Fat Head’s Mike Hunsaker to Open Punk/Metal themed Grains of Wrath Brewing

Grains of Wrath Brewing logo

Punk rock brews aren’t dead yet! Mike Hunsaker of Fat Head’s Brewing fame is bringing his aggressive, anti-establishment brews to the establishment in opening the new punk and metal themed “Grains of Wrath Brewing.” Mike has made a name for himself in Oregon, surprising locals with his clean, bitter, beautiful, yet bold IPAs, while also succeeding with lagers, barrel-aged beers, and a GABF gold medal-winning Blitzkrieg Bock. Now he’s moving his skills to Camas, Washington, to open a new 10 barrel brewpub that will focus on kicking the shit out of the whitebread locals’ palates (my words, not his).

Hunsaker will be partnering with Brendan Greenen, owner of Caps N’ Taps taproom in Camas, and downtown Camas business owners Shawn Parker and Brendan Ford. Mike is also bringing back his former cellar manager. Owen Lamb, who had returned to Ohio to run the Fat Head’s production brewery cellar, will be returning to be the #2 man at Grains of Wrath. Owen has some renown for his skills in barrel-aging. Also, to head up the kitchen they are bringing in Fabiola Ponce-Wyatt (wife of Jackson Wyatt of NWIPA fame) as Executive Chef. Fabiola is a South Park Kitchen alum who also spent time as the souse chef at Roman Candle.

Mike Hunsaker at his Grains of Wrath Brewing before the buildout begins. Photo by Michael Perozzo.

Mike Hunsaker at his Grains of Wrath Brewing before the buildout begins

In more amazing news, Mike has been able to secure membership into an exclusive hop trial club from HopUnion that lets some smaller breweries have an early crack at new developing test hop varieties that are usually hard to find and only offered to the big boys. That kind of access and a continued focus on the beers that, Mike says, “I’ve become known for, especially IPAs and hop-forward beers, plus German and Belgian style beers,” is good news for hopheads and lovers of clean, refined beers like we see from Breakside and pFriem.

Grains of Wrath Brewing's interior pre-build out

Grains of Wrath Brewing’s interior pre-build out. Photo by Michael Perozzo

Grains of Wrath Brewing is just beginning buildout of a 1930s industrial space that’s been a dealership and tire and auto repair store. It will end up being a full restaurant and brewery with liquor, a small but creative gastropub menu, and the kind of “raw, industrial feel with eclectic music genres ranging from metal to punk to old school hip-hop,” says Mike. That’s far from the bright, colorful, kiddie-like decor of Fat Head’s that some despise, but instead will be more like the breweries where Mike was raised. “I grew up in Chicago, so breweries like 3 Floyds and Surly Brewing were huge influences in the beer styles I enjoyed, as well as their attitude. ” Grains of Wrath will include a small, well-curated liquor bar to complement the beers.

The brewhouse will be familiar to Mike; it’s almost exactly the same as the JVNW brewhouse he’s been brewing on at Fat Head’s PDX, with a few of his own tweaks. It’s a 10 barrel, 3 vessel brewhouse that will get off the ground with eight 20 bbl fermenters and eight 20bbl serving tanks. “It’s the same equipment I use here at Fat Heads and really love it. JV makes some of the best equipment available,” says Hunsaker, continuing, “I’ve got a few ideas up my sleeve once we get the system dialed in.”

The biggest question, why Camas? Already ingrained in the Portland beer scene, it will be sad to see Mike to switch teams to Washington. On switching sides of the river: “Portland has been very good to me and is the best beer culture in the country.” The love for Oregon is obvious, but perhaps the draw to the Vantucky area was too open a market to resist.

Mike-Hunsaker-Fat-Heads-GABF-2015

Mike Hunsaker after winning Gold at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival

“Camas is a great town. I’ve lived in far SE Vancouver, Camas, and now in Washougal since I moved to the NW, and I really like the area. My partners are all either from here or live here as well. If you’ve never been to downtown Camas, you’d enjoy the vibrant downtown with a lot of small, locally owned businesses. I also see a large amount of people who really enjoy craft beer and I believe they are always looking for exciting new options and believe we can help contribute to the quality of the fast growing Clark County beer scene.”

Don’t worry, though; Portland will still see Grains of Wrath beers in some form, with limited distribution outside of the pub. “I’ll believe it’s very important to keep a presence in Portland… I hope customers there will still support me once I’ve left Portland proper, but I’m only 20 miles away.”

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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

Discussion

  • Kristin Eisenmann
    Kristin Eisenmann
    Thu Dec 15, 2016 6:23 PM

    Best of luck! And Congratulations!

    • Bolt
      Bolt
      Thu Dec 15, 2016 6:48 PM

      We’re so excited about our new neighbors!

      • Mary Murray
        Mary Murray
        Thu Dec 15, 2016 7:41 PM

        Vantucky? Sorry, but that is a HUGE slap in the face of a community that is rapidly changing its culture. Shame on you for using that word.

        • chief
          chief
          Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:12 PM

          Relax Mary…turn the other cheek…

          • Samurai Artist
            Samurai Artist
            Thu Nov 9, 2017 12:19 AM

            based on some of the commenters here from Camas decrying Grains of Wrath, I standby the term Vantucky to describe some members. But it was meant to be somewhat tongue in cheek.

          • SadCitizen
            SadCitizen
            Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:33 PM

            Many of us locals are so disappointed by this development. Our 10th+ bar in a 4X2 block area that already has 10 hair salons – yes 10. This is not our community culture – we need day cares, health food stores, small businesses and community enrichment. I don’t see a money grabbing 10th bar feeding off alcohol as advantageous or appropriate. #notourculture #shameoncitycouncil #actlikeaCIVILSERVANT

            • ElGordo
              ElGordo
              Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:13 AM

              Will somebody PLEASE think of the children!

              • RyanL312
                RyanL312
                Thu Nov 9, 2017 4:31 AM

                SadCitizen, As a community we should be welcoming a small business that has decided to invest heavily into our area. Not only are these owners taking a financial risk they also chosen to rehab building that was a blight on the downtown area. As you mention there are already a fair number of bars, beer/hard liqueur, in the downtown area. In most cases some of them will be inspired to offer a better experience with the added attention to the area or unfortunately some will not. You have pointed out other needs of the community and have you expressed those concerns with the Camas/Washougal Chamber of Commerce? If there is a need like you said what is stopping those types of business from investing in our area? Without a doubt Grains Of Wrath will not only bring added tax revenue to Camas they will employ many of our local residents. Maybe with that added tax revenue Camas can help attract those other business you believe we need.

              • JOJO!
                JOJO!
                Wed Nov 8, 2017 11:55 PM

                Many of us, if not all that live in downtown Camas have really been hurt by this business. Not only has it been over 8 months of construction, averaging 2 people per day working for terrible efficiency and parking and noise. Its as if you and your husband decided to build a bar around a neighborhood, and were the only two people involved in labor. This company has clearly gotten sweet heart deals to build here since the owner of this company is directly involved in downtown commererce and has Camas council in their pockets. This is a disgrace to Camas and I really wish we could have developed something more positive here. There are multiple city counselors that could lose their job over the deals allowed to let this happen. We have great breweries and great beer options without this addition, it takes advantage of the camas elite and holds the poor hostage. This is perfect for Camas’s current identity, sadly.

                • Samurai Artist
                  Samurai Artist
                  Thu Nov 9, 2017 12:17 AM

                  the only thing sad about Grains of Wrath coming to Camas is that some members of the community such as yourselves are bad for business and community. If you think Camas already has good bars and beers than you are living in a fantasy land. GOW will bring a level of tourism, community and lively commerce to the area that you have never had previously and will be a great way to jumpstart business in the area. Sorry if you cannot see that but Camas is considered a good beer wasteland and craft beer is now becoming a serious business responsible for millions of dollars in revenue to the communities and with a track record of revitalizing towns and small cities. Open your eyes.

                  • Andy Schipull
                    Andy Schipull
                    Thu Nov 9, 2017 4:27 AM

                    Camas has only one other Brewery whose beers are wildly inconsistent at best which doesn’t say much for the “great” beer options in Camas while the city is trying to compete with the growing number of successful breweries in the Vancouver and Portland areas….

                    What’s stopping you from opening your own “positive” business in the downtown area? I would urge you to do so if you feel like breweries in the Pacific Northwest are such a negative influence in communities especially when those breweries are operated by award winning brewers and business owners who have brought substantial economic value to the city of Camas.

                    • Steve
                      Steve
                      Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:13 AM

                      CAPs n taps, mill city, a beer at a time, adams, birch street lounge, salud!, mill bar, plus the multiple restaurants/dining options all in 2 blocks. A town facing 300 mill workers being laid off and which has consistently pushed out the middle/lower class does not need another watering hole.

                      • Samurai Artist
                        Samurai Artist
                        Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:02 AM

                        I think the market will be the ultimate dictator of that Steve.

                        • Steve
                          Steve
                          Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:14 PM

                          You’ve missed the point completely. It’s camas, you could put coin operated bathrooms there and it would be successful. The point is, our small town identity has been uprooted downtown, there is minimal diversity and as a city we need to do better. That business couldn’t fail if they tried and it’s operated by large businesses already existing downtown (monopoly).

                          • Steve
                            Steve
                            Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:45 PM

                            Additionally, the discussion about quality beer can rest. Even the namesake beer has mediocre reviews at best, reviewers even distance themselves from the current brewer. https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/25920/271831/ . So honestly, before you trash talk our existing brewery, our people and our demographics – develop your craft and understand your clientele/area. Quality > Quantity Please!

                            • RyanL312
                              RyanL312
                              Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:53 PM

                              Really Steve? You used the 1 and only post from BA that fits your narrative? Here is the same beer from Untapped:
                              https://untappd.com/b/el-segundo-brewing-company-super-beer-bros-level-1-double-ipa/1944090
                              2,206 reviews with an average rating of 3.87.
                              While you are there feel free to research all the other colabs/beers and the ratings.

                            • Andy Schipull
                              Andy Schipull
                              Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:36 AM

                              Here’s another review of a GOW beer on Untappd for your reading pleasure….. pretty damn good rating with about 600 people weighing in.

                              https://untappd.comb/ex-novo-brewing-b-w-a/2269688

                          • PNWBLOODZ
                            PNWBLOODZ
                            Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:30 PM

                            wish the best for you and Shannon, but you are woefully unregulated and obviously living a depressing situation.

                        • Jessyka
                          Jessyka
                          Sat Nov 18, 2017 5:42 AM

                          Hey I like the beer Mike makes and might actually go to Camas to drink some. A little tourism never hurt a city…

                          • JF
                            JF
                            Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:29 PM

                            Washougal figured that out, but Camas seems a little slow on the uptake. Might take them a while to get an entry in the Gorge beer passport.