Ballard’s newest nano-brewery now open

NW Peaks Brewery is small. Very small. It’s called a nano-brewery, which is smaller than a micro-brewery. “I’ve been a homebrewer for a long time and people kept telling me my beer was as good as most stuff out there,” owner Kevin Klein tells us,”So I decided to take the plunge and move to the next step up, a nanobrewery.”

Kevin Klein pouring his beer at the PNA Summer Beer Taste.

For the last year and a half, Klein has been working to find a good location and get through the permit process. Once the nano-brewery was ready to go, he turned to his friends for a little help. “I started the endeavor, but friends have been helping out with their expertise. It’s amazing who will work to help out a friend and of course, for beer,” Klein says. For the last few months, Klein has brewed about eight batches of beer.

Copyright photo used with permission

The philosophy of NW Peaks Brewery is a little different than some. There won’t be a “flagship” beer. Instead, Klein has decided to start with the standard styles as “sessionable” beers and will begin with a little more experimentation once he gets the process down. For now, the first two beers are Sahale (a pale ale) and Vesper (a bitter). Coming in January he’ll brew a winter beer called Snowfield and a full-bodied brown called Magic. “And yes, those names stem from names of mountains I’ve climbed in the NW,” he says.

Klein is starting a growler program called the “MountainBeers” which is like a beer-of-the-month club. “It’s a subscription program where you get one or more growlers a month and just exchange your empty growler every month for a filled one,” Klein explains. “Hey, and tis the season, it’s a great gift idea for a beer enthusiast in the area!”

The nondescript entrance to the brewery

NW Peaks Brewery is at 4912 17th Ave NW Suite B. The entrance is through the wooden fence of the Fuller-Anderson roofing/Swedish Contractors building. “We’re working on getting much better signage, but don’t have that yet,” Klein tells us. Check their website for hours, which change weekly.

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

22 thoughts to “Ballard’s newest nano-brewery now open”

  1. My ears perked up at “session”. I’m sick of microbrews competing with each other to see who can make the nastiest 6%, 7% or higher tough-guy alcohol bomb that you can only choke down one of. If someone started making a Mild — a style of beer that still has some popularity in the north of England, if nowhere else — I’d be all over that. That brown ale sounds interesting. I might even start drinking beer again.

    I could say the same thing about local wineries and their 16%+ fruit bombs. Whatever happened to 12.5% wine you can actually taste….

  2. I have tried both the Sahale and Vesper – delicious. Definitely beers you would find alongside some of the bigger named breweries at a brewpub. Cannot wait to try the Winter and Brown. Will be signing up for the growler program most definitely!

  3. I heard about this brewery a little while ago and made the trip down to visit. It’s definitely “nano” in size but that’s (more than) half the fun. It’s a cool little spot with good tasting beer. I’m officially now a member of their “mountainBeers” growler of the month club and am glad that my beer drinking will support the little guy and the local community. Excited for their winter beer.

  4. Go, Kevin! I used to be in a homebrew club with this guy, the North Seattle Homebrew Club. There are a lot of good beers flowing from those club members, and Kevin’s were always great. I’m happy to see him taking the plunge!

  5. The brown ale was what caught my eye, too. I’m weary of all the nasty bitter beers that are popular right now.

    I’ll have to look into that growler program, it sounds great!

  6. The Vesper bitter was a big hit at Thanksgiving. Even my non-beer snob family appreciated how drinkable it was. Its a “bitter” style, but its doesn’t have a bitter taste.

  7. Kevin’s beers are great and I look forward to trying his future creations. It’s nice to see these little neighborhood breweries popping up, producing unique beers on a small scale for all our friends and neighbors. Go grab a growler!

  8. Totally agree, fnarf! There are alot of highly drinkable, delicious beers like Pilsners and Lagers that I sometimes feel are looked down upon (unfairly) by microbreweries. Milds are great, social beers. I enjoy Ljusol when in Scandinavia – that is, crisp, clean beers that are low in alcohol content, like 3% or less, and you can sit all afternoon with friends and a few of those and still be good to go come evening. Maybe this guy could come out with a lager that’s crisp and refreshing – SO tired of local breweries pumping out bitter, masochistic, highly alcoholic beers.

  9. thanks for the props on ‘sessionable.’ A quick note that our neighbors (in neighborhood terms:-) Fremont Brewing just released (I think) a “mild” (I think it was a small test batch). I had a taste of it on Tue. Quite delic and flavorful and came in at 3.5% ABV if i recall correctly. If convenient you might want to check that it’s available and head over for a swig. Right now we are doing full flavored ~5% beers (it’s winter and all) but as the seasons progress we’ll be trying to complement the changing weather.

  10. Beer is like carbonated urine. Liquor is quicker. I know its the emo-hipster “in” thing to be into beer and IPA swill, but come on.

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