Ballard is fast becoming Seattle’s ‘brewery district’. With so many breweries already in the area, including: Hales, Maritime Pacific, Northwest Peaks, Peddler (coming soon), Populuxe (coming soon), Reubens and Urban Family, you can’t throw a stone in Ballard without fear of breaking a beer glass. Continuing that trend is Seattle’s newest brewery on the block, Bad Jimmy’s Brewing Company, which is set to open on Leary Way in Ballard this April.
Bad Jimmy’s was first conceived by William Burdick, Seth Mashmi and John Stinson. After winning some homebrew competitions with their Red Ale and Irish Strong Ale (and subsequently having their friends constantly ‘stealing’ all their homebrew), they decided they wanted to open a brewery. After a few years of trying to find and entice investors for the brewery and not having much Luck, William, Seth and John ran into a few other friends of theirs, Greg Gramenz and Jill Kramer, who work for Pyramid Brewing. Greg and Jill had plans of their own to open a new restaurant in the Seattle area, but William, Seth and John convinced them to join forces and finances, continued looking for a few more investors and, a while later, Bad Jimmy’s was born. Finances are still a bit tight, however, so they are looking towards a Kickstarter campaign to help them fund the final touches as their opening date approaches.
The founders of Bad Jimmy’s take their inspiration from other breweries they’ve known and loved. William grew up loving New Belgium beers and sour beers (which are the best, in his opinion). He’s also big fans of Russian River (who, unfortunately, no longer distributes to Washington state), Oskar Blues Brewing and Fort George Brewing. Bad Jimmy’s looks to Oskar Blues as their inspiration for wanting to can their beers as well.
Seth, having grown up in Michigan, is a huge fan of Bells brewing (also not available in Washington), while John (along with William) is a fan of 21st Amendment Brewing – another inspiration for wanting to can their beers. Greg and Jill enjoy many of these breweries as well. And, of course, enjoy a lot of Pyramid beers.
So, why the name Bad Jimmy’s? After all, none of the founders are named Jim. Well, it all started 3 years ago when Seth, John, and William were brewing a batch of tasty love when someone mentioned the fact that William was getting a Beer belly. He simply replied, “Hey! That’s Jimmy!” At that point it was still just William, Seth and John – trying to come up with a name for the brewery and lay out the plans. After weeks and weeks of trying to figure it out, Bad Jimmy’s just came up. They all liked it, so the name stuck.
Bad Jimmy’s has an impressive and ambitious lineup of beers listed in their website, including:
- Walking Dead Red – This is a true double red with an ABV of 6.9%. This full flavored malty treat will have you begging for more. Full of flavor and alcohol but hopped to perfection.
- Stormy Sky Black IPA – A dark, high hopped, high malt IPA. Staying true to the roots of an IPA but with more flavor. 6.2%
- Chai Chocolate Milk Stout - If you like chai and chocolate milk but still want to drink beer, this is perfect for you. 7.8% ABV
- Chocolate Mint Porter – Just as the name suggest. If you have a sweet tooth, this big beer will solve all your problems. 5.5% ABV
- Habañero Amber – Not as spicy as you think. This is a rich amber with the flavor of a fresh habanero. A slight spice to end the flavor pallet. 5.4% ABV
- Honey Amber – A sweet amber made with real Northwest honey. 6.4% ABV
- Raspberry Lavender Wheat – Adding the taste of fresh fruit and the aroma of lavender to make an amazing beer. Sit back, relax and take it in. 6.4% ABV
- Scottish Ale – An international beauty with rich malts and deep caramel tastes. 5.2% ABV
- Strawberry Mango Wheat – Drinking dessert? Why not? Even the head comes out like whipped cream. 6.8% ABV
- Vanilla Wit – a fantastic Belgium Wit with citrus and vanilla overtones. 6.5% ABV ABV
They are looking to offer two of these beers (mostly likely their IPA & Imperial Red, and perhaps their Habañero Amber) to local taprooms and restaurants, as well as having a handful of beers available at the brewery itself. Their idea is to always have a rotating beer on tap, along with a rotating selection of guest taps from other local breweries. They plan to brew only ales for the first few years, so they believe adding a few lagers from other breweries as guest taps will offer visitors other options while still supporting the brewery.
Bad Jimmy’s ambitiously plans to have their tap room open 7 days a week with long hours. Patrons can expect great views of all the brewing equipment while enjoying their beers, and the wonderful aroma of brewing in the air. They also plan to offer kegs to local craft beer bars and 12oz cans to places that want them. Bad Jimmy’s beers should start appearing in the Ballard and Fremont areas first, but they are in talks with many other bars and restaurants around the Seattle area to, eventually, widen their distribution.
Like most other small breweries just starting out, they don’t plan to offer a food menu at the taproom – just snacks, but they have The Leary Traveler, La BonTon, and The Dish all nearly and plan to have menus available in the taproom. Any outside food will be welcome.
Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.