleshop & Taproom.

Multibeast uses a special strain of brett that Shaun sourced and had isolated at Portland’s Imperial Organic Yeast. The company banks the yeast for many of Ruse Brewing’s beers, but Shaun has made it available to all who want to try it. Shaun Kalis describes the brett strain he calls Brett Urban W15 as “the characteristics are fruity, citrus, cherry, funk. It goes through some weird stages, but around month five, nice fruity ester and phenols begin to develop.” Multibeast is a saison conditioned on oak with this special culture for nine months.

Ruse Brewing owner/brewer Shaun Kalis

Ruse Brewing owner/brewer Shaun Kalis

Ruse Founder/Head Brewer/Keg Washer Shaun Kalis grew up in Michigan and discovered homebrewing in college as a way to get into beer before he is 21. But it wasn’t just about the alcohol buzz as much as the creative high of the craftsmanship that beers and brewers explored. Shaun got into homebrewing in 2001 after helping a friend bottle his homebrew, he was 19 years old.  By 2005 he knew brewing was a career path he wanted to follow.

In 2006 Shaun moved to Oregon and quickly got a job at Old Market Pub and Brewery in SW Portland, where Tomas Sluiter was in charge of brewing operations. As a newbie with no pro experience, Shaun got the job from Tomas “because we had a Michigan connection and hit it off right away. It definitely was not my homebrews that got me the job.” But it was a start that cemented his dedication to the craft, and an early connection that would pay off when he needed space to crate Ruse Brewing 10 years later. 

Kalis worked at Old Market Brewing for five and a half years before going to McMenamins, exploring the service industry and his other passion in music. His old band, Left Coast Country, recently got back together. During this time he also began studying brewing seriously, he attended the American Brewers Guild and logged time at Cascade Brewing and Two Kilts.

In Michigan, Bell’s Brewery made gateway beer for many to get into brewing, followed by Jolly Pumpkin, both pioneering Michigan breweries. “Bell’s was always my go-to brand in college until 2004 when Jolly Pumpkin came to fruition. Pretty much Jolly Pumpkin is the reason I began focusing on farmhouse ales and barrel-aged beers. Both brands to this date remain some of my favorites.”

In Oregon, Shaun discovered Upright Brewing and Cascade Brewing, learning from brewers Alex Ganum and Ron Gansberg, respectively, has been a big influence. “I love their outlook and approach to craft, it is very inspiring.”

Ruse Architect

After Multibeast, look for a 2nd bottle release from Ruse’s main year-round line of beers with “Architect” saison sometime in September, and at some point, Translator IPA. Longer term, Shaun hopes to find his own space to package and produce his beers with plenty of barrel storage. He already has fruited sours in barrels that should be ready next year and is playing with more wild yeasts and hop-forward pale ales. There is even an Upright Brewing collaboration in the pipeline. There is much to look forward to. “Lastly, I also plan on doing many 100% brett fermented beers in some puncheons that I just purchased and added fittings.”

Ruse Brewing Multibeast bottle

Ruse Brewing MULTIBEAST Bottle Release

Thursday August 4th 5-9PM
3090 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202
Bottles will be $8/500ml
On Tap:
Translator IPA
Architect – Dry-Hopped Saison
Multibeast – Barrel-aged Brett Farmhouse
more TBD…
Samurai Artist
Samurai Artist

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: SamuraiArtist@NewSchoolBeer.com

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