Fair Isle Brewing
One of the most anticipated microbrewery openings in 2020, this Ballard tasting room specializes in saisons with farmed and foraged ingredients. Expect a lot of wild-yeast, barnyard-funk-like beers, similar to the aromas of dry European ciders. Fair Isle Brewing joins a dozen taprooms in a hub dubbed “Ballard Brewery District.”
This warehouse area is shaping up to be one of the state’s most exciting beer scenes, with heavyweights such as Reuben’s Brews and Stoup Brewing already anchored here. (Both made the Final Four in our brewery bracket last year.) Homeowners who have been complaining that the beer-hopping scene here has caused too much congestion for the neighborhood may want to cover their eyes for this. By the end of February, Urban Family Brewing Co., which does stellar sours and New England-style IPAs, plans to open a taproom in Ballard. In the spring comes the expansion of Cloudburst Brewing under talented brewer Steve Luke, who makes some of the most ambitious and original IPAs in the state. And Great Notion Brewing from Portland hopes to join this party as well by June.
At Fair Isle Brewing, owner Andrew Pogue is starting with seven farmhouse brews on tap and will gradually build from there. Until then, the microbrewery is filling most of the 18 taps with guest breweries including the acclaimed Jester King Brewery in Austin, Texas, and Grains of Wrath Brewing in Camas. Pogue doesn’t carry other local beers since you can stroll a few blocks in any direction and stumble into another Seattle microbrewery. His 2,500-square-foot tasting room can hold 78 people inside and, come spring, a 40-seat beer garden will debut.
936 N.W. 49th St., Seattle; fairislebrewing.com
This nanobrewery in a Renton strip mall comes from the couple Frank Castro and Shaunn Siekawitch. Castro, the brewer, said they’re trying to feel out what style of beers the Renton market wants, but you can expect at least three hoppy brews on tap. Currently, this includes two New England-style and one West Coast IPA. The 11-beer-tap tasting room doesn’t have a kitchen, but it’s within a stone’s throw of 10 dining options, including Ezell’s Famous Chicken across the street.
4710 N.E. Fourth St., #C105, Renton; bickersonsbrewhouse.com
Hungarian winemaker Sandor Faludi focuses on Old World-style wines using grapes sourced from the Columbia Valley and Willamette Valley. The 1,000-square-foot tasting room holds about 40 guests and sits in the Woodinville Warehouse District. Faludi currently has six releases, from chardonnay to a couple of cabs.
19501 144th Ave. N.E., F-900, Woodinville; 818-431-0074, prohibitioncellars.com
Republic of Cider
The taproom cozies up next to 2 Bars Distillery, Fall Line Winery, T2 Cellars and Elsom Cellars in the Sodo Gateway Center. That enclave aims to be another industrial barhopping success story similar to Sodo Urban Works nearby, where about a dozen taprooms, a Champagne bar and an Ethan Stowell restaurant reside. Republic of Cider offers some quirky takes including ciders with winter melon and another version brewed with green hatch chilies.
Molly’s Bottle Shop
Molly Ringe, former wine director at Ray’s Boathouse, has opened a six-seat tasting room and bottle shop in the Sunset Hill neighborhood, next to critically acclaimed Samara and the trendy cocktail den Baker’s. (Ringe also does the wine list for Baker’s.) Her 218-square-foot nook boasts 100 natural wines, many from the Old World along with a roster of Oregon and other wines.
6406 32nd Ave. N.W., Seattle; 206-581-1435, mollysbottleshop.com