A downtown Camas business has received statewide recognition for improving the economic condition of the area.
Mill City Brew Werks, owned by Mark Zech and Walt LeDoux, is located at 339 N.E. Cedar St.
The restaurant, pub and brewery received an Excellence on Main award from the Washington State Main Street Program.
Downtown Camas Association Executive Director Carrie Schulstad, Board President Caroline Mercury and Vice President/Treasurer Dawn White accepted the Economic Vitality honor, on behalf of Mill City, Wednesday.
The award ceremony was held in conjunction with RevitalizeWA, Washington State’s Preservation and Main Street Conference, in Wenatchee.
“We are very honored to be recognized by our state,” Zech said. “Our goal was to help in the revitalization of our beautiful town and put Camas on the map.
“Along with other new businesses in town, we have made great progress toward making Camas a destination,” he added. “Our passion for food and beer, along with our love for Camas, were the driving factors that have made us very successful.”
Zech’s wife, Francisca, is also involved in the venture. It includes a brewery (approximately 5,000 square feet) in the basement. The restaurant and pub areas can seat approximately 75.
The DCA board nominated Mill City Brew Werks for the award. In addition to Mercury and White, the board includes Secretary Barb Baldus, Doug Quinn, Joann Taylor, Karen Hall, Roch Manley, Katina Fischer and Greg Goforth, as well as liaisons Steve Hogan (Camas City Council member), Steve Marshall (Camas High School principal), and Barry Burnham (Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce representative).
Mill City Brew Werks opened in June 2013. It has 25 full-time employees.
The Economic Vitality award recognizes economic enhancement efforts within the downtown district.
Mill City shares a website, www.camascraftbeer.com with Caps N’ Taps, a craft beer bottle shop and tap room that opened at 337 N.E. Fourth Ave., in May 2013.
Caps N’ Taps carries Mill City brews on tap.
“Mill City Brew Werks is a prime example of how successful businesses can shape downtown character and support the local economy,” Washington State Main Street Program
Coordinator Sarah Hansen said in a press release. “The brew pub’s commitment to providing a high quality product is drawing visitors from the Portland area, creating a stronger regional economy and bringing deserved recognition to beautiful downtown Camas.”
Washougal Brewing Co. LLC started in March 2012 with a two-barrel pilot system in the Zechs’ garage.
“The city of Camas asked us to name the pub something other than Washougal Brewing Co.,” Mark said in October 2012. “We came up with Mill City Brew Werks to honor the heritage of Camas.
“We initially were looking at LaCamas Brewing that was started by John Nagal in 1885, but settled on Mill City Brew Werks to identify with Camas,” he added. “Washougal Brewing Co. LLC still exists and could potentially be part of our 10-year plan to expand.”