This Saturday, July 14th, Ruse Brewing opens its new taproom to the public for an all-day grand opening party. We previewed the new home of Ruse Brewing and the taproom over a year ago and are happy to make the return visit to see how much owners Shaun Kalis and Devin Benware have accomplished. Ruse was founded by Kalis and has operated for over a year with an alternating proprietorship deal with Culmination Brewing. The brewing and packaging partnership allowed Ruse to produce its brand at Culmination Brewing and even temporarily place its own fermentation tanks on-site while working on its own location that will finally open this Saturday. The taproom is located in the Iron Fireman Collective building at 4784 SE 17th Ave.
Ruse Brewing specializes in mixed fermentation barrel ferments and wild ales, as well as juicy/hazy IPA and west coast IPA. While most of the beers fall into those categories, the brewers are not afraid to mix it up with a Kolsch, Coffee Brown Ale or Imperial Stout, all beers that have been recently released. The latest is a gin barrel-aged mixed fermentation farmhouse ale (pictured above) that will be released in bottles this Saturday.
Kalis was a homebrewer who brewed and trained at Old Market Pub & Brewery and McMenamins before becoming a brewer at Culmination Brewing while building his own brand. Benware was the head brewer at the short-lived Brannon’s Brew Pub in Hillsboro and then a brewer at Culmination Brewing where he and Kalis met and decided to combine efforts. In the new space Ruse Brewing has installed a 3-vessel, 10 barrel brewhouse with three 20 barrel tanks and two 10 barrel tanks with space for more tanks and barrels. There is even a brand new foeder in place, which will hold a custom light base beer for mixed fermentation and the brew team plans to use a solera process of emptying it partially and topping it up with new beer when some is removed. The building is an old renovated concrete and salvaged wood industrial space turned into a “a fully renovated facility for modern day production. We are plumbed, wired, and powered to help you design, create, build and make,” according to the website. Plenty of spaces are still available in this monstrous building in an old/new part of town with a winery and Hi-Five Cider planning to share one of the spaces.
Ruse Brewing showcases an original aesthetic perspective with nods to M. C. Escher, Egyptian hieroglyphics, and other surreal and mind bending and mysterious arts. The taproom will share that aesthetic that runs from their logo to their labels and soon will become a showcase for local artists and musicians. Kalis is a musician and has long dreamed of opening a combination brewery and taproom combined with a live music venue. The taproom is full of natural light with wood and steel. A brushed metal bar top, hand built paneling and tables, a local glass blowers works on display and a mural against the wall.
The Ruse Brewing taproom is a tasting room and showcase for its beers, first and foremost. It’s an intimate space with a 63 person capacity and one TV for Timbers, Blazers and other big games only. Ten taps will be flowing, with eight of them being Ruse beers, one guest brewery (likely Culmination Brewing), and one hard cider with a selection of canned or bottled wine and non-alcoholic soda. You will be able to get your growler filled or a special Ruse 750ml swing top bottle of select drafts, depending on how much there is available. That, of course, goes for Ruse’s 375ml, 500ml and 750ml bottles. The taproom does not have food, but there are hopes that a food purveyor will take one of the vacant spaces in the mixed use Iron Fireman Collective building the brewery occupies. Ruse hopes to have a food truck outside on weekends in the near future. The taproom will be all-ages friendly until 7pm. It is located conveniently right off of the MAX Yellow line and there is a big parking lot across the street at 17th and Schiller.
Ruse Brewing will be open Tuesday through Sunday and Closed on Mondays. The Grand Opening is this Saturday, July 14th from Noon to 9pm.
4784 SE 17th Ave. Portland, OR