Beer springs eternal in Washington: new breweries
April 26, 2011 - 2:13 PM--by Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog--
Saturday's sunny weather served as a brief reminder that it is spring here in the northwest: the season of birth and rebirth. I'm not sure craft breweries are actually born, but they certainly are springing to life at an alarming rate these days.
In the spring of 2008, Kim and I decided to write a book about Washington beer. The daunting task of visiting every brewery in the state, and doing it in a manner so timely as to collect information relevant for a print publication, steered us in a different direction. That's why you are reading this blog instead of that book.
Back then, there were 90 breweries in Washington. Even that seemed like a lot of breweries. Time keeps marching on and so does the craft beer industry—continually evolving and growing. Fast forward three years and Washington is on the precipice of something pretty exciting: 150 breweries.
Ninety breweries. How cute.
I just updated our list of Washington's breweries. The number is now 145. With six breweries currently pending approval, one of them will enjoy the distinction of being Washington's 150th brewery. Amazing.
Actually, according to the Liquor Control Board, my number is low and more breweries already exist in Washington. I'm right, they're wrong. Well, kind of. Our lists serve different purposes.
I don't include licensees that I can confirm do not brew beer, or do not intend to brew beer. For instance, Ale House Pub and Eatery in University Place does not brew beer. Why it is licensed to brew beer is a mystery to both me and the very confused person who answered the phone when I called to ask. Another discrepancy, Barhop Brewing and Harbinger Brewing are the same entity but are listed separately on the LCB's list. Likewise, Orcas Island Brewery and Island Hoppin' Brewery are one in the same. Yet another aberration, Communitea Kambucha brews tea that contains a minuscule amount of alcohol and is therefore licensed as a microbrewery. Although I have nothing against medicinal tea, it is not beer.
You should know that my list includes two pubs that are not actual working breweries. By request of the proprietors, the Silver City Brewery pub in Silverdale and the Baron/Three Skulls Brewing pub (Pillager's Pub) in Seattle are on my list. So when you look at the list, it will say 147, but really there are only 145 breweries.
Some of the Recent Additions
The following breweries are either already brewing or appear to be close to brewing. For certain, they are all licensed to brew beer and I cannot disprove their existence or their intentions.
- Island Hoppin' Brewery on Orcas Island (hoping to have the tasting room open my Memorial Day)
- Heathen Brewing in Vancouver (a bit mysterious, but licensed)
- Hilliard's Beer in Ballard (still a couple months shy of actually brewing)
- Icicle Brewing in Leavenworth (read our coverage of their opening weekend)
- Grit City Brewing in Centralia (a bit mysterious, but licensed)
- Battenkill Brewing in Poulsbo (beer in the fermenters)