Saison means “season” in French and refers to the “saisonnieres” or the seasonal farm workers of Wallonia who consumed farmhouse ales during the summer which were produced during the cooler months. These provisional beers were also called saisons and were nourishing and more potable than potentially-contaminated well water. Saisons are blonde in color with a pronounced hoppiness, a fruity and peppery yeast profile, and have a distinctively dry finish. They were traditionally brewed with a rotating selection of farm-grown grains, hops, herbs, and spices and may have been fermented with wild yeast and bacteria. We brew a variety of saisons which showcase European, American, and Pacific Northwest-grown hops and grains.
No we didn’t. Well, not in the traditional sense. Learn why.
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No, we are unable to allow children due to restrictions in our Liquor License. Our tasting room is licensed as a Tavern which allows us to provide a great list of out-of-state guest beer, wine, and cider but unfortunately excludes those under 21.
We have snacks and host guest chefs for pop-ups most days. View the pop-up calendar here.
Guests are welcome to bring outside food to Fair Isle and we often host food pop-ups. View the pop-up calendar here.
Starting June 2022, we are open for rentals! More information here.
We currently ship beer to Washington State and Washington DC and will be adding more states in the future. Order Beer Here!
We can ship merch only orders to any state!
If you’d like to share the gift of beer, but their cellar is full, we can help you out with a gift card redeemable in our taproom only (not online). Purchase here.
We only allow well-behaved pets in our outdoor beer garden. We are licensed with the state as a restaurant which allows us to host guest chefs and pop-up dinners. However, it prevents us from allowing pets indoors. Service animals are welcome indoors.
Yes, with a minimum of a week’s notice. Otherwise first come first serve.
You can order and ship beer online or check out our beer finder for the closest bar or bottleshop near you.
No, however we do offer most beer in a short pour of .18L (6oz)
We arrived at the name Fair Isle by way of a few paths.
The first path in selecting our name is the idea of handmade craft. In particular a craft that has natural imperfections and variations, a craft that is performed all across the world, and a craft that has a close relationship with design. We arrived at knitting and in doing so ‘Fair Isle’ which is a knit pattern.
Lastly, the pronunciation of ‘Fair Isle’ has close resemblance to ‘feral’ which is a defining viewpoint of our house yeast culture. Before Louis Pasteur, all yeast was wild. As brewers we domesticated yeast over the past few centuries, and at Fair Isle, we’ve let the yeast return to its wild state – now feral.
Fair Isle is an island in Scotland with a coastline that’s similar to the Washington coast – with feeder bluffs and sea cliffs. Our branding artist Joshua Cockrell captures this in our label. ‘Fair Isle’ offers many ways to visually communicate our name. We don’t have to lean on the knitting pattern or the island theme. Over time, we will use a variety of patterns and themes in the promotion of our brand.
We opened in January 2020.
The Knitting Circle is our bottle membership. Our approach to creating Knitting Circle beer is not necessarily about finding the best barrel or using the most obscure and expensive ingredients. Instead, our intent is primarily twofold: to offer you early insight into the direction of Fair Isle and to share small, thoughtful, experimental batches. Every December we open it up to new members. To be the first to know, sign up for the waitlist.
We package all of our beer with a live culture of wild and feral yeasts and bacteria – creating a bottle that will continue to evolve over time. This evolution brings about new flavors while some delicate flavors fade. By the time we’ve released the beers, we’ve held onto them for a few months to allow proper conditioning. So although you may cellar the beer for additional months and experience how they change, we think they are ready to drink upon release.
You can add a proxy at check out and in your notes section of the order.
You have 5 days from the day you place your order to pick it up. After that, the order will be canceled and your payment refunded. If you are unable to pick your order up within 5 days, email [email protected] and we will work something out.
Read our Pickup & Shipping Details here.
Our house yeast culture is the driving factor in all our beers and as a result, our beers are a living and changing product. We wanted to personify our beers and name them after people related to of our staff and community. We named our Holiday Beer called Lou Graham after the famous Madame of Seattle in Pioneer Square during the late 1800s. She was also a pioneer in LGBTQ community and left a lot of her estate to the King County School system. Another is our siason with fireweed called Alexandra after our friend Alex who forages with us. Helsar, our cascara infused saison, gets it’s namesake from the micromill where we source or cascara.
Fair Isle’s story started in 2014 when our house culture came to be. Shortly after Andrew moved to Seattle, in the quest to brew beers that reflected the Northwest and expressed vernacular flavors, he began collecting flowers from different parts of Washington as part of his weekend excursions and propagating the microbes. This included flowers from orchards out in the Yakima wine country, hikes in the Cascade Range, and elderflowers around Lake Washington. After years of tasting, propagating, sensory analysis, natural selection, blending with commercial strains of yeasts and bacterias, and brewing with Geoffrey, Fair Isle’s house culture reached a state of equilibrium and catered to our enjoyment. We describe our yeast as feral, as yeast was once all wild before it was isolated and domesticated.
Fun fact: In September of 2017 our house culture started a new chapter as we sent it off to be banked at White Labs.
Our architect was Jenuess Architects and we tag-teamed the build-out with Dolan Built.
Our artist is Joshua Cockrell, the resident artist of Jester King.
For us there’s an incredible amount of depth and nuance that comes with mixed culture. While a solo violinist creates beautiful music, there’s the experience that a symphony creates that can’t be replicated by one artist.