It takes a lot of courage, dedication and countless hours of hard work to turn a dream into reality. Two Beers Brewing Company (CBM Sponsor) and Seattle Cider Company founder, Joel VandenBrink, found the courage to follow his dream way back in 2007 and, this week, the next part of that dream comes alive.
Two Beers’ first tiny tasting room opened in 2009 at their current location on Ohio Avenue South. With just 6 seats at the bar and four beers on tap, it wasn’t long before it was clear that an expansion was needed. So, in late 2011, Two Beers Brewing opened The Woods 2.0 (the first version of the taproom to officially sport ‘The Woods’ moniker). The new, larger space featured more taps, a 45 foot reclaimed wood bar top and a ‘woodsy’ tree line painted on the walls.
The extra taproom space The Woods 2.0 provided became even more essential when, in August 2013, Joel took another leap of faith and launched Seattle Cider Company – the first cidery within Seattle City limits since the days of prohibition. Expanding again to 17 taps of beer and cider, word about The Woods continued to spread. It became a very popular destination for both craft beer and cider lovers and also a great space for events and private parties.
Shortly after Seattle Cider Company celebrated their first anniversary in August 2014, however, it was becoming clear once again that another expansion was needed. Both Two Beers Brewing and Seattle Cider were hitting record-breaking sales goals month after month and The Woods was packed on a regular basis, especially on Friday and Saturday nights or during special events.
That’s when Joel started making plans for The Woods 3.0. Fortunately, Two Beer’s/Seattle Cider’s neighbor to the North, Resolute Lighting were open to the idea of moving their business. This allowed Two Beers and Seattle Cider an additional 12,000 square feet of space for the brewery, cidery and tasting room.
Now, after nearly 6 months of dedication and hard work, The Woods 3.0 is set to make it’s debut. The media, Mug Club members and a few other select VIPs got an early preview of The Woods 3.0 this past Wednesday and, set for tomorrow, Saturday, June 13th is the Grand Opening.
More than doubling the space of previous taproom, The Woods 3.0 spans 2,800 square feet, with custom wood and ironwork throughout. Featuring 24 taps (12 beer – 12 cider) and seating for 99 people, it’s an impressive space. Other exciting new features include an expanded patio and arbor (with additional seating for up to 68 people), a raised seating area (which will be available to rent out for private events), space for projection movies, a dedicated retail space (coming soon) and a whole range of bar games including: pool, darts, foosball and shuffleboard on a brand new, custom-made shuffleboard table, which sports the Two Beers Brewing Company and Seattle Cider Company logos.
Two Beers and Seattle Cider have also partnered with the popular local food truck Bread And Circuses. They’ll be on hand to serve their delicious food for the Grand Opening celebration and, in just a few months, will be serving from a dedicated, in-house kitchen right inside The Woods (slated for launch this Fall).
Joel wanted to adhere to the philosophy of keeping everything about The Woods very local, just as he’s done with Two Beers and Seattle Cider, using as many local suppliers as possible to complete the new space.
Here are a few fun facts about the new space from Two Beers Brewing Company & Seattle Cider Company:
- All of the lights, including the custom grain bag lights, were made by Resolute Lighting. Resolute was the previous tenant and when they moved into a new space in the building, we chose to honor their time here by using their lights throughout.
- All of the steel work is custom. Not a single piece of steel work was purchased. Bloch Steel is right across the street from our space. Because of this, much of the steel was just walked across the road – cut, welded, and sealed by our employees.
- The large 4×8 foot door you walked through was custom built in-house, constructed from a Kitsap Peninsula Douglas Fir. This wood sat in an old barn for years before we discovered it, planed it down, and made it into a door that will stand for 100 years.
- Likewise, the bar top was made from the same Douglas Fir. A friend of ours, Jeremy Morris, owner and operator of The Wrekin Crew, built it to fit the space perfectly.
- The pool table is an artifact from a day gone by. It was made by an individual on Bainbridge Island nearly 100 years ago.
- The shuffleboard (as I mentioned above) was custom made by The Wreckin Crew, designed by both him and our bar manager, Dan Armerding.
If you were a regular (or even just a casual visitor) at The Woods 2.0, then I think The Woods 3.0 is going to knock your socks off. If you’ve never been to The Woods before, you just ran out of excuses to visit. Head on down this Saturday, when the doors to The Woods 3.0 open at 1:00 PM. There is a definite ‘wow’ factor you’ll experience upon first entering the space. It’s very comfortable and inviting and, yes, still dog friendly. However, you may want to leave your four-legged friends at home for the Grand Opening, which is expected to be pretty crowded.
Here is the full tap lineup for the Grand Opening of The Woods 3.0:
- Day Hike Summer Session Ale
- Forester Double IPA
- Evo IPA
- IPA X
- Cold Brew Coffee Brown Ale
- 7th Anniversary Stout
- Fall Line Russian Imperial Stout
- Barley Wine
- Crooked Belgian Wit
- Rum Barrel Aged Overhang Imperial Porter (aged on 3 Howls Distillery Rum Barrels)
- Pilchuck Pilsner
- Immersion Amber
- Cold Brew
- South African Dry
- Gin Barrel Aged Gin Botanical
- Red Wine Barrel Aged Berry
- Harvest Series
I’d like to once again extend my most sincere congratulations to Joel VandenBrink and the ENTIRE crew at Two Beers Brewing Company and Seattle Cider Company on this amazing achievement. It’s been a local success story that I’ve truly enjoyed following and reporting on over the years. To see more photos of this amazing new space, please visit my Facebook page. I hope to see you at The Wood 3.0 tomorrow.
Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.