Review: Ghost Runners Brewery, Vancouver WA

Ghost Runners Brewery, Vancouver WA This last week on Friday night (Oct. 2nd) we stopped by the Ghost Runners Brewery in Vancouver WA on our way to drop off some friends. I’ve had a few chances to sample their beers over the past couple of years as they have been producing and distributing in the local area and was excited to check them out. We were really happy that they finally opened up a tap-room at their production facility off of NE Minnehaha in an industrial area of Vancouver, the local brewing scene is growing with a strong showing of brewers that have a clue.

The brewery is located along the 2nd row of the building complex, not visible from the street. They have a 10 barrel system with a couple of storage tanks inside behind the bar area. If you ask one of the interns or bartenders, they will show you around and explain their setup. I’m really glad that they opened up the opportunity to visit their production site and try their beers on site. I would highly recommend visiting them if you’re in town and have a few extra minutes in the evening to give them a try.

The main room isn’t exclusively for adults, it also has a couch to sit on, and a mini-pool table to play with. There were a number of ‘families’ there with pre-teens to teen-age kids running around, which is fine considering that they just opened to the public and they need all the business they can get. They don’t have any food on site other than a few snacks in bags (chips, nuts, etc.), so eat before you go.

As you can see from the samplers, they had eight beers available that night plus a guest cider draft. We didn’t try the cider as we were just looking to try their own beers. They don’t distribute all of what they brew, so most of their beers are on-site one-offs. In talking with the bartender and interns, they are continually working on the recipes, refining the flavor profiles, so I applaud them for making both good, and unique beers that aren’t clones or just ‘in the middle’. The reviews go left to right on the trays shown. Overall it was a great experience, and I plan on going back quarterly to try their new seasonal and one-offs. The top beers for me were the nitro draft of the Boston Irish Red and the Relay IPA.

Ghost Runners Brewery
4216 NE Minnehaha St #108
Vancouver, WA 98661
Phone:(360) 989-3912

Relay IPA
Ghost Runners • IPA • IBU: 90 • ABV: 7.2% • 16 SRM
Nice mid-red amber colored draft, slight head that dropped quickly, little to no lacing on the rim. The nose is bit sweet malt with a strong herbal and floral hop presence. There is a lot of hop resin and floral notes on the front mouth with a definite dry backing and solid mouth-feel from the malt build.
Duathlon Black IPA
Ghost Runners • Black IPA / Cascadian Dark Ale • IBU: 70 • ABV: 6% • 40 SRM
Nice solid black/brown draft, tan one finger foamy head, solid lacing around the rim with each sip. The nose is a bit burned wood, charcoal, oily and resin bitters. The front mouth is like the nose, straight forward solid bodied, chewy, slight burned coffee and wood-chip hops and toffee sweetness on the back.
Performance RyePA
Ghost Runners • IPA • IBU: 40 • ABV: 6.4% • 14 SRM
Mid-orange draft, solid white head with nice frothy retention, some lacing as sipped. The nose is a bit sweet and hop forward with hits of floral and fresh cut pine. The malt build is really pronounced on the front and mid mouth-feel, with an almost chewy approach. Solid hop balanced with hits of resin, forest floor, and a strong bread crusty back.
Ghost Runners • IPA • IBU: 95 • ABV: 6.4% • 16 SRM
Darker-orange with slight red highlights on this draft with a softer white foamy head, some retention and lacing on the rim. The nose is a bit citrus, pine, resins and a dry to sweet approach. The front mouth is a bit of citrus pith, dried fruit, sweet breads on the mid. Back is dry with a bit of pine and hop resins. Lingers well with a dry hop vibe.
Turkey Trot Winter Ale
Ghost Runners • Winter Ale • IBU: 40 • ABV: 7% • 35 SRM
Dark brown with hints of red on the rim, slight off-white bubbly head little retention, left some spidery lacing. The nose is spicy, oaky, and slightly sweet. The front mouth is a bit strong-alcohol forward with a strong spiced flavor profile. Hops are secondary to the solid sweet breads and full-malt body. The spices are also present on the mid-back with hints of raw oak barrels.
Boston Irish Red Ale (nitro)
Ghost Runners • Irish Red Ale • IBU: 40 • ABV: 6.8% • 25 SRM
Solid mid-red and amber hue with a really active nitro foamy head. Took about 4 minutes for the beer to settle once poured. The nose is sweet, slight sharp hop notes from the burned sugars. The front to mid mouth is super cream, solid-full bodied, chewy, sweet and slight sharp acidic notes from the hop build. The overall take is that this red on nitro is a great representation of an American Red, with all the sweet caramel, solid grains, and slight spices on the back. Wonderfully round and lingers sweet on the tongue.
Boston Irish Red Ale
Ghost Runners • Irish Red Ale • IBU: 40 • ABV: 6.8% • 25 SRM
Dark-red draft with a slight off-white foamy head that holds great retention to the end. The front mouth is sweet, bread crust, toasted grains, slight dry pine notes. The mid to back is full-bodied, solid with a lot of sweet malts and secondary hops. Finished sweet.
Strong Leg Stout
Ghost Runners • Russian Imperial Stout • IBU: 30 • ABV: 9.6% • 40+ SRM
Solid black draft, tan foamy head with really strong retention, rims the glass with lacing with each sip. The nose is burned wood, slight burned sugars, complex alcoholic hits. The front mouth is smooth, bitter from the burned grain build and slight pine based hops. The really nice complexity of the grains gives this cellar-aged stout a full body and really great mouth-feel.

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