Beer lovers, rejoice! A new place to fill up your growler is coming to Vancouver.
Earlier this week, Ghost Runners Brewery kicked off construction on a new 2,650-square-foot facility at Minnehaha Corporate Center (4216 NE Minnehaha Street).
This is the first commercial space for Ghost Runners Brewery, which was founded in 2012 by local residents and neighbors Rob Ziebell and Jeff Seibel. The new facility is expected to open mid-December.
“We’re really excited,” said Seibel, who built the company’s pilot brewery in his backyard. “Currently, we’re only able to produce about eight barrels of beer a month … but now demand has prompted us to invest in a new space and some much larger tanks.”
As Seibel described it, the new facility will be a “10-barrel brew house with 20-barrel fermenters to start,” with the capacity to increase that with multiple brews per day. It will feature 100 percent stainless steel brewing tanks manufactured by Marks Design and Metalworks – a company that also happens to be located in the Minnehaha Corporate Center.
“When we approached them (Marks) over a year ago we said we were looking at space in Vancouver and we really wanted to use them,” recalled Seibel. “This spot became available and it was a perfect match. Now we offer an opportunity for Marks to showcase some of their premiere tanks in our live working brewery, so the relationship has really solidified because of that.”
For the most part, Ghost Runners’ new facility will be production-only. However, Seibel said a tasting room and growler fill-stations will be available to the public at specific times during the week.
“Much like Deschutes [Brewery] has done, having the option for people to come try out new beers that are only at the brewery gives us an opportunity to test the market with new styles of beer,” said Seibel.
Ghost Runners has quickly grown in popularity since its founding two years ago. Utilizing Washougal-based Big River Distributors, the brand can currently be found at approximately 50 restaurants and bars in Southwest Washington.
According to the founders, the new facility will allow Ghost Runners to expand their market reach to Portland and Seattle in the next six months. Within the next year-and-a-half, Ziebell and Seibel hope to expand to California and distributors in Idaho.
With that growth, said Seibel, will come the need to hire additional employees.
“Once the new brewery opens up we’ll have room to add people to manage the tasting room and the fill stations,” he said. “As we grow even larger, the direction of the company will still be handled by Rob and I, but we may hand over the day-to-day brewing operations to someone from the industry. We have quite an expansive growth plan.”
When asked about the challenges of growing a craft brewery in today’s crowded market, the founders point to the company’s well-established – and growing – niche: beer-craving runners.
“We’re a running-inspired company,” Seibel said. “There are over 7 million runners in the Portland-Vancouver market. Our campaign is to make sure that after every running event, biking event, hiking event and rowing event that ends up in some sort of beer garden, Ghost Runners Brewery is the sponsor.
“Runners really like their craft beer and they deserve good beer. They deserve great beer. They deserve Ghost Runners,” he added.
For more information on Ghost Runners Brewery, visit www.ghostrunnersbrewery.com.