Dean Howes, one of the founders of Vagabond Brewing in Salem, had noticed Albany’s evolving and expanding beer scene, as well as the area’s growing population.
So when a storefront near Heritage Mall opened up, right in the epicenter of town, where people go to the movies or shopping for groceries and more, he and his business partners didn’t hesitate.
The Vagabond Brewing Outpost in Albany opened up about two months ago, and the business has 30 taps for beer and cider, as well as four taps for kombucha.
“We go pretty heavy with our stuff,” Howes said, adding that Vagabond, like many Oregon microbreweries, is known for its India pale ales.
But there also are taps featuring beers from “Salem, Corvallis, whatever else friends of ours are doing or is good,” Howes said. Growler fills are $15 for nearly all brews.
Vagabond has special glass and beer releases and events that it will bring to Albany, Howes said, and customers can become “mug club” members and get deals on beer and other discounts.
Vagabond’s headquarters is in Salem, where the beer is brewed, and the business also has the Victory Club in Oregon’s capital city.
The business was started in February 2014 by three longtime friends and Marine veterans — Howes, Alvin Klausen and James Cardwell.
Howes said that Albany’s strong support for veterans also made the city attractive for expansion.
The trio served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan before traveling around the world and searching for their calling. Everywhere they travelled, they found beer culture, and that proved to be their inspiration.
“Craft beer is a pretty cool industry, but making beer is a lot harder than most people think,” Howes said, noting that people tend to romanticize microbreweries.
Then again, Howe makes his work sound appealing.
“We get to make the beer we love to drink. … Basically, everything we want to see in a brewery is our day-to-day job,” he added.
Howes said there are improvements in the works for Vagabond’s Albany location, including better signage, and improving the outdoor seating area with a fire pit and patio lights.
The business also doesn’t have food but that will be added, as well. For now, customers can bring their own food into the business.
Howes said that all Portland Timbers and Trail Blazers games will be shown inside the establishment, and he and his partners also are looking to show UFC fights.
The Vagabond Brewing Outpost, 2195 14th Ave. Suite 103, is open from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday through Thursday, 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, noon to 11 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. on Sunday.
For more information, call 503-770-0421, or go to the Vagabond Outpost Facebook page.