Camas-Washougal breweries expand reach

Grains of Wrath and 54-40 Brewing partner with craft beverage distributors to take brews statewide

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54-40 Brewing Company owner and lead brewer Bolt Minister has struck a deal with a Ridgefield-based distribution company to distrubute a selection of the brewery's beers across Washington state in 12-ounce six-packs and draft form. (Contributed photo courtesy of Corwin Beverage Company)

Two Camas-Washougal breweries are expanding their distribution reach.

Camas’ Grains of Wrath Brewery (GoW) and Washougal’s 54-40 Brewing Company (54-40) have partnered with local craft beverage distributors Kendall’s Pioneer and Browar Polska to supply their products to retail shops, restaurants and taprooms throughout Washington.

Beer lovers throughout the state will soon be able to enjoy four of 54-40’s core offerings — Kolsch-style Kascadia ale, Red Zeppelin amber ale, Half Cocked IPA and 1862 Mexican lager — and a selection of their seasonal brews, available in draft and 12-ounce six-packs.

“I’m Southwest Washington born and raised and have always wanted my community to be known as a good beer community,” 54-40 founder and head brewer Bolt Minister said. “We’re now responding to the interest of people up and down the I-5 corridor. We were drawn to the sales team for Kendall’s and Browar, who really know how to serve the craft beer community in Washington.”

Minister started 54-40 Brewing with a production facility and brewery and taproom in Washougal in 2015, and opened the 54-40 Beer Lodge in Stevenson in the fall of 2021. The company brewed 2,700 barrels of beer in 2021, and distributed beer throughout Southwest Washington and Northwest Oregon.

Kendall’s Pioneer serves retailers, bars and restaurants in Southwest Washington, and Browar Polska serves clients in the Seattle and Puget Sound area, as well as parts of eastern Washington.

“We are very proud of how the Southwest Washington beer scene is developing, and 54-40 has been requested from Bellingham to Spokane,” Sam Madrid, chief operating officer of the Ridgefield-based Corwin Beverage Co., the parent company of Kendall’s Pioneer and Browar Polska, said.

The distribution companies have also formed a partnership with GoW to distribute the Camas brewery’s award-winning West Coast India pale ales and German lagers across Southwest Washington, complementing existing distribution for the popular products across Oregon.

GoW’s Built for Speed IPA, Frost Hammer Helles Lager, Dystopia IPA and Dive Bar Lager will be available in cans and draft form.

“Our Camas headquarters business grew quickly, and we opened a Portland brewhouse about 14 months ago,” GoW owner and head brewer Mike Hunsaker said. “As we’ve grown our production volume with two locations and a talented staff, we consider partnering with a quality distributor as the next logical step to present our fresh beers to more people across the region.”

With a 10-barrel system in Camas and a 15-barrel steam system in Portland, GoW is poised to produce 3,000 barrels in 2022, according to the news release.

“Grains of Wrath is an outstanding brewery operated by great people, and beer lovers will appreciate their attention to excellence,” Les Kellum, Kendall’s sales and brand manager said. “Helping high-quality, independent brewing owners in our region like Grains of Wrath was exactly what was envisioned when Kendall’s Pioneer was formed as a specialty distributorship by the Corwin family in 2014.”