We first reported this way back in 2015. Not about Bellevue Brewing necessarily, but about how the developers of a large project in Bellevue were looking for a brewery to move into the Spring District and serve as a cornerstone business for the new development. In addition to housing, office space, and a new brewpub, the Spring District will be a station along the forthcoming light rail line, scheduled to open in 2023. (Image above is a mock-up of the brewpub, from the Spring District website.)
Back when the news first broke six years ago, sources told me that Bellevue Brewing Company was one of the breweries giving it some serious consideration. Now, according to a report in the Puget Sound Business Journal, Bellevue Brewing is in fact going to open its second location, a brewpub at the Spring District.
The buildout is expected to start soon and Bellevue Brewing says it hopes to open the new brewpub as soon as February. There is no plan to close the brewery’s existing location.
The Spring District, which is about a mile away from Bellevue Brewing’s current location, is a 36-acre mixed-use development where Facebook leases or owns around 1.6 million square feet of office space. When completed, the Spring District will be home to other businesses as well as 800 apartments. The Bellevue Brewing brewpub will cover 8,300 square feet on the ground floor of a three-story building overlooking a public open space.
The new brewpub intends to set itself apart from the crowd by installing serving tanks, according to today’s report. Instead of piping the beer in from kegs in a big fridge, the brewpub will serve beer from 265-gallon copper-clad serving tanks suspended over the bar.
Whoa! That sounds cool!
James Whittaker, one of the brewery’s owners, told the PSBJ, “They will be striking,” speaking of the serving tanks. More than that, he added, “the cleanest, greenest and most environmentally sustainable way to serve beer.”
Whittaker told the PSBJ that he thinks the nearest brewpub to use such a system is in Denver. That is only partly true. A brewery closer to home will be using them soon, though it is understandable that Whittaker would not know that.
Top Down Brewing Company in Sumner, Washington already has overhead serving tanks installed. That brewery is already producing beer and is slated to open later this summer.
“We are starting off with seven tanks, but eventually we’ll have 11,” says Chad Cray, the Co-Owner/Head Brewer at Top Down Brewing. “They run over the bar plus the taproom.”
According to Whittaker, the new Bellevue Brewing location will produce about 2,000 barrels per year. “It’s going to be a thirsty location,” he told the PSBJ.
In addition to the 800 apartments, and the other yet-known businesses, the PSBJ says that Facebook has room for about 9,000 employees at its Spring District location. So, yes, it is going to be a thirsty location.