The Ballard brewery’s patio is the perfect place for a Hefeweizen.
When life hands you crappy industrial zoning, you create atmosphere. Grow bamboo shoots and daisies out of cattle watering tanks. Hang tangerine-colored awnings and use teal shipping containers as walls.
Throw down slabs of salvaged wood for tables and invite food trucks to park out front. And what do you know? A homey beer garden tucked between warehouses and townhomes at the elbow of Northwest 52nd Street and 11th Avenue Northwest is born.
The patio at Stoup Brewing has become a popular hangout in Ballard, drawing dog walkers and posses of cyclists early in the afternoon, with millennials and other local professionals joining later in the evening.
Stoup, along with the other nine breweries situated within a four-mile radius, is redefining the drinking scene in Ballard, offering a civilized alternative to the party-hardy, Fireball-guzzling set that barhops along the main drag on weekends.
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On an 85-degree Sunday afternoon, the patio was standing-room only, with weekend jocks talking smack across the table after their game, while the less social set up shop in the corner with their iPhones. Under one table, a black lab was panting while its tipsy owner was sitting nearby, flirting with another dog owner.
The big crowd pleaser was Stoup’s citrusy Citra IPA. “We call it sunshine in the glass,” said Lara Zahaba, one of the three owners. “It’s a bright, sunshine yellow, a happy summer beer.”
Its crisp Hefeweizen, though, seemed more fitting on this sweltering day. One self-proclaimed beer geek detected hints of banana peel and swore he was drinking a Belgian Wit. A debate ensued. These are people with a lot of free time on their hands.
By 5 p.m., the Peruvian food cart out front was close to selling out. “Only the beef left,” the vendor near the grill said.
Days later came news of a big party on the horizon. Stoup, along with nearby hop heavyweight Reuben’s Brews, is organizing an Octoberfest barhopping event in the neighborhood, complete with a band. They won’t run out of food then, for sure.
Stoup, 1108 NW 52nd St., offers happy hour Tuesday-Friday from 3-5 p.m. with $1 off on any beer. Closed on Mondays. A food truck is usually parked near the patio when Stoup is open (206-457-5524 or stoupbrewing.com).