Washington’s only black-owned brewery fighting for change

“Damn Good Beer” — that’s the motto of Woodinville’s Metier Brewing.

Métier is French for “one’s calling.”

And Rodney Hines has found his calling. Or rather, he’s found about 10 of them.

The co-founder of Métier Brewing in Woodinville, Hines has had to navigate a worldwide pandemic, plan ahead for his brewery’s reopening, find time to protest for civil liberties and, as his company’s mission statement says, “brew damn good” beer.

Hines, who is black, is the CEO of the first and — exhaustive research believes — only African-American owned brewery in Washington state. Long before protestors were marching in the streets, Hines was doing all he could to promote community and diversity for his company. From hiring black artists for labels, to understanding where his ingredients came from, inclusivity was paramount for Hines.

That feeling has only heightened in recent weeks.

“These days, I feel like I’m on the verge of crying every time I think about life,” Hines said. “It’s hard. I will say that I’m torn, in that I appreciate all the young voices who are out marching right now, and I feel like I am not fully doing my part if I’m not marching too. So I’ve actually gone out and participated in some of the demonstrations. And this sadness part is just feeling and seeing some of the same shit that’s been going on for our lives and our history. And I’m hoping that this current activism and the voices that are so diverse and yelling so loudly right now will help bring about the change that’s necessary.”

Rodney Hines (right) doesn’t shy away from political activism and protests and believes businesses have a resposibility to their communities: “I think the businesses should think about, ‘What are each of us doing that can help bring about the change that’s needed?’ ”

Hines chooses each word very carefully, just like the beers he puts on tap. Métier has seen an influx of new patrons and Hines is not blind to the fact that Métier’s standing as the only black-owned brewery in Washington may contribute to that. One of the company’s employees recently started a Kickstarter campaign to help the brewery recoup some expenses lost because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

With over a week to go in the campaign, it has already surpassed its $20,000 goal, with several unique experiences and swag items still available.

“A lot of new people are finding us and have been encouraged by social media and other places to come check us out,” Hines said. “It’s the majority of our customers. In some ways, that’s normal for us. We haven’t been open (a really long time). We’re about to celebrate two years. So it’s a lot of new people still finding us. A lot heard about us from somewhere. If they’re people of color, they’ve said, ‘We want to show some love for this business.’ I think that’s something that’s continued with these folks now who are finding us today. Now that they’ve found us, I hope they like the beer and come back.”

Hines does not shy away from the political activism and protests currently going on across the country. Along with joining rallies in the streets, he believes businesses have a responsibility to their communities. This is why he has hired black artists to design his labels, including one for Métier’s Trail Blazer Pale Ale, which features a drawing of Major Taylor, the first African-American World Champion cyclist.

A sign on the wall states Metier Brewing’s mission.

“I think the businesses should think about, ‘What are each of us doing that can help bring about the change that’s needed?’” Hines said. “… The organizations that we support, we’re really mindful and intentional about that. I’m hoping that there’s an integrity that is thread through everything that we do as a business.”

Like businesses, Hines believes individuals have a social responsibility right now. Hines looks at his phone and jokes that he’s scared to look at his credit card right now because he’s been out at local Woodinville-area restaurants and businesses at an exceptionally high rate. He believes that, “in so many honest, real ways the mom and pop shops, the restaurants, the tailor, everyone that’s in communities, there’s a beauty in the fabric of the community that’s developed because of small businesses. And I fear how the community changes when that changes.”

Hines isn’t sure how the next few months are going to go, both for his country and his brewery. But he sounds optimistic. He sounds hopeful. Hines goes out of his way, on several occasions, to thank those who are supporting him, and encourage everyone to support the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

“When I think about how can you help, I think broadly,” Hines says before trailing off. “I think what I ask of everyone right now is what I ask of myself, and that is if you look at what we’re facing in America right now, and I do the same, we each pause, we take a toll of what we see and we consider what we’re doing and are we complicit in what we see? And if we think we are, or not, we also ask the question, ‘What’s my privilege?’ Because we all have various levels of privilege, and it’s about how we’re using our privilege and agency to affect change. I ask that of individuals and businesses and organizations.”

Hines’ business is equality for all and “damn good beer.”

| Photos courtesy of Brian Hoorn.

Edmonds’ Gallaghers’ Where-U-Brew closes

Gallaghers’ Where-U-Brew, the popular do-it-yourself brewery and taproom in Edmonds, announced Friday morning that it will be closing its doors. In an email to subscribers, owners Tom and Marcie Kretzler acknowledged that the current COVID-19 pandemic played a role in the brewery’s closure.

“It is with great sadness that Gallaghers’ Where-U-Brew is having to permanently close it’s doors,” the Kretzlers said in the email. “The past few years have been a struggle, and the recent pandemic has made it impossible for us to continue. We have agonized over this decision and we are forced to accept this as reality.”

Gallaghers, located near the Edmonds waterfront, boasted all the equipment and ingredients necessary to brew a batch of your own beer. Customers could choose a recipe, make the beer and then come back in a couple weeks to bottle the beer and take it home. There were also options to brew cider, root beer or wine, as well as a taproom for customers to come try a variety of homemade beers on tap.

In the email, Tom and Marcie Kretzler thanked their customers and told anyone interested in buying a brewery to give them a call.

“From the bottom of our hearts, we thank each of you for your support these past years and wish you all health and happiness,” the Kretzlers wrote. “You have touched our lives and we will miss you dearly.”

Sugar Ray, Tiger King and the Seltzer/Cider Guy: My Zoom adventures at the ‘Virtual’ Seattle Beer Fest

Look, I really wanted to give the virtual Seattle Beer Fest — brought to me by Rock Star Beer Festivals — the benefit of the doubt. When I emailed the one contact I could find on the beer festival’s website to do a preview story and heard nothing, I thought: “That makes sense. We’re a small, new blog. I get it.”

Then the box of beer came.

The Seattle Beer Fest box included one actual “Washington” beer: an Elysian Split Shot espresso stout. It also included a seltzer and cider. I thought, “It’s fine. They had to modify things at the last minute. It was probably tough to get cans. Whatever.”

Then the big day came. I had been waiting months for this. A few friends bought beer packs too. The clock finally struck 7 p.m., I fired up the YouTube video and … there was Mark McGrath.

McGrath popped on the screen and held out an empty hand to allegedly cheers the start of the night. McGrath, the lead singer for a rock band from the 90s, proved to be an apt metaphor for the ensuing beer festival: something I used to enjoy, but that was more applicable back in the day before a worldwide pandemic.

Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath opens the Virtual Seattle Beer Fest with some inspiring words.

Coronavirus obviously necessitated a few audibles for Rock Star Beer Festivals and the Seattle Beer Fest, which shifted from under the Space Needle to a virtual edition.

I loved the idea. I thought this would be an awesome way to bring a beer fest to people who are stuck in quarantine. It was going to be a blast to drink beer and talk shop with fellow beer fans while hearing about the intricacies of breweries’ beers and businesses.

“Honestly the night wouldn’t have been nearly as fun without my buddy Keith and his friends, who gave up on the beer fest before McGrath had finished welcoming us. But this is what a beer fest is. The camaraderie.”

David Krueger

Instead, what we got was an ode to “Tiger King” with not one, but three clips from people involved heavily in the show, including Doc Antle, the Lowes and the guy who has apparently not gotten off his jet ski since the show ended. In addition, the Ninkasi representative quickly became labeled “Ninkasi Carole Baskin” in the comments. There were cameos from Jon Lovitz, Gilbert Gottfried and Dave Koechner — who may have been participating in the beer fest himself based on his giggles.

Doc Antle, of Tiger King fame, and a chimpanzee help beer drinkers really take in the moment at the Virtual Seattle Beer Fest.

There was a beer chugging highlight reel complemented by a #BeerFails lowlight video. The “music” was by a gentleman who did rock covers of “The Real Slim Shady” and Lil Jon’s classic “Get Low” — which took me half the song to figure out what I was listening to. There were two other bands that performed with neither lead singer wearing a shirt. The whole time I just kept wondering, why doesn’t McGrath just sing “When It’s Over?” — something I think everyone was probably wondering about this beer fest.

The same “brewery representative” discussed the seltzer company, and then switched shirts to talk about the cidery. I have no issue with a beer fest having a cider or seltzer area for people who are drug along and don’t like beer. But if you’re paying $50 for a virtual beer fest, you’re probably a fan of beer and probably don’t need cider/seltzer fillers in your box.

Incidentally, the cider/seltzer guy nailed how I felt about the beers in my box — which included a Deschutes low-cal pale ale, Elysian’s Split Shot, a Ninkasi Prismatic IPA (which I love) and a Rogue Ales Batsquatch (which I already had three of in my refrigerator because it’s one of my favorite beers) — quite succinctly while trying to hock his seltzer:

“You can find us at Safeway, Albertsons, Krogers, Fred Meyers, PCC, Whole Foods.” Indeed almost every beer in the box I could have gone down the road to (insert your closest grocery store here) and picked up. This was probably the most disheartening thing for me about the beer fest.

The seltzer guy explains why hard seltzer really rocks during the Virtual Seattle Beer Festival.
The cider guy, who is obviously the twin brother of the seltzer guy, talks about the charms of cider.

But maybe I was wrong. Maybe I was being too harsh. So I reached out to a few friends/friends of friends who were also participating in the beer fest.

My focus group included: Kaelee, my sister-in-law who can drink five barleywines and not feel a thing; my wife’s superstar fitness instructor Jess; Jess’ boyfriend, who, after our brief conversation, I feel like we could be best friends; and my friend Keith and his band of beer drinking buddies who were nice enough to let me crash their Zoom call.

Honestly the night wouldn’t have been nearly as fun without my buddy Keith and his friends, who gave up on the beer fest before McGrath had finished welcoming us. But this is what a beer fest is. The camaraderie.

Michael, one of Keith’s friends, had bought two boxes. He was downright distraught trying to figure out what to do with his TWO seltzers. In a real-world beer fest, you could leave McGrath’s booth and go try something else. Here, the options were more limited. The group was less than impressed, but decided in future to throw their own virtual Seattle beer festival where everyone grabs beers that are actually from the greater Seattle area. I hope to crash that Zoom call as well.

Similarly, Jess and her boyfriend wanted to throw their own beer festival. They didn’t watch many of the videos and were a hard “No” on participating in another Rock Star Beer festival, but both were open to doing something similar again. Seattle won their vote, with the Elysian Split Shot their favorite.

Kaelee, her friend Jordan and Jordan’s mom — who was easily the MVP of the focus group — tried all 10 beers/ciders/seltzers and were also left unimpressed. Kaelee had my favorite line of the night: “It was weak, I would say. It was something to look forward to. Was that better than the actual beer? Yes.”

Other top comments included: “I think beer fest would have been appropriate. I don’t think Seattle Beer Fest was appropriate.” And, “We were not given $40 worth of beer.”

Still, all three people from Team Kaelee agreed they would do it again and it was worth the cost to participate in the event together. I’m not sure I feel the same way. I don’t really like coffee so the Split Shot, which Team Kaelee also praised, didn’t even get opened. Neither did my wild card beer, a mocha stout from Abnormal Brewing in San Diego.

The experience was interesting, chaotic, weird and saved by the people I got to talk to and share it with — so, I guess, basically it was a beer festival! Still, I wish I would have taken the $50 and gone to Diamond Knot, Salish Sea, Hemlock State or another nearby brewery and actually had some Seattle-area beer. I also wish I would have given up earlier on the live stream which ended at 9:42 p.m. instead of the advertised 10 p.m. — although no one was complaining — and fully committed to laughing at the YouTube comments on Zoom.

There were a lot of things I wanted this beer fest to be. Instead, I watched a dated video/advertisement of people cheers-ing and drinking together on a beach in southern California. All I could think was, “No! Stay six feet away!”

If only I had stayed away from the Seattle Beer Festival.


| Photos courtesy of David Krueger.

With grand opening on hold, Mount Vernon’s District Brewing marches forward

For 18 months, Mark Shintaffer oversaw the renovation of a large historical building along the riverwalk in downtown Mount Vernon. It was a project filled with the kind of ups and downs that come with trying to turn a 100-year-old building into something modern and state-of-the-art.

Shintaffer’s end goal was to turn the rundown building, which used to house the Lyric Theater, into a destination brewery and restaurant. By mid-March of this year he was finished and ready to fling open the doors.

Then the pandemic hit.

The weekend that District Brewing was set to open in late March, the Governor was preparing to issue his Stay Home, Stay Safe order. Shintaffer never got to truly open the brewery. Instead, like many breweries and restaurants, District had to pivot quickly. They began selling pizzas and crowler and growler fills to go. So far the response has been promising.

“The concept is really neighborhood brewery; that ‘third place’ feeling.”

Mark Shintaffer, District Brewing owner

“We continue to blow through kegs, so the consumer has responded very well,” said Shintaffer.

For weeks now customers have been lining up in front of the brewery along the riverwalk, waiting their turn to order pizza and beer. Inside the building, the beautiful brew tanks serve as the backdrop to a large dining room, with a second floor of customer seating overhead. 

Until this week, the beer on tap has been outsourced. But Monday Shintaffer finally posted a District Brewing original: First Strike, a West Coast IPA. Three days later, Tropical Vacation, a hazy IPA, was added to the menu.

The head brewer at District is John Kochendorfer, whose brewing experience includes stints at Elysian Brewing, where he brewed Snail Bones and Space Dust, and Mukilteo’s Diamond Knot Craft Brewing

Along with helping him make connections in the craft beer world that has already led to collaborations with Iron Horse Brewing and Bale Breaker, brewing at a big player like Elysian taught Kochendorfer a lot about the beer-making process.

District Brewing head brewer John Kochendorfer (left) and owner Mark Shintaffer in District’s brewhouse.

“(I learned) that details make the difference between a mediocre beer and a great beer, and to always question the accepted wisdom if you ever want to make progress,” Kochendorfer said.

As for the beer at District, Kochendorfer plans to focus on hop-forward beers. But that doesn’t mean he’ll be looking to just fit his beers into a pre-defined style or flavor profile and start pumping our cookie-cutter IPAs.

“I plan to make a wide variety of hop forward beers in a range of different alcohol content and in varying degrees of haze or clarity,” said Kochendorfer. “There will be names and descriptions to guide you through them of course, but as brewers, and drinkers, we are blessed these days with an amazingly wide variety of hops that continues to grow every year and I intend to play with as many of them as possible to bring people uniquely refreshing hoppy experiences.”

District will have 20 beers on tap, most of them being their own beer. 

When looking for a brewer to head up his operation, Shintaffer wanted someone with experience in a professional setting and knowledge of how to make beers consistent and reliable. He believes that’s what he’s got in Kochendorfer.

“When John’s brewing he’s brewing to the gram,” Shintaffer said. “He’s a scientist. It’s all math for him. He’s dialing in each recipe so it’s exactly the same every time. We want our customers t to be able to depend on that.”

For Shintaffer, beer is just part of the experience he hopes patrons enjoy when District can finally open to foot traffic. With the restaurant focusing mostly on pizza and the theme and decor around movies (paying tribute to the building’s past as a theater), Shintaffer wanted to create a place where everybody felt welcome.

“The concept is really neighborhood brewery; that ‘third place’ feeling,” Shintaffer said. “We want people to bring the wife, the kids, your neighbor. It’s going to be a fun environment.”

The vision Shintaffer has in his head was put there by Pinthouse Pizza, a small chain of pizza and beer spots he visited in Austin, Texas. Like what District will eventually do, Pinthouse has customers order their pizza and beer at the counter and then sit down and eventually bus their own tables.

“It’s new to our area,” Shintaffer said, “but I believe that if you build it they will come.” 

Shintaffer comes from a long line of beverage people. His family started Sound Beverages, a beer and beverage distributor in Whatcom County, 70 years ago. In recent years, Shintaffer decided it was time to try opening his own brewery.

“I’ve enjoyed the business, but I needed to find something of my own,” Shintaffer said.

For now, he’ll have to wait a little longer until that vision is fully realized.


District Beers

First Strike IPA

| KEY INGREDIENTS Mosaic, El Dorado, Centennial, and Pahto hops
| ABV 6.1% | IBU 67

Tropical Vacation Hazy IPA

| ABV 8.3% | IBU 71

Order here

Pizza and beer to go in Skagit Valley

| Photography courtesy of Aaron Swaney and District Brewing.

Kenmore’s Nine Yards closes temporarily, launches GoFundMe

When a statewide stay at home order came down in March, breweries all over the state raced to find crowler machines, CO2 and cans in an effort to stay open and transform into breweries to go.

After internal — and external — deliberating, Nine Yards Brewing in Kenmore went a different route.

Knowing the large, open space he had could make it difficult to prevent the virus from spreading and over concern for his employees’ safety, owner Ethan Savaglio made the tough decision to temporarily close his brewery while he, and the rest of the region, wait out COVID-19.

“Our staff is very loyal, very dedicated, very capable,” Savaglio said. “We want to take care of our staff. We can only control so many factors. One of the factors that we could control was where they went to work. It was more important to us to have them stay home and have them remain healthy so when we reopen we have the staff we need. Also, ethically, having people stay healthy, that was more important to us.”

Savaglio loves the community feel Nine Yards Brewing’s staff and customers have been able to cultivate since it opened in 2015. The brewery hosts game nights, movie and sports screenings and does a comedy show one Friday a month.

“More than anything it’s just getting people out there, building a community,” Savaglio said. “We’re built around building a community and events. And no one wants to be in the position of having their event be the catalyst of having people getting sick.”

Until it can reopen, a GoFundMe has been set up to help to help Nine Yards with some expenses and provide some monetary relief to the brewery’s employees. Savaglio said he has enjoyed being able to use the funds to write checks for his employees once again.

The COVID-19 virus will likely cause some changes to Nine Yards Brewing when it does reopen, according to Savaglio. He is reassessing all aspects of the brewery from the shared cart of silverware and condiments down to the community water jug to figure out the best ways to keep people healthy both in the immediate, and long, term.

Along with his staff, Savalio is eagerly looking forward to being able to hang out again soon over a Homewrecker Red or a Sunset Cerveza or a Wee Heavy Scotch Ale.

Or a “specialty beer” that is currently in the works.

“We do have something pretty cool that is going to go up on the menu when we get back,” Savaglio said. “The biggest thing to do is, when we do open back up in whatever capacity we open up at first because we don’t know what the restrictions are, just come patronize the place. Let us know that you’re back! If you’re just comfortable grabbing growlers, we can make that happen. Just getting us back to where we can take care of our folks, that would mean the world to us. It would mean the world to have the community back and not have that place be dark.

“Come on back, watch a movie or sports on the big screen. Or replays of sports.”


Nine Yards Brewing

7324 NE 175th St., Suite A
Kenmore, WA

| GO FUND ME

Skookum releases Chuck’s Hop Shop collaboration Enjoyable Distraction Wednesday

For brewers, creating the official beer for the annual Seattle Beer Week is quite an honor. This year that job was supposed to fall to the brewers at Skookum Brewery and Old Schoolhouse Brewery.

Of course, we know what happened to all that. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak, Seattle Beer Week was canceled, the official beer was scuttled and Skookum’s head brewer Hollis Wood and the folks at Old Schoolhouse were left holding the bag on a 1,000 pounds of experimental HBC-630 hops.

But when life gives you lemons … apparently you make delicious beer. 

Wood took the hops that were once destined for the collaboration with Old Schoolhouse and spun it into another beer collaboration, this one with Chuck’s Hop Shop. Enjoyable Distraction is a tropical IPA made with spelt and oats and a whole mess of hops, including the Yakma Chief experimental hops HBC-630, 

“We had these hops, so I figured let’s do something fun,” Wood said. “This was a perfect chance. I’m really liking the beer.”

Skookum canned the beer on Tuesday and will be delivering 50 cases to each of Chuck’s Hop Shop locations, Greenwood and Central District. The brewery will also be selling cans of the beer starting at 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 20.

This is Skookum’s second collaboration with Chuck’s after brewing Chucklehead, a double IPA made with Amarillo, Mosaic and Southern Star hops, for the 2017 Seattle Beer Week. The connection between brewery and bottleshop goes back to when Chuck’s became a gateway for Skookum into the competitive Seattle market.

“Chuck’s was one of the first accounts to take our beer in Seattle,” Wood said. “They helped get us established in Seattle and I’ve always felt we owe them a bit for having given us a chance.” 

As for the beer, Wood said it’s tropical with a hint of stone fruit like apricot and peach from the HBC-630. The other hops are Citra, Vic’s Secret and Azacca.

On Monday, Skookum released 16-ounce cans of its IPA Southern Glow and Parlor Trick, an imperial oatmeal milk stout brewed with cocoa powder and finished on strawberries. Along with Tuesday’s canning of Enjoyable Distraction, it’s a second major canning session for a brewery that had only canned its beers once before the pandemic. Wood said the brewery is planning to do more canning in the coming weeks.

The additional canning runs comes on the heels of Skookum digging through its cellar to sell the final bottles and kegs of crowd favorites like Heavy is the Head That Wears the Crown, a blend of barleywine and wheatwine, releasing a four-way barleywine blend called Quarantine and #BIL in crowlers and even selling kegs retail.

“We’ve had to bob and weave and change up our plans,” Wood said. “We decided early on we would do what we could to survive. We’re adapting to the current market.”

Look for more goodies from Skookum coming out soon. In the meantime, the Arlington brewery plans to return to its normal hours of operation June 1. Currently the brewery is open 3 to 7 p.m. every day. 

Enjoyable Distraction

Artwork for the Enjoyable Distraction cans was created by Alyson Osborn of Handsome Meatball.

Skookum Brewery/Chuck’s Hop Shop
A tropical IPA from Skookum Brewery and made in collaboration with Seattle bottleshop Chuck’s Hop Shop. Brewed with spelt and oat and Citra, Vic’s Secret, Azacca and HBC-630 hops.

From the brewery: In these dark times we’re all grasping for a semblance of normalcy. We brewed this collaboration IPA to remind you of better times, and that we’re all in this together.

Available at Skookum Brewery, and Chuck’s Hop Shop Greenwood and Central District locations

| GET THIS BEER

| Photo courtesy of Skookum Brewery.

Everett’s Crucible Brewing releases collaboration with Special Brews in bottles May 8

Crucible Brewing is releasing its first bottle today.

Originally brewed for Special Brews‘ seventh anniversary, the beer, Jake Gave Dick Wood, is a buckwheat wine aged in JP Trodden Bourbon barrels and tequila barrels. The 500-ml bottles are $15 and will go on sale May 8 at noon at the brewery and at Special Brews.

Crucible Brewing co-owners Dick Mergens and Dylan Sandberg were long-time mug club members at Special Brews and have forged a strong relationship with Special Brews’ owner Jake Taylor over the years. In 2017, Crucible brewed the buckwheat wine for Special Brews seventh anniversary. After it was released a year later, Mergens kept a couple kegs behind and aged them a little longer in hopes of releasing them for Special Brews’ ninth anniversary next month.

With the COVID outbreak, though, the anniversary celebration was put on hold. So Mergens and Taylor decided to bottle the special beer. On Wednesday, they bottled 700 bottles in eight hours.

“It was mostly a manual process for this first bottle release, so it was mostly blood, sweat an beers,” said Crucible co-owner Shawn Dowling. “We had a lot of fun and it was great checking off this milestone for the brewery.”

Dowling hinted that there will be a few more bottle releases in Crucible’s near future.

Jake Gave Dick Wood

Crucible Brewing, Everett
A creamy mouthfeel brings forward a medley of chocolate, vanilla, caramel, plum, raisins, dates and, of course, bourbon and tequila! The massive grain bill consists of English barley, buckwheat, chocolate malt and copious amounts of agave nectar and finished with East Kent Golding hops. 13.3 ABV.

Available in 500ml bottles 5/8.

| GET THIS BEER

Crucible’s first bottle release is a 500-ml buckwheat wine aged in JP Trodden Bourbon barrels and tequila barrels.

| Photo courtesy of Crucible Brewing.

WHAT’S BREWING | Snohomish’s Spada Farmhouse Brewery readies new downtown location

John Spada and his wife Emily recently welcomed their first child into the world.

Soon, Spada’s brewery, Spada Farmhouse Brewery, will be undergoing a huge change of its own. Spada Farmhouse Brewery is using this time in quarantine to renovate a building in downtown Snohomish that will eventually be its new home. It’s a huge move for the small craft brewery that focuses on sours and barrel-aged beers.

“I’m really excited for the opportunity for growth,” said Spada, whose taproom until recently was housed in a cozy taproom just up from First Street on Union Avenue in downtown Snohomish. “I think it’ll be an opportunity to attract a wider base of customers.”

Spada’s new space is located on First Street, which is coveted real estate for retailers with all of its antique shops, restaurants and other tourist retailers. The former tenant was Stewart’s Place Tavern, a fixture in Snohomish. 

“The majority of foot traffic in Snohomish is on First Street,” said Spada. “It was tough being off of First Street because it really cuts down on that foot traffic.”

Spada said they had been looking for two years for a spot that could house both the brewery and taproom on First Street, but that the real estate market for that type of building is very competitive. Not only was First Street desirable, but Spada was looking to keep distance between his brewery and the five other breweries in Snohomish. 

So when Spada found out Stewart’s was leaving, he jumped at the opportunity. Once they secured the building, Spada closed its former spot on Union Ave. and is now putting all of its energy into building out and renovating the new space. 

The new space will allow Spada to move brewing production on site. Spada’s sour and barrel-aging program will remain on the family farm outside of Snohomish to ensure the separation of clean and sour beer.

Another bonus to making the move for Spada is the addition of food service, something the brewery didn’t have at its former spot. The kitchen will be run by Spada’s friend Tyler Stocker, who was one of the original owners of the Trail’s End Taproom and has run his own catering and food truck businesses.

“The menu will be unique and will complement the beer,” Spada said. “Tyler and I work really well together.”

Well-known for making great sour beers, Spada said that the brewery will also feature a few more approachable beers to serve a wider audience. 

The schedule for opening the new space is dependent on Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home order. Spada said that when the order is lifted they hope to be ready and can use the easing back in as a soft opening for the new location.


Spada Farmhouse Brewery’s New Location

NEW LOCATION
Spada Farmhouse Brewery

709 1st St
Snohomish, WA | 98290

| WEBSITE

| Images courtesy of Spada Farmhouse Brewery.