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Seattle Times

Ballard gets long-awaited microbrewery; 4 tasting rooms open in Seattle, Woodinville and Renton

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.

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