I can remember when Urban Family Brewing Company wasn’t yet a brewing company. They were a craft beer bar on Ballard Ave NW, pretty much across the street from The Noble Fir. As a craft beer bar, I only visited them a couple of times before they closed and moved across Salmon Bay to their current location on 26th Avenue West in Magnolia.
I think Urban Family is a bit homesick for Ballard though. They’ve just announced that, later this year, they will be moving the brewery to a new location, back in Ballard. Sentiment isn’t the only reason for the move though. They’re starting to outgrow their current location, and their new spot in Ballard will give them more room to expand, including more space for barrel aging and additional outdoor seating.
Here is the full press release from Urban Family Brewing Company:
Feb. 5 2019, SEATTLE – After four years of running their brewery and tasting room in Magnolia, Urban Family Brewing Co. is moving to a new location in the heart of Ballard’s “brewery district.” Andy Gundel, owner of Urban Family, says the move will occur in phases: production will relocate this summer, with the tasting room to follow by the end of 2019.
“We think we’re going to be the first brewery in Ballard,” jokes Gundel. The new building will serve as the brewery’s home for the foreseeable future, he adds, since “the 23-foot ceilings and the ability to spread out to neighboring spaces mean we can grow as fast or as slowly as we need to.”
The team at Urban Family is grateful to the Magnolia community for their support, says Gundel, and will miss being in the neighborhood — but the new facility provides unparalleled opportunities. While they weren’t actively looking to move, it was inevitable in order to expand on the barrel program, as well as to keep the taproom feeling less crowded and more comfortable.
The new location will provide room for a bigger, 20-barrel brewhouse that some will recognize from another iconic Seattle brewery; a large walk-in space; an expanded taproom; and a larger outdoor area. While current space limitations prevent Urban Family from fulfilling many requests for private parties and events, the new facility will be able to accommodate these in addition to regular traffic. It will also allow for designated family-friendly, 21-plus and dog-friendly areas, along with greater access and exposure for new customers.
After the move, Urban Family will continue to focus primarily on fruited sours and IPAs; however, the expanded production facility will allow them to add more variety to their lineup, including more wood-aged offerings, as well as room for storage.
This will allow them to build up their barrel program and “focus on making more complex, wood-aged beer,” Gundel says. “We want to bring something special into the Ballard area. We know we’re not the first game in town, by any means, but we hope that we are viewed as a positive addition.”
Gundel and the rest of the team welcome questions and feedback, and encourage those who want to learn more about the move to come in, have a beer and chat with their staff. Visit the Urban Family website, or follow them on social media to learn more.
I’ve visited Urban Fmaily a few times at their current location. It’s adequate, but I can definitely see how they might need more space. I’m happy to see how well they’re doing, since I think Urban Family is putting out some of the very best Sour and Wild Ales in Seattle. Along with Holy Mountain Brewing and Engine House No 9 down in Tacoma, it’s nice to have some local sours which, I believe, rival anything coming from Cascade Brewing out of Portland.
I’m looking forward to checking out Urban Family’s new space after the move. Until then, I’ll just keep enjoying their delicious Sour Ales, Wild Ales and IPAs. If you haven’t given them a try, you’re definitely missing out.
Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.