Over the past few years, Reuben's Brews has been operating from a few separate locations in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood. As we grew we needed space – but unfortunately nothing was ever available within the same building! This led us to have multiple leases all within walking distance, but which made day-to-day operations between them very difficult. It is extremely important to us to stay in our local neighborhood (where my family and I actually live as well) and there was never one facility or building available that could house our production brewing operations under one roof. But now we are so excited to announce that by the end of this year we will be bringing most of our production together at 800 NW 46th St. The building is not only less than half a mile away from our taproom and brewery (which will remain in its current location), but it is also walking distance from our home.
We are carefully renovating this historic building and it will be up and running toward the end of this year. Please don't go by there right now - it's a literal construction site! The building is getting a big overhaul – new roof, new siding, new insulation and heating systems – but the character of its 70 year-old barrel roof will now be exposed for us all to enjoy! Here, our team's lives will be made easier, and they will be able to focus on brewing different beers and increasing diversity of offerings for our customers rather than traveling between buildings! Part of this includes the expansion of our oak-aged sour beer program, the first of which beers have just been released.
Don’t worry, the taproom that everyone knows and loves at 5010 14th Avenue will stay the same! Nothing will change there – apart from now we’ll be able to brew an even more diverse range of beers! You'll still see our co-founder and my wife, Grace Robbings, working in the taproom, as well as managing our charitable giving programs. As for me, I’m excited to brew more myself as we’ll have three brewhouses – a 5BBL, 15BBL, and 30BBL. I'll also get a real office in our new building and won't have to take conference calls and write blog posts like this one from our merchandise storage closet!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Are you opening another brewery?
A: Yes, but mostly we are consolidating our operations – we’ve been spread all over the area in three different facilities, and we found a new space in Ballard to house our production brewing operations all under one roof. It’s going to make life a lot easier for everyone on the Reuben’s Brews team.
Q: Are you moving your taproom?
A: No. Our original brewery and taproom on 14th Ave NW will remain the same and unchanged for visitors who want to drink tasty brews! We will be able to use this brewhouse for even more new and experimental brews when our new brewhouse comes online. Expect to see some imaginative creations continuing to hit the taps here!
Q: Are you closing your other spaces?
A: Most of our production will move under one roof, but we have already given up one small space in anticipation of the new brewery and will still be keeping our other existing spaces. Our taproom will remain as it is now at 5010 14th Ave NW. We will be able to further expand our sour program into a warehouse we currently use for can and malt storage, which will move to the new facility.
Q: Are you opening another taproom?
A: While we have no plans for another full-time taproom, we want to have a space where we can host our customers in our new brewing facility. This will take the form of a taproom in the new space that we hope to have open on the weekends and for special events, starting at the end of this year. We are still working on the exact plans.
Q: Will this allow you to do any new beers?
A: This consolidation of our operations will allow us to focus on brewing the beers we enjoy, even further increasing diversity of options for customers. When everything is complete, we will have 5BBL, 15BBL and 30BBL systems to enable even more experimentation and fun with beer styles. This move will also allow us to expand our barrel-aged sour beer program, which we started early last year. The first beers from this program have just been released, and we're excited to expand the program further!
Q: Are you hiring more staff?
A: We’re hoping with this new space to make life easier for our team, so we don’t have plans for any big hiring waves right now. We’re hoping that a bigger brewhouse and housing the majority of production under one roof will help improve work-life balance for the Reuben’s team.
Q: Any other changes at the brewery?
Nope! This is about making the lives easier for our team.
Q: Tell me more about the new building!
Originally built in 1948, the building has been used as a factory and warehouse in its prior life. In need of a lot of love, we are working with our real estate partner to significantly renovate the building and bring it back to its former glory. This will involve a lot of work including installing a new roof, new windows, making the building a lot more energy efficient, and new siding – but preserving the elegant barrel roof that will house the new fermenters. The new building will house a new brewhouse – built in the Pacific Northwest - further increasing the consistency of our beers, and reducing the number of batches we have to brew! The majority of the fermenters in the new space will be ones we already have but will move to the new space.
Q: When do you think you’ll be moving in?
It’s always hard to forecast with these large projects! But we have been working on this since last September, so we’re already almost a year into the process. Construction has commenced and we anticipate brewing towards the end of the year. As we get into the fall we’ll get more visibility as to the definite timeline.