A longtime chiropractor from Castle Rock, Washington, is bringing his passion for microbrews to Camas.
Daren Bowlby opened his Growler USA franchise off Southeast 192nd Avenue in western Camas in mid-January. He said he’s always loved traveling with friends and family and trying out new microbrews, and fell in love with the company’s vast selection of microbrewed beers.
The Camas-based Growler USA features 100 different taps, including a few local options from Washougal’s 54-40 Brewing and Shoug Brewing.
“We are not beer snobs,” Bowlby said. “We just want people to experience great beer.”
Corey Mathews, general manager of the new Camas pub, said the Growler USA spot will only serve American craft beer.
“There is no Miller, Budweiser or Coors,” he said. “These beers are from independently owned breweries.”
Mathews added that Growler USA is raising the bar on craft beer in this area, with 90 percent of the taps dedicated to local brews.
“This is a good destination to try a lot of local beer in one spot,” Mathews said.
In addition to beer, the Camas pub serves cold-pressed coffee, root beer, kombucha and Coca Cola products. The kitchen menu includes Belgian waffles and fried chicken, seared mahi-mahi, cheeseburgers, beer-cheese soup and beer-battered fries.
“People expect the beer to be good, but they are amazingly surprised by how great the food is,” Bowlby said.
Customers hoping to take some of the Growler USA beers home are in luck. The pub has plastic and glass growlers for sale and can fill them for takeaway beer. The restaurant also will serve food to-go. Bowlby said he suspects many customers will try a pint or two on-site, eat some food, and then leave with a growler full of beer to drink at home.
Bowlby credited Mathews and Assistant General Manager/Brew Guru Joshua “Bear” Trim for helping him create a successful new business. Trim and Mathews came ready to turn the Camas pub into a thriving franchise, having previously managed a Growler USA in Austin, Texas.
In addition to the full-time management team, Bowlby employs 17 part-time employees, including two of his four sons: Justin, 22, is a beer tender and waiter, while 17-year-old Jon works as the pub’s dishwasher.
To create a friendly, neighborhood pub atmosphere for all ages, Bowlby has installed five televisions and has an assortment of games for customers to play while enjoying a pint of beer or waiting for their food, including Scrabble, Jenga and UNO. The pub also has USB ports at the bar so customers can charge their electronic devices while they’re at Growler USA.
Bowlby, 51, a former Navy nuclear engineer who worked for six years in Bremerton, Washington, decided to become a chiropractor after a back injury changed his career path.
He said he doesn’t intend to give up his practice, Bowlby Chiropractic Center, in Longview, Washington, but was simply “ready for another challenge.”
The new pub will host a grand opening celebration from 11 a.m. to midnight, Friday, Feb. 9, and Saturday, Feb. 10. Representatives from about a dozen breweries will be on hand after 1 p.m. both days to talk about their microbrews, and there will be giveaways for a few lucky guests.
Growler USA, located at 2011 S.E. 192nd Ave., Ste. 100, in Camas, is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday through Thursday, from 11 a.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays. It is one of 18 Growler USA locations in the United States and the first to open in the Pacific Northwest.
For more information, call 360-210-4841 or visit www.growlerusa.com.