Peddler Brewing Company opening soon in Ballard

If you had any doubt that Ballard was quickly becoming the land of the brewery, think again. The Peddler Brewing Company has applied for a liquor license at the old Maritime Pacific Brewery location (1514 Leary Ave NW).

The brewery, on their website, says, “We support bicycling and beer. When we open our doors in a few months, ride on over to our brewery to buy some beer or enjoy some drinks in our tasting room.”

Beers on tap will include the following: Belgian Lights, which they describe as a “Belgian beer with winter spices including cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and coriander;” Snow Beer’d, “a dark winter beer with a hop bite and dark chocolate and coffee smooth finish;” Oktoberfest, “a lagered Oktoberfest with a crisp finish;” Peddler Moon, a refreshing wheat beer with the aroma and mild-mannered taste of tangerines;” and Saison,”a farmhouse ale with an earthy body and a slight sour finish brewed with Northwest hops.

No word yet on their opening date, but we’ll keep you updated.

Hilliard’s Beer turns 1 year old

This Saturday, Oct. 6 is Ballard-based Hilliard’s Beer’s 1-year anniversary, so they’re throwing a party.

The anniversary party is from 12 p.m. to 1 a.m. They’ll be serving their signature tallboy cans of Amber, Blonde and Saison. Their draft line-up will include Chrome Satan, E.xtra S.pecial B.elgian, Nautical Reference Pale Ale and features the re-release of their Cast Iron Stout, according to Adam Merkl from the brewery. They’ll also have $4 pints of a barrel aged version of the Saison. “Only one keg will be available of the Saison so show up early for that one!,” writes Merkl.

Snout and Co. will be serving their Cuban fare in the parking lot starting at 4 p.m. In addition, Hilliard’s is this year’s beer sponsor for the Seattle Weekly’s REVERB Festival, so starting at 6 p.m., several bands will be playing, including Soul Senate, Brothers from Another, OC Notes, Julie C, Chocolate Chuck, Brain Fruit, and Mike DC. Wristbands are $15 and will get you into any venue that is part of the festival. (Full line-up here.)

Reuben’s Brews to open this weekend

In a narrow warehouse in central Ballard, Adam Robbings has been working hard to bring his dream of opening a brewery alive. What started as a hobby has turned into a second job for Robbings, who got his first brewing kit three years ago, right around the time his son, Reuben, was born. Now, after perfecting the art of brewing, Robbings is getting ready to open Reuben’s Brews (1406 NW 53rd St.) on Sunday, August 5.

Pfeiffer and Robbings brewing Irish Red

Robbings says his homebrew kit allowed him to develop several popular recipes. He entered one of his brews into the 2010 Phinney beer tasting event, where it won the People’s Choice award. Not long after, his American Rye won silver at the 2012 National Homebrew Competition. He said the brewing had a “snowball effect,” eventually leading him to snag the warehouse where he could brew large-scale.

Robbings and his brewing partner and brother-in-law Mike Pfeiffer have been busy brewing nearly a dozen beers over the last few weeks, four of which will be on tap at Sunday’s opening. Thirsty beer fans will be able to try Roggen Bier, which Robbings describes as a German Rye (like a hefeweizen, but darker); American Rye, which is like a wheat beer but with orange-flavored hops; an American Brown; and a Porter. Soon to come are an Imperial IPA, Rye IPA, California Lager, Dry Stout and the Irish Red, which Robbings says should be ready in a couple weeks.

Brewery interior, photo by Robbings

Robbings says the beer he makes will be mostly sold in-house. They’ll have a number of different beers available most of the time, and plenty of growlers to take home. On the wall above the taps is a brew board that lists the available beers with information on their stats, “for the beer geeks,” Robbings laughs. For example, the Original Gravity (OG), International Bitter Units (IBU), and Alcohol by Volume (ABV) will be listed for each beer. There will also be a “Think” column, where Robbings says he’ll add information about what special flavors are present, such as pineapple for example.

The brewery will be open for their first day on Sunday, August 5 from noon to 5 p.m. From then on, their hours will be Thursday and Friday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from noon to 8 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

New brewery coming to Ballard

Ballard will soon be home to another brewery called Populuxe Brewing, going in at 826 NW 49th St. As the Seattle Met reports, Ballardites Peter Charbonnier and Jiri Zatloukal are opening the brewery with their respective wives Amy Besunder and Judith Scarcia and, “have been geeking out about homebrewing together for the past four years.”

Populuxe’s Charbonnier told the Met that he and and Zatloukal will do “modern, west coast, Northwest” beers, using mostly local ingredients. The floor plans indicate there will be a large outdoor picnic area, complete with a cornhole court, says the Met. Cornhole, also known as bean bag toss, is a simple game involving a bean bag and a wooden board with a hole. The objective is even simpler: throw the bean bag in the hole for points.

The brewery should be open sometime in the next few months, and we’ll update with a specific opening date soon.

Ballard’s booming beer business

By Mwiza Kalisa

With seven breweries in five square miles, Ballard is fast becoming the Bordeaux of beer. The support for local businesses and a pioneering spirit has made the community a leader in the beer industry.

“The consumer keeps demanding variety and I think that’s fueling the growth in different breweries,” said Kevin Klein, head brewer of NW Peaks Brewery. “People aren’t going to be satisfied with the same craft beer; they’re forcing the market to change so they can try new things.”

Klein has been a home-brewer since 1998. His nano-brewery opened two years ago and is one of several breweries that have opened in the area. Klein’s brewery, which is operated in a garage on Leary Way, has helped him touch base with consumers. While he plans to expand production in the future, a smaller and intimate approach has brought him closer to customers.

“Ballard has been very welcoming and supportive,” Klein said. “People here want to support local businesses and they’re also going to want variety.”

The nano-brewery has more foot traffic now that Ballard is becoming a destination for beer drinkers. Located one block away from NW Peaks Brewery is Hilliard’s Beer, which opened in October. The owners, Ryan Hilliard and Adam Merkl, expected 500 people at their grand opening but about 1000 people arrived that day. Their beers are already available in local pubs and Whole Foods will start carrying their canned Amber Ale and Saison.

Ryan Hilliard of Hilliard’s Beer in front of a wall of beer cans

“I think that we’re lucky in the Northwest and Ballard especially, because we have educated beer drinkers,” Hilliard said. “They know about beer, they know what they like and they know good beer when they taste it.”

Hilliard’s also features a taproom and in the summer they plan to construct a beer garden. “The spirit of the breweries here are such that everybody wants to help each other out,” Hilliard said. “Ballard has the industrial feel to it but it also has the industrial spaces to rent.”

When the staple Hale’s Ales moved from Kirkland to Ballard in 1995, their production capacity increased from 6,000 barrels a year to 20,000 barrels. Twenty-five years ago Hale’s was just one of three breweries in the state. Phil O’Brien, sales and marketing manager, said that today craft breweries have become the norm, particularly when younger people join the industry.

In 2009, Tim Czarnetzki left Washington D.C. to start a pub in Seattle with two friends. Urban Family Brewing opened at 5329 Ballard Avenue last month and has already attracted many beer lovers.

“We decided to come here because of the visibility of this location,” Czarnetzki said. “Seattle is a 20 percent market so you have a lot more opportunities.” Czarnetzki recalled the first time he entered a grocery store in Seattle, compared to New York and DC “the biggest section was the microbrew section.”

Urban Family Brewing currently has 25 beers on tap, by late spring they plan to install their own brewing system. “When you have a city that supports local beers that way, it makes everything else easier to do,” Czarnetzki said. “People here would rather purchase local, even if it meant spending more money, because they want to support the local community.”

Reuben’s Brews is the latest addition to 53rd street. Owners Adam and Grace Robbings are currently working to achieve their June launch date. Adam already has 30 to 40 recipes prepared, some of their beers include; Old Ales, German Rye Ales and a Pumpkin Rye Ale with bourbon. Their taproom, featured in the middle of the brewery, will allow the team to engage with visitors.

After gaining recognition for his beers, Robbings wanted to share his work with people on a wider scale. He won the people’s choice award in 2010 and was one of the top home brewers in the Washington Homebrewer of the Year competition.

“Even from my first brew, our friends and family loved the beer,” he said. “I became a sponge for brewing information; absorbing whatever I could read or learn.”

Robbings moved to Ballard eight years ago, he said that the choice and styles of beer, which were different to the UK, opened his eyes. He believes that the underlying trend of craft breweries in the country is driving Ballard’s growth.

“Ballard is a great location for breweries to open,” he said. “The water is amazing in Western Washington for brewing, we’re close to the cast hop fields of Eastern Washington and there’s a vibrant demand for craft ales.”

Robbings is looking forward to bringing different beers to the area. “There’s a lot of camaraderie in the brewing community,” he added. “I’m excited to be part of that.” (Disclosure: Hilliard’s Beer is a sponsor of MyBallard.)

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

Local couple opening artisan brewery in Ballard

After a successful bout as home-brewers, Ballardites Adam and Grace Robbings are getting ready to share their passion for beer with the world, or at least with Seattle. Next summer they plan to open Reuben’s Brews in East Ballard at 1406 NW 53rd St.

“You may have already tried our beers,” they write in a press release. “As homebrewers, we were the People’s Choice First Place recipient in the PNA Winter Beer Taste in 2010 with our Roasted Rye PA. Our Best of Show American Brown was brewed by Anacortes Brewery in the fall of 2011, and served in a number of Seattle locations. Our co-founder and brewer Adam Robbings is an award-winning homebrewer with a vast collection of brews he can’t wait for you to enjoy.”

The artisan brewery and family-friendly taproom will have seasonal rotating ales. “This last year I’ve taken a commercial brewing program at UC Davis, attended the Craft Brewers Conference and worked hard to build a strong line up of award winning brews,” Adam tells us.

The Robbings want people to come in, drink a brew and tell them what you think. “Having a taproom was key to our plans – we really want to meet our customers and get direct feedback from them on our brews. We also can’t wait to show people our brewery and explain our artisan processes!” Adam says.

“My wife and I really enjoy sharing our passion with others by pouring our beers,” Adam says. “It’s something we have a passion for, enjoy, and can’t wait to share with others. It was something we couldn’t resist!”

You can follow their progress on the Reuben’s Brews Facebook page.

Ballard’s new micro-brewery pushes back opening

Hilliard’s Beer, Ballard’s newest micro-brewery at 1550 NW 49th St., has rescheduled its grand opening for Friday, October 7, from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. The brewery will then have regular tap room hours of 3-9 p.m. on Saturday. “We think by then we should have both the Saison and Amber in cans ready to go and a few draught beers as well,” said co-owner Adam Merkl in an email.

Here’s an earlier post about Hilliard’s opening.

Ballard’s newest micro-brewery opens soon

Update: Co-owner Adam Merkl sent us this update: “After getting the word out about opening on 9/17, it looks like we’re going to have to push it back at least another week. We’re shooting for 9/24, but now I don’t want to say for sure until it’s nailed down. We really want to launch when we have our cans ready and it was going to be cutting it too close with their arrival, canning line training, and finishing up the beer. Apologies to your excited readers… we’ll figure out something else we can add to make the opening worth waiting for.”

Earlier: Seattle loves its beer. According to Ryan Hilliard, one of the owners of Ballard’s newest micro-brewery, nearly 30 percent of all beer consumed here is craft beer. “That’s the benefit of opening a brewery in Seattle is that in general, we’re big beer people,” he tells us in his new 6,000 square foot space at 1550 NW 49th St.

Photo courtesy Adam Merkl

A couple of years ago Hilliard entered his home brew in the Puget Sound Pro-Am and it was selected for the Great American Beer Festival in Denver. After that, Hilliard decided it was time to go big – so he is.

The taproom photo courtesy Adam Merkl

Hilliard and business partner Adam Merkl are busy getting Hilliard’s Beer ready to open to the public. They plan on canning their beer and selling four-pack tallboys at local markets and at their taproom. “There are basically three reasons why we want to do cans: It’s better for the environment, it’s better for the beer and it’s better for the bottom line,” Hilliard explains.

Ryan Hilliard (left) and Adam Merkl (right)
Their Saison-style beer is currently at several area bars, including Greenwood’s Naked City Brewery and Taphouse and the new Phinney Market. The Amber Ale will be available in the tall boys, while several of their other beers including a Saison, a Scottish-style Ale and Imperial IPA will be available in their tap room and in growlers. These offerings are subject to change, depending on what Hilliard feels like brewing.

Hilliard’s officially opens to the public on Saturday, September 17th at noon. They will turn their parking lot into a beer garden and serve three beers on tap and the Amber in tallboys. They’ll run the canning line at times during the day so people can literally have freshly-canned beer. After the grand opening, they’ll be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week. The taproom will be open for beer-to-go and “beer for here” Thursday through Saturday 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Thanks Don for the tip!)

Seattle Beer Week kicks off today in Ballard

The Jolly Roger Taproom (1111 N.W. Ballard Way) is the place to be this evening for the official kick-off of the third annual Seattle Beer Week. Maritime Pacific Brewing Company has brewed the commemorative beer this year and will tap the first keg of Special Cask Conditioned Decompression Ale at 5:30 as well as read a proclamation from the mayor. Afterwards, the SBW kickoff continues to Brouwer’s Cafe in Fremont at 7 p.m., Pyramid at 8 p.m. and the last stop at Naked City in Greenwood at 9 p.m. While it’s called “Seattle Beer Week,” it actually runs until Saturday, May 28th.

The Jolly Roger Taproom will also be hosting a fundraiser on Saturday, May 21st for the Glen Hay Falconer Foundation. Seven different breweries will be on tap, each one brewed using Falconer’s Flight Hops.

Other Ballard watering holes that are participating in SBW are The Noble Fir (5316 Ballard Ave. NW), Old Town Alehouse (5233 Ballard Ave N), King’s Hardware (5225 Ballard Ave NW), Shelter Lounge (4910 Leary Ave NW), Hale’s Brewery (4301 Leary Way NW), The Leary Traveler (4354 Leary Way NW) and Mike’s Chili Parlor (1447 NW Ballard Way).

Click here for an entire list of the Seattle Beer Week events and follow them on Twitter for more information.

Conor Byrne launches monthly brewers night

Tonight is the inaugural “Conor Byrne Brewers Night” at the Ballard Ave pub featuring Fremont Brewing. “Most of the time micro-brewers will only get one tap handle in a bar at a time, on brewers night they will have three to four taps, keeping 2 for the rest of the month,” general manager Diarmuid Cullen tells us. “I thought it would be fun to bring some of their experiments out of the brewery along with their staples, and into the bar.” On tap tonight will be Fremont Brewing’s Universale Pale, Abominable Winter Ale, Bourbon Barrel Aged Abominable Ale, and a special infusion of their Interurban IPA.

So far Cullen has Fremont Brewing, Big Al Brewing in White Center and Two Beers Brewing Co. in Sodo lined up, but his talks continue with other brewers. “I guess I should clarify that local means I can get in the car and drive to the brewery without worrying too much if there is enough gas in the car, 20 minutes or less,” Cullen tells us.

The Conor Byrne Brewers Night will be held on the first Monday of each month.