Vagabond Brewing was founded in 2012 by three longtime friends and Marine Corps combat veterans: Dean Howes, Alvin Klausen, and James Cardwell. The brewery’s theme originated from their experiences traveling the world after completing their service.
Having served their country for the better part of a decade, the owners decided to travel in hopes of finding inspiration for the next part of their lives. Their journeys took them from South America to Southeast Asia, and many places in-between.
They went looking for purpose and found more than they could have imagined. Their friendships were strengthened throughout their adventures, which included discovering different beer styles from around the world. Thus, the Vagabond tagline, “Beer. Love. Adventure.” was born.
Once they returned home, they spent time reflecting and attending school. It was during this time that the idea of owning a brewery came to fruition, although it took a couple years to see the plans through.
In 2014, they opened their first location in Salem, Oregon. The motivation behind the business was to create a place where they could support each other like they did while in the Marines, as well as have an outlet for their creative endeavors.
As far as beer style goes, they enjoy brewing bold, original recipes inspired by their travels. Year-round offerings include: Victory Pilsner, Into the Wild IPA, Attack Owl IPA, On the Road Red, and NW Passage Stout.
In 2016, they opened a second location, Victory Club in Downtown Salem, Oregon. It has 35 taps of craft beer and cider, with cocktails and food. They hold regular live music on the weekends, bringing in many local artists to the area.
Their third location, Vagabond Outpost, opened in early 2017 in Albany, Oregon. The taphouse has 34 taps of craft beer, cider, and kombucha.
Kyle Jensen – General Manager
A native Oregonian, Kyle first joined Portland’s craft beer community in 2008 as part of the opening team for Deschutes Brewery. During his time there, one of his most impactful accomplishments was developing a company-wide Cicerone Certification training program that is still used to this day. Following Deschutes, Kyle helped to open Fat Head’s Brewery in Northwest Portland in 2014 as “Head of Hoperations.” From there, he moved on to be the General Manager for Saraveza, one of the most recognizable beer bars in Portland. In 2017, Kyle went on to open Breakside Brewery’s Slabtown location. He started working with the Vagabond Brewing team in the Summer of 2018, bringing over ten years of industry knowledge and experience with him.
Victor Deras – Head Chef
Victor graduated from the Scottsdale Culinary Institute in 2005. Since then, he’s worked in a variety of kitchens – from big hotels, casinos, to a walk-up hot dog window. His Portland career includes time working with Greg Denton & Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton, as well as both the ChefStable and Olympia Provisions families. He’s helped open several restaurants in the greater Portland area over the last 10 years, and most recently ran the OP Wurst restaurants (now called Olympia Provisions Public House). He has a passion for small, independent restaurants, local farms and purveyors, and seasonal menus.
Mark Kujat – Assistant General Manager
His life goes something like this: He grew up in a small town in the upper peninsula of Michigan called St. Ignance. He went to college at Saginaw Valley State University where he ran track and cross country. After he finished school, he lived in Alaska before venturing to Portland. He got his start in the beer world at Bridgeport Brewing, working for them in various capacities. Before working for Vagabond, he had a brief stint at Fat Heads Brewing as a bartender before becoming the Front of House Manager at Lompoc Brewing. When he’s not busy running a business, he enjoys snowboarding, foraging, camping, traveling, live music, and being positive.
David Belcher – Bar Manager
Meet David Belcher, our Bar Manager! He was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, and moved to Portland in 2008. He graduated from Portland State in 2011 with a degree in Environmental Sciences. He joined the local beer scene in 2012 as the beer buyer for HOTLIPS Pizza. He primarily supported local, self-distributed breweries, which led to him getting a job as bartender and sales representative at Pints Brewing (now called Ascendent Beer Co.). After doing that for about a year, he took at job with The Commons Brewery doing production, sales, and distribution. He followed that job by working for Breakside Slabtown as an opening bartender. Now he’s our Bar Manager! His favorite beers are German Lagers. In his spare time he enjoys patio beers, camping, and tending to his garden. He’s definitely living the dream!
Max Headley – Sous Chef
He was born and raised in Eugene, Oregon, and moved to Portland in 2010 to study Criminology & Criminal Justice at Portland State University. After graduation, he returned to the food industry to embrace his lifelong love affair with gluttony. He went on to work in a variety of settings, including: Lucky Labrador Brewpub, Olympia Provisions, and SuperBite. Max constantly strives to learn about food, and enjoys collaborating with others who share in his passion for well made cuisine.
Wendy Stough – Manager
Five years ago, she decided to move to Portland from Detroit, Michigan. She had been a bartender and server in various beer bars back home, and decided that the scene here fit her best. Her first job was at The Mash Tun off Alberta in Northeast Portland. In 2015, it was purchased by Great Notion Brewing, who kept on all the staff. She was given the opportunity to help open the new business, becoming their Front of House Manager. It was during her time there that she truly fell in love with craft beer. After taking Summer 2017 off to visit home, she was hired at Cascade Brewing. A year later, she joined the Vagabond Brewing team as one of our Portland Managers!