Bad Jimmy’s opens as Ballard’s tenth brewery

Already the biggest beer destination in the Northwest, Ballard has added its tenth brewery: Bad Jimmy’s, located behind Dish Cafe and The Traveler on Leary Ave. The new brewery opened to the public tonight, showcasing its pale ale, IPA, red and the distinctive and spicy habanero amber.
“Our beers are big,” said Seth Mashni, one of five owners. “We put extra love in there.” He said pale ale has been a favorite among friends and family. A strawberry mango hefeweizen is coming, too.

Bad Jimmy’s began as a Kickstarter campaign, raising over $15,000 online, exceeding their $13,000 goal. Mashni said all five of the owners are from the business — a collection of restaurant industry veterans and beer-obsessed entrepreneurs. “[We were] home-brewing for years and decided to take it to the next level,” he said. Explains the Bad Jimmy’s website, “Our love for craft beer has been intense as long as we can remember.”
The tasting room is dark and bathed in a red glow. “We put a little extra into the tasting room,” Mashni said. The bar and tables are made from refurbished, environmentally-friendly wood.

As for the name? “We believe that if being different is bad we don’t want to be good,” Bad Jimmy’s describes on their site.

Bad Jimmy’s will be open more than most Ballard breweries: 7 days a week, noon to midnight, and open to 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. “We are committed to being open 7 days a week starting the day we open,” the owners said on their Kickstarter page. To visit, drive into the parking lot off Bright St.
And what about the all the competition in the neighborhood? “The best part of the microbrew scene is the love for everyone else,” Mashni said, echoing what we’ve heard from other Ballard breweries. The more, the better.

See our Ballard Breweries map to plan your next outing.

Stoup Brewing to open Wednesday as Ballard becomes even bigger beer destination

Ballard welcomes its ninth brewery on Wednesday with the addition of Stoup Brewing, a terrific new stop on the beer tour. Located less than a block from Bardahl Oil at 1108 NW 52nd St., Stoup is within easy walking range of several other breweries in the neighborhood (see our new Ballard breweries map).


Founded by a chemist, a wine aficionado and a beer geek, Stoup blends the “art and science of beer.” Brad Benson (the chemist) and Lara Zahaba (she worked in the wine industry) are both Ballard residents, and Robyn Schumacher (the beer geek) is a biologist and a certified Cicerone to boot.

“As scientists, we hold the microorganisms and chemical processes that create beer in the highest esteem. As artists, we revel in a good pour,” the three founders explain on Stoup’s site. When we asked Benson about Stoup’s specialty, he answered with a smile, “Brewing beers you like to drink.”


Stoup is a 15-barrel brew house that features a “Indian Session Ale” along with an IPA, Porter and NW Red. They’re working on a Bavarian Hefeweizen and a German-style Pilsner, too.

The tap room is top notch, featuring thick wood tables, heavy ironwork, small white lights and an artistic splash on an inside wall. Benson said he hopes to open a large outdoor beer garden by the time sunny season rolls around again.


Stoup may be the ninth Ballard brewery, but it won’t be the last of the beer boom — Bad Jimmy’s Brewery is coming soon to Leary Ave. near 8th Ave. So what about all the beer competition in the neighborhood?

“Ballard is becoming a beer tourism destination,” said Benson, explaining that all the breweries are helping attract beer lovers across the city to the neighborhood. “If people want a brewery tour, they come to Ballard now.”


Stoup opens Wednesday at 4 p.m. The tap room hours will be 4-8 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 4-9 p.m. on Fridays, noon-9 p.m. on Saturdays and noon-8 p.m. on Sundays.

Plus: Follow @BallardBeer on Twitter for more brewery news, and check out our new Ballard breweries map to plan a tour.

Old Ballard Liquor Co. grand opening coming soon

liquorThis summer, the Old Ballard Liquor Co. busted in on the scene of the Ballard brewery empire, becoming the first craft distillery in the area. Now, after a few months of getting permitting squared away and product ready to sell, owner Lexi is throwing a grand opening party to let the public taste the craft liquors she’s been working hard to create. The party is on Wednesday Oct. 30 at Bad Alberts Tap & Grill (5100 Ballard Ave).

“Enjoy tasting flights of seasonal vodkas and Cherry Bounce, newly designed cocktails make with with liquors from many local distilleries, live music and meet the proprietor: the gregarious, outspoken and often profane Lexi,” the event information reads.

“This industrial strength opening will be held at Bad Albert’s Tap and Grill, a neighborhood institution preserving the unpretentious blue collar culture of industrial Old Ballard.” The event is also something of a Halloween party; they encourage costumes (or show up in your grimy metal working/deckhand clothes, they say). To learn more about the grand opening, click here for the company’s Facebook page.

The Old Ballard Liquor Co.’s home is just in the shadow of the Ballard Bridge, at 4421 Shilshole Ave. The whole distillery process is low-tech and Lexi is the main driving force behind the several craft liquors including the Cherry Bounce and her no-frills Seasonal Well Vodka. Cherry Bounce is an aged sour-cherry liqueur based on a recipe by Martha Washington. Lexi says the Old Ballard Liquor Co. is the only distillery in the country that makes an authentic Cherry Bounce.

The vodka is produced from seasonal fruits and vegetables instead of grains, and comes from farmers primarily in the Skagit Valley. It’s not a flavored vodka, rather, it’s regular vodka make from local seasonal ingredients. Lexi calls it a summer vodka, made from berries and fruits as opposed to winter vodkas, which come from tubers and gourds.

The grand opening party will feature four different distilled vodkas: Sour Cherry, Razzleberry (mixed berry), Corn, and the oh-so-seasonal Pumpkin and Brown Sugar. The first round of liquors will be available in limited supply from the distillery, independent liquor stores, Tom Douglas restaurants, the Columbia Tower Center Club, Von’s 1000 spirits, Bad Albert’s, and Zayda Buddy’s.

The event at Bad Albert’s is 21 and over, and is from 4 to 10 p.m. To RSVP, click here for the Facebook event page.

Populuxe to host benefit show for brain cancer research

Populuxe Brewing (826 NW 49th Street) is hosting a benefit show tomorrow (Sat., Sept. 14) to raise money for brain cancer research. The event is at 4 p.m. at the brewery, and will feature several musical performances.

The benefit was inspired by Catherine Halloran’s experience with a brain tumor. She underwent a partial tumor resection in early March of this year, but surgeons had to leave one-third of it as it is inoperable. Her family has banded together to build awareness for brain cancer research, and organized this benefit, the proceeds from which will go to support the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk.

The line-up is the following:

The benefit starts at 4 p.m., and there is a $5 suggested donation at the door.

Puget Sound Brewery Tours offers guided brewery visits in Ballard and beyond

First Case of GrowlersA beer-loving Ballardite has launched a tour company called Puget Sound Brewery Tours that will explore all the breweries our area has to offer. Not only will they case out breweries in Ballard and nearby neighborhoods, they’ll also offer tours in Woodinville, on the eastside, north of Seattle, and south of Seattle. (Here’s a menu of their tour options)

Aaron Merrow, owner, describes himself as a beer enthusiast. “My love of craft beer and desire to promote the local community spurred my decision to leave the corporate world and start my own brewery tour business,” Merrow writes on his website. “With nothing more than a van and an idea, Puget Sound Brewery Tours was born.”

The tours generally visit three or four breweries in three hours, and cost between $77 to $83. With that, you get transportation, a t-shirt, an empty growler, and of course, beer to fill it. “I feel this desire to explore what the craft beer community has to offer has given me the insight to provide diverse, fun tours that will be a hit with novice and experienced craft beer drinkers alike,” Merrow says.

The tours that visit Ballard breweries are on Fridays at 2:30 and Saturdays at 5:30. Hale’s, Hilliard’s, Reuben’s Brews and Populuxe are currently on the list of Ballard breweries visited on the tour, with more to come, according to Merrow. Learn more here

Image courtesy Puget Sound Brewery Tours

Plus: Follow @BallardBeer on Twitter for more brewery news, and check out our new Ballard breweries map to plan a tour.

Reuben’s Brews to celebrate one year anniversary this weekend

Just one year ago, Reuben’s Brews opened its doors in Ballard, joining the growing fleet of breweries in our neighborhood. This weekend, they’re celebrating with an anniversary party, including the release of their Anniversary Session Ale. On Saturday at noon they’ll be releasing the limited-time ale and their award-winning Auld Heritage which has been aging in bourbon barrels. They’ll have the Cheese Wizards food truck on hand all day as well.

In addition to celebrating their one-year anniversary, Reuben’s is also fresh off a win at the US Beer Open, winning 6th place. Reuben’s Brews owner Adam Robbings tells us that makes them the highest-rated brewery on the whole West Coast, competing with over 300 breweries. (Check out this article in the Washington Beer Blog for more.)

To learn more about events at the brewery, follow their Facebook page.


Stoup Brewing launches founder’s club

StouperstarTextonly-300x60Stoup, one of Ballard’s newest breweries, has launched their founder’s club, called the StouperStars. According to their website, being a member of the club means you will have “bona fide Beer Geek street cred,” and be a “modern day beer hero.”

Stoup is the brainchild of Brad Benson, Lara Zahaba and Robyn Schumacher, and will open at 1108 NW 52nd St. later this summer. The founder’s club is what the owners call a “proverbial golden ticket,” an invitation to “join Stoup’s ranks before the paint even dries.” The cost is $250, and the perks are the following:

  • Offical StouperStar t-shirt
  • Stoup Brewing growler that gets you 10 percent off each fill
  • Free beer for life! “Yup. You read that right. Become a StouperStar and you become a lifetime member of the “Stoup Mug Club.” Select 20 oz. imperial pint glasses JUST for our StouperStars are in the making. While everyone else is drinking out of their 16 oz. pint glasses, Founders will enjoy 4 more (free! And, oh so stylish) ounces.*Applies only to beers under 8% ABV (which taste better in smaller glasses anyway)”
  • Stoup ID card: “We are actually encouraging you to flash our beertender (with your personalized, super cool wallet sized steel id card / bottle opener – (geesh!)). For your safety, only present this card when you are fully prepared to be lavished with the aforementioned slew of premier membership bennies.”
  • Founder’s Club party: “Exclusive invite to the Founder’s Club event. Savory food, awesome tunes and of course, amazing beer will be involved.”
  • Name displayed at the brewery (For bragging rights, of course.)

The brewery is quickly on its way to opening; Zahaba tells us the fermenters have arrived and they’re working hard to put the brewhouse together. To catch a glimpse of their progress, visit their Facebook page.


Hale’s Ales to host ‘Green Beer’ tour tomorrow

Tomorrow night (July 16), Hale’s Ales (4301 Leary Way NW),will be giving a tour of their brewery, which has been open in Ballard for almost 25 years.  They’re calling it their Green Beer Happy Hour and Sustainability Tour, and they’ll be showing how they incorporate sustainability in their beer-making and talking about their locally-sourced ingredients.

The tour is co-hosted by Seattle Net Impact, a non-profit that works to organize professionals interested in corporate social responsibility. The brewery tour starts at 6:15 p.m. at Hale’s, and the discussion and tour starts at 6:45. To RSVP, click here for their Facebook page about the event.

Ballard named one of six US cities ‘transformed by breweries’

The Associated Press has put together a list of urban areas transformed by the introduction of microbreweries, and Ballard made the list. “In once rundown urban districts across the country, craft breweries have helped to transform the neighborhoods around them,” the AP writes. While our neighborhood doesn’t exactly fit the “rundown urban district” description, the statement does speak to the slow transformation of repurposing industrial buildings for small businesses (in this case, microbreweries) that draw a younger crowd.

Here is the AP’s take on our microbrewery explosion:

In the waterfront Ballard section of Seattle, home to fishing shops, shipyards and boat fueling facilities for decades, six breweries have sprung up in the past two years. They joined Hale’s Ales and Maritime Pacific Brewing, which both opened in Ballard in the 1990s.

Hale’s Ales in 1995 took over a facility that had housed an industrial hose manufacturer and before that a maker of engines.

The neighborhood has become “softer,” says Hale’s Ales manager Phil O’Brien. “What used to be fishing shops are little restaurants — what used to be hardware stores are now coffee shops.”

While Ballard is still a hub of maritime industry, it has landed higher-income apartment buildings and has attracted restaurants and nightlife.

Other cities that made the list include Kansas City’s Westside neighborhood, South Boston, Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood, Williamsburg of New York City, and the East Bay of San Francisco. To read the article in full, click here.

Photo above taken at Reuben’s Brews

Plus: Follow @BallardBeer on Twitter for more brewery news, and check out our new Ballard breweries map to plan a tour.

Populuxe Brewing to host Family Happy Hour tonight

Tonight, Populuxe Brewing is hosting a Family Happy Hour from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at their brewery at 826B NW 49th St. In addition to tasty brews for the adults, the brewery will have the Tumblebus, an interactive mobile gymnastics bus, on site for kiddos ages 3-7. “Allow Tumble Tom to entertain your child as you sip a beer (in peace),” writes Amy Besunder from Populuxe. They’ll also have pizza available from Streetzeria and ice cream from Bluebird MicroCreamery. To top it all off, local music duo Train Wreck will play 80s cover songs so you can dance yourself silly while celebrating the Summer Solstice.

Populuxe is a nano-brewery that opened earlier this year, fueled by homebrewers Peter Charbonnier and Jiri Zatloukal. To keep up on their current brews, check out their blog or Facebook page.