Yesterday evening, I attended a preview event for Seattle’s newest brewery, Best Of Hands Barrelhouse. I first told you about Best Of Hands back at the end of January, when they announced their opening date of Friday, March 8th. Since then I’ve been eagerly anticipating the opening, and with good reason. These guys really know what they’re doing, and the beers I enjoyed yesterday proved it beyond any doubt.
If you visit The Beer Junction in West Seattle with any regularity, you may recognize two of Best Of Hands’ founders: Gregory Marlor, and Nicholas Marianetti (both are level II Certified Cicerones®). They both worked at The Beer Junction before leaving recently to launch Best Of Hands with their partner, Chris Richardson. The Beer Junction was also the first place to tap Best Of Hands’ Phantom Boots IPA last month.
There are lots of great breweries in Seattle and the surrounding area, and many of those breweries are definitely worth the short or even long trip required for a visit. Most of the time though, unless there’s an event or a gathering that might draw us farther away, or we’re out specifically to try a new place/new places, most of us tend to drink more often at the craft breweries that are closer to where we live. That’s a part of the reason I’m such an advocate for breweries that are more in Seattle’s South end (including West Seattle), but definitely not the only reason. Sure, their proximity to me and my commute route makes them convenient, but most of them also make some damn fine craft beers.
There aren’t that many craft breweries in West Seattle (although Future Primitive Brewing did recently open in White Center), but now we have another newcomer nearly set to go. Coming up on March 8th, Best Of Hands Barrelhosue will open their doors to the public. Founded by Gregory Marlor and Nicholas Marianetti (former servers at The Beer Junction – and level II Certified Cicerones), along with their partner Chris Richardson, Best Of Hands will specialize in mixed-fermentation barrel aged sours and European inspired farmhouse ales.
It seems like you can’t throw a rock in Seattle these days without hitting a brewery, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Despite the large and ever-increasing number of craft breweries in Seattle, we still don’t seem to have reached the saturation point. I believe that’s because Seattle craft beer drinkers really love to drink local.
Sure, Seattle has its iconic and big name breweries that are well known even outside the Seattle area. Others, however, have a more local, neighborhood feel and here in the Northwest we love to support small neighborhood businesses. That’s why two local, neighborhood breweries, Belltown Brewing Company and Schooner Exact Brewing Company, to form a new, limited-series collaboration brewery named SODO Brewing.
Last night, I was fortunate to attend a sneak peek preview party for media and industry friends at Lagunitas Brewing Company‘s newest location in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. As you’ve probably heard, they took over the space formerly occupied by Hilliard’s Brewing, which was purchased last year by Odin Brewing. Lagunitas treated us to food, live music, acrobatic and sideshow performers mingling among the crowd and, of course, great craft beer from one of my favorite California craft breweries.
Lagunitas has made some small but significant changes to the space, including a new, spacious island bar in the middle of the taproom, large, sturdy beer hall style tables with bench seating and brand new, restaurant-quality bathrooms. They want to open to the public as soon as possible and, from what I saw last night, they’re just about ready. You should be enjoying your favorite Lagunitas beers there before the end of this month.
When most people think of Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood they think, of course, of Georgetown Brewing Company on Denver Avenue South just off Lucille Street, but they also think primarily of that stretch of Airport way between Corson Avenue South and 13th Avenue South. Y’know, the stretch that contains all those well known spots like Flying Squirrel Pizza, Zippy’s Giant Burgers, Ellenos Real Greek Yogurt, Hallava Falafel, Fonda La Catrina, Full Throttle Bottles, Machine House Brewing Company, Fran’s Choclates, Jules Mae’s Saloon, Hitchcock Deli, Smarty Pants, the 9lb Hammer and more.
That’s not all there is to Georgetown though. It stretches to the West to 99/East Marginal Way South and the Duwamish waterway. You know the area. It’s where you’ll find Sound Homebrew Supply, Katsu Burger, Matt’s Famous Chili Dogs and South Seattle Community College – Georgetown. It’s also where you’ll find one of Seattle’s newest breweries, Counterbalance Brewing Company.