Final Draft Taphouse owners Kimberly and Mike believe every beer has a story, and every person has a story to share. This is the story of their Vancouver taphouse with a special commitment to Clark County.
“Our draft list is carefully curated to ensure every craft beer drinker can find a style of beer they enjoy,” explained co-owner Kimberly Johnson. “We put local Vancouver and Southwest Washington breweries first, then we fill our line-up with other quality local beer from Oregon, Washington and beyond.”
The Story of Final Draft
Co-owner Mike Bolt grew up in Vancouver and graduated from Columbia River High School. While attending the University of Montana, Mike fell in love with craft beer. He moved back to the Portland area and started a career in the craft beverage industry, working at Columbia Distribution, Portland Cider Co., Oregon City Brewery, and Fortside Brewing.,
A Wisconsin native, Kimberly Johnson traded the corporate grind in Minneapolis, for a life in the Pacific Northwest pursuing her passions: beer and exploration. Kimberly started a blog about craft beer and her adventures exploring the Pacific Northwest: Adventures, Brews, and Views. Before long, she started working in the craft beer industry at Ex Novo Brewing and found her calling.
Both Kimberly and Mike have over 10 years of combined experience working in the craft beverage industry, primarily in Portland. But they chose to open their taphouse across the river because of the up-and-coming beer scene here in Clark County (also known as the North Bank).
Clark County’s Craft Brew Community
“There are so many great craft breweries in Clark County,” Kimberly said. “The craft beer scene in Clark County is much younger than Portland, but there are so many options for the craft beer drinker to find quality beer on the North Bank versus having to go to Portland.”
If you’re not familiar with the Clark County beer scene, Kimberly recommends North Bank Beer Week. This annual event is a showcase of all things craft beer, including local brewers, taphouse owners and craft beer champions. But why wait for the annual event to come around when you can get a head start at Final Draft Taphouse?
Food and Drink and Final Draft
“We want our taphouse to have a pub-like feel where everyone is welcome, no matter their level of craft beer knowledge,” Kimberly said. “Helping people discover a craft beer that is new to them is one of our favorite things about owning a taphouse.”
There are two large screens behind the bar at Final Draft with a description of every beer on tap and its characteristics (you can also view their taplist online). If you don’t know your ABVs from IBUs, ask one of the friendly staff members for a recommendation. In addition to pouring beers by the glass or pint, Final Draft offers taster trays with 4 oz. samples of four different beers.
Events and Community
Kimberly and Mike want Final Draft to be a gathering place for friends and the community. The taphouse hosts a variety of activities and reoccurring events each month including:
Monthly Tap Spotlights. Also known as tap takeovers, highlights a local brewery and three to four of their beers. “Guests can meet the brewer and/or a brewery representative, and it’s a great way to sample a variety of beers and learn the story behind their creation,” Kimberly said.
Couve Brew Bevy. A monthly meetup for ladies who love craft beer, are interested in learning more about it, and want to connect with other women in the area. Couve Brew Bevy typically happens toward the end of the month and includes either a guest speaker, or a craft-beer game. All ladies 21+ are welcome, follow Final Draft Taphouse on Facebook to find out about the next event.
Adventure Seeker Saturdays. These events give craft beer drinkers the opportunity to have a flight, a pretzel and a craft beer adventure from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. every Saturday. There are three flight options:
- Flight 001: Choose your own adventure
- Flight 002: Our beertender chooses the four beers
- Flight 003: Flying Blind, our beertender chooses four beers and the craft beer drinker gets to guess what they are. If they get two or more right, they win a prize.
Final Draft also has a back room designed for private events such as networking groups, staff parties, anniversary or birthday celebrations, teacher happy hours, etc. The room can accommodate up to 30 people, contact Final Draft Taphouse via their website for additional information or to reserve.
In addition to beer tasting and networking events, Final Draft also hosts fundraisers for local and international causes. In 2017, they held an underwear drive for the victims of the Hurricane Harvey in Houston and a fundraiser event for So They Can Thrive, a Portland-based nonprofit working to build schools and medical centers in remote parts of the world. Final Draft also participated in GiveMore24, southwest Washington’s giving day.
What’s on Tap for Final Draft?
In the coming year, Final Draft taphouse will roll out more storytelling and craft beer education events. They also plan to expand their activities to support the local community and beyond. “We have a heart to give to those in need.” Kimberly said.
Visit Final Draft Taphouse at 11504 SE Mill Plain Blvd Vancouver, Washington – immediately east of 205 on Mill Plain Blvd. Connect with Final Draft Taphouse on Facebook and Instagram. Visit the Final Draft Taphouse website to subscribe to their email newsletter, learn about upcoming events and read about some of the people and patrons that frequent Final Draft.