Ruse Brewing started as the project of Shaun Kalis who began developing his brand in an alternating proprietorship at Culmination Brewing, with Culmination brewer Devin Benware joing now as a partner. The pair has just signed the lease on a space to open their own independent brewery and taproom in the Sellwood neighborhood of southeast Portland. Ruse Brewing captured early buzz for its mixed fermentation farmhouse ales and IPAs. Though hard to find, the beers have already developed a cult-like following and buzz without the benefit of a brewery or taproom facility.
Ruse Brewing plans to open in the Iron Fireman Collective building being remodeled as a mixed use space at 4784 SE 17th Ave, just a little south of Holgate and right off the MAX Orange Line. The building is huge and sure to be bustling with office space and creatives in the near future. Ruse Brewing is the building’s first tenant and will be located to the left of the front lobby. It’s a great space for a brewery, with just under 6,000 sq. ft. and front and back roll-up doors (one leading to a drive-in truck loading zone convenient for deliveries). While there is no outside seating, there is tons of natural light and enough of the old building frame of concrete, brick and wood to leave it some character to build a brand upon. The building dates back to 1924, when it was used to produce coal-fired furnaces and later became a facility for PECO, an aircraft parts manufacturer.
Ruse Brewing will continue to explore farmhouse ales, wild and sour mixed fermentation beers and IPAs and will expand its barrel program, maybe even adding some other styles to the mix. The taproom could become a destination spot with an underserved location and a bar with live music and exclusive beers. A new direct fire 10 barrel 2-vessel (later to become 3-vessel) brewhouse from Portland Kettle Works will be installed in the back of the room with a row of ten and twenty barrel tanks will be visible from the bar with an open bar rail separating the public to private space similar to the one at pFriem’s brewpub. A cordoned off section for a 70-80 barrel room will also be off to the side of the tasting room with seating just outside, so customers will feel right in the middle of things.
The plan is for twelve faucets, ten dedicated to the brewery’s own beers plus one Culmination Brewing tap and one cider tap. There won’t be a kitchen, but the bar will serve pretzels and perhaps other snacks, while the hope is there will eventually be food carts in the parking lot across the street. Yes, there are two parking lots in addition to being right off the MAX line and highway 99E. While there is very little walking traffic in the neighborhood, it’s still very easy to get to with a lot of cars driving by, and upcoming development could make the area a new hot spot for apartments and retail.
Shaun and Devin hope to be open by this winter, but in the meantime are putting another Ruse dedicated tank into Culmination Brewing’s space to produce more beer on that system. For now, check out Ruse Brewing’s recently released “Silence Seeker” Gose, for which yours truly designed the label. It’s a more rustic take on the style and not the punch in the face of kettle soured beer that most goses are these days. Silence Seeker is a tart and refreshing wheat ale brewed with house cured lemon salt and toasted coriander. Find it in 500ml at select bottle shops.