Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Taproom opens to much fanfare

It was a glorious sunny day for the long anticipated opening of River Mile 38's new taproom on the Elochoman Slough Marina's waterfront on Saturday. By 4 p.m., a crowd had formed near the entry, awaiting the arrival of another throng of people parading from the old brewery, and the subsequent ribbon cutting. They were all excited to get their first look at the inside of the completed structure and the views it promised, as well as partake in River Mile 38's fabulous beverages.

"We had a great time, it far surpassed what we expected to see," Rex Czuba said. "We had hundreds of people coming in, including a lot of people from out of town who are fans of the brewery and a lot of locals that we've seen every day."

Czuba and his partner, Javier Sanchez, purchased the brewery from the original founders in January 2019.

Moving out of the old building is proving to be bittersweet for the owners and their customers. The brewery will continue production there, but the old structure holds a lot of memories for all who spent so many of their days and hours enjoying a drink and talking and laughing with friends.

On Saturday as part of the festivities, people were invited to write special memories on the walls of the old building and that's what they were doing before their procession to the new taproom at 4 p.m.

"The send off that we did at the old place was very touching," Czuba said, "but now it's time to make some memories in the new space."

The pair are excited about the bigger space, which will allow for more visitors and be a showcase the town. The container structure and the location marries the industrial aspect of the port and highlights the beauty of the riverfront and has become a point of interest for locals and people visiting the area.

"It's something that we think we can enjoy with the town for years to come," Czuba said.

The taproom was ready, and with so much positive interest, the pair decided to open the doors even though a little more work is planned. An outdoor garden with fire pits and seating is planned, as well as an upstairs deck, and a menu for the kitchen,.

Without making any promises, their target is to open the upstairs deck and get kitchen running for Bald Eagles Day in July.

"We're really trying," Czuba said. "We really appreciate the patience of everybody in the town as we work through the kinks of the new building. There were a lot of delays because of covid-19 and supply chain issues."

As the doors opened on Saturday, people poured in, looking at all the details that Czuba and Sanchez worked so hard on, including wallpaper that highlights local birds, lighting and more. And they stopped to take in the view.

The owners are listening to customer feedback, and trying to incorporate some of the best things about the old building into the new one. They will continue to showcase the local cheese and salmon from businesses in town, and all the events will go on as they did before, whether it's live music, bingo, or trivia, or poetry readings, and paint and sips.

Czuba said he learned a lot about patience, and about paying attention to details in the building of the new taproom.

"It was definitely an eye opening experience," he said. "I think one of the things that gave me the most pleasure as I looked back at the opening this last week was when we started to look through the pictures from when the lot was just a gravel area and how it's just transformed into a wonderful space for people to enjoy."

Czuba is grateful to Wahkiakum County Port 1 for working though logistical issues and for getting it up and going.

"It will pair well with the town's park and with the other fishing and camping opportunities that the port offers as well," he said. "It's going to be a really good addition to that area."

"We want to make it a space for everybody to come to. Kids are still welcome at the new place, we want it to be a spot where you can bring your families and enjoy the sunsets and have a nice drink and have some good food, when the food is ready," he said.

"It was really meant to be a local meeting spot for us where we can benefit from the local resources that the county offers," Czuba said. "It's something really unique. I don't know of too many places that exist like this in the Pacific Northwest, it's been phenomenal to see how it's grown. We've got a quiet corner of the state, and a quiet little spot in our little town, and I think it will be positive for all our local businesses as we bring more people in to experience the new location."

Hours will remain 4-9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 2-6 p.m. on Sunday.


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