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A 'trusty' tap

Local home brewer opens Trusty Brewing in Vancouver


SUBMITTED PHOTO: ANDREA PAUL - Gary and Andrea Paul, center, are thankful to friends, family and neighbors who helped Gary with the trial-and-error brewing process over the years. The smell was what got to Gary Paul.

More than 20 years ago, when Paul lived in San Francisco next to the famed Anchor Brewing Company, the smells that came from the brewery enticed him to start making his own beer. A print industry professional by trade, Paul had also been a baker in the past, so he had prior experience working with some of beer’s primary ingredients.

“I had some yeast experience,” Paul said. “And I decided to put it in a glass.”

It was the beginning of a long-standing “obsession” that Paul, now a West Linn resident, finally turned into a business opportunity by opening up Trusty Brewing in Vancouver, Washington, earlier this year. It didn’t take long to start raking in accolades.

Earlier this month, Willamette Week named Trusty Brewing’s “Corner Window” the best IPA in Vancouver.

“This was after years and years of all of us — friends, family, neighbors — saying, ‘Gary, you’ve got to make a business out of this, you’ve got to do this,’” Paul’s wife Andrea said. “And finally he said, ‘Fine, we’re going to give it a go.’”

After about a year of fruitless searches for real estate in the Portland metro area, the Pauls stumbled on a deal for space in Vancouver on Evergreen Boulevard. They bought the property in October 2015, and opened their doors in January of this year.

“It’s amazing, when you go to Vancouver, it’s not as competitive,” Andrea Paul said. “All the other breweries come to our brewery and welcome us, and we get to go to other breweries and hang out.”

SUBMITTED PHOTO: ANDREA PAUL - Trusty Brewing opened up in Vancouver this past January, and the Pauls have been pleasantly surprised with the friendly brewing culture across the river.

“You’re not lost in the mix of Portland,” Gary Paul said.

So where did the name “Trusty” come from? Gary Paul said the reasons were twofold.

“It was built-in marketing; I wanted to be your go-to, you know, ‘Trusty’ beverage,” Paul said. “And there was some safety net, if beer didn’t work out we could brew root beer or soda pop.”

In opening the brewery, recipes certainly weren’t an issue; Paul has gathered a near endless amount over the years. The biggest challenge, instead, was increasing the scale of production by an exponential amount.

“With home brew we made 10-gallon batches, now I make 110 gallons,” Gary Paul said. “The scaling worked pretty well, but some things needed to be adjusted and changed.”

Now, as Trusty Brewing continues to carve its niche in Vancouver, Paul can focus on what got him here in the first place: the familiar trial-and-error process of brewing.

“It’s very similar to printing,” he said. “You take a bunch of raw ingredients, mix them up to your standards, industry standards, scientific standards, and at the end of the process you need to have a final product that’s tasty. My whole career has been spent with that system, and that’s how brewing is too.”

SUBMITTED PHOTO: ANDREA PAUL - Four months in, Trusty Brewing has already earned recognition as Willamette Weeks Best IPA in Vancouver.

Indeed, it’s the raw ingredients that keep Paul coming back after all these years.

“The amount of different ingredients and things like that keeps it interesting to me,” Paul said. “There’s so many options and variations.”

“He would get bored otherwise,” Andrea Paul said. “He gets bored very easily.”

Looking into the future, the Pauls will focus on maintaining their Vancouver location before thinking seriously about expanding to other areas. But they do hope to one day open a spot in West Linn, and in the near-term are working to get Trusty Brewing beer in as a guest tap at other local establishments.

“We hope to get the beer to West Linn at least, soon,” Gary Paul said.

Pour me a glass

Trusty Brewing is located at 114 E. Evergreen Boulevard in Vancouver. Learn more at trustybrewing.com.

Patrick Malee can be reached at 503-636-1281 Ext. 106 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..