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Last summer, at a beer festival, after I said you could find a craft brewery anywhere in our booming artisanal scene, an Eastsider said to point him to a brewpub in Bellevue that’s locally owned. I thought, then fumbled with my BlackBerry and … well, um, what’s wrong with the search engine today?

Did I say that during the summer? I must have meant this winter, because two months ago, Bellevue Brewing Company debuted in an industrial area in the northeast section of the city, drawing beer fans and techies.

Bellevue Brewing had the chutzpah to open five miles south of the cult maker Black Raven Brewing in Redmond. It’s not as good as its acclaimed Redmond neighbor, but it holds its own. The 200-seat pub fills up many evenings and weekends, and the brewery may expand with a second location in Bellevue.

The beer lineup here is more food-friendly than most breweries. A stellar, mild and balanced IPA isn’t punch-in-the-face bitter, with subtle, woody notes.

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There’s a honey, caramel Scotch Ale and a light Pale Ale you could order a second round of and not feel tipsy. The Extra Special Bitter brew rounds out nicely with a malty sweetness.

Mostly sandwiches (Cuban sandwich, panini, etc.) and pizzas, the bar food here is decent but not so memorable that you would mistake this grub for a gastropub’s.

All in all, head brewer Tony Powell, who made his name with Fish Brewing Company in Olympia, has put together a well-rounded lineup that’s more approachable for the mainstream palate instead of focusing on the hop heads.

The Details

Bellevue Brewing Company, 1820 130th Ave. N.E., Suite 2, offers happy hour daily with $1 off draft beer before 5 p.m. (425-497-8686 or

Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or On Twitter @tanvinhseattle

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