Vagabond Brewing Portland Brewpub Aims for Early 2019 Opening

As reported earlier this year, Salem, Oregon-based Vagabond Brewing is opening a Portland brewpub that is now well underway. Originally hopeful for a summer 2018 opening, permitting has held up construction on the new brewery and restaurant but things are now finally progressing. “After 16 months in permit hell with the city we are finally making rapid progress on construction,” says co-owner Dean Howes who also tells us the brewpub managment and chef is in place.

Opening up new Portland locations of your brewery seems to be the new trend de jour with Mt. Hood Brewing, Backwoods Brewing and Avid (Atlas) Cider among the recent makers to expand to PDX. We have to give Vagabond extra credit though, rather than just open a new Portland outpost they are actually opening a full brewery and pub. The buildout is taking place in the new redeveloped dairy building at 2715 SE 8th Ave
Portland, Oregon 97202 that’s spitting distance from The Beermongers, Apex and the new Mt. Hood Brewing  Tilikum Crossing.

Vagabond Brewing is known for being a military veteran run brewery, and that may be the inspiration for co-owners Dean Howes and James Cardwell to find a 1958 Cessna 310B plane for the new Portland taproom. They found the plane in a Canadian field where it had crash landed 10 years ago. With the help of the Vandenborn Militia and Vandehoof FD they drove up, disassembled the plane and brought it back to Oregon in 3 days.

Howes and Cardwell are hoping to open the Portland taproom in January with a new 7bbl brewhouse from Practical Fusion coming online just after that. Brewmaster, James Cardwell will oversee the brewing project and get the initial lineup of beers out the gate while looking for a full time brewer for this location.  In the meantime they will bring up beers from the Salem brewery and some event collaborations they have in the works with other local brewers. “We will feature 20 taps of Vagabond beer and curated local ciders with a selection of our bottles, cans and crowlers to-go” says Howes.

Vagabond Brewing Portland won’t be slouches in the kitchen either, they have hired Victor Deras from Olympia Provisions as their head chef. Howes sent over a sample menu, still TBD:

-Pacific Northwest oysters on the Half shell with beer mignonette and fresh horseradish by the half dozen
-Beer battered delicata squash rings served with sweet chilli sauce
-All beef burger with fontina cheese, red onion shredded iceberg lettuce, and house sauce on a
sesame seed bun
-Roasted carrots and parsnips melt with gruyere, pickles, dijon on a ciabatta bun
Ribeye steak frites, horseradish fries, braised mushrooms and a herb butter
-Potato gnocchi with chard broccoli, roast peppers, fried capers and a dijon cream sauce
-Chocolate stout ice cream banana split with goat caramel sauce topped with whip cream
-Seasonal soups and salads as well as kid’s menu.
If all goes to plan, Vagabond Brewing Portland should be hiring the rest of their staff after the start of the new year and opening soon thereafter. You can now follow updates specifically for the Portland brewpub on facebook and instagram.

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: