West Seattle Brewing Introduces Its Plans to Expand Globally

Musician playing on stage at West Seattle Brewing.


Visitors can expect to see changes at the West Seattle Brewing mothership location soon, but there’s a bigger plan too

West Seattle Brewing has operated its brewery and taproom in West Seattle (the mothership) for well over a decade, but most folks living east of the bridge know nothing about it. Partly, and this might sound odd to many folks, that’s by design. Wholesale distribution was never part of the plan, but carbon neutrality was always the goal. Big changes are afoot and the company recently announced its plans and vision for the future.

West Seattle Brewing at night, lit up with neon signs.

Drew Locke, who founded West Seattle Brewing in 2010, recently took on a new partner in the business, Brian Lewis. Together the two will rebrand the business as West Brewing, with an eye on expanding beyond Seattle. The plan is to open two additional locations in Washington, at least one in Japan, and also in other Asian locations. Each location would include the word west followed by the city’s name. No longer just West Seattle Brewing, but West Osaka Brewing. That is just one possible example.

Locke and Lewis’ plan calls for each new location to include its own 10-barrel brewery, with a continued focus on producing in-house, non-distributed beer. The thought is to provide an entirely on-premise experience at many different locations, where customers will enjoy beer and music made onsite. Locke is an experienced musician as well as a brewery owner; live music has always been part of his plan. (Pictured at the top, live music at West Seattle Brewing. From Instagram.)

“It’s important to emphasize that our expansion is a result of careful planning, not a hasty post-COVID response,” said Drew Locke, the founder of West Seattle Brewing. “The decision to open [a second taproom] at Alki in 2015 was a deliberate deviation from our original plan, necessitated by the opportunity it presented. This move allowed us to explore new partnerships, conduct feasibility studies in target locations, and expand our presence in Asia and other initial locations.”


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West Seattle Brewing’s Tap Shack at Alki closed in 2022. Eventually, the site was assumed by Future Primitive Brewing, which now operates a taproom at the location.

“With our social mission centered around being carbon-neutral and eco-friendly, our global expansion, expected to reach 50 locations, aligns with minimizing environmental impact,” explains Locke. “Each location will house a small, 10-barrel brewery, eliminating the need for product distribution. The grain-to-glass process will take place entirely onsite, eliminating excess waste from trucks, cans, and glass bottles. Visitors can anticipate a unique experience–enjoying music and beer crafted and served exclusively onsite.”


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Away from this global vision, the West Seattle location is undergoing its own transition and visitors can expect to see some changes. Locke says this is due to landlord-tenant dynamics and site remediation, as well as the promised arrival of light rail to West Seattle.

“The true essence of our concept will unfold in future locations,” said Locke. “However, for the time being, visitors can expect an expanding selection of brews and a vibrant calendar of music and events. Our backend transitions are well underway, incorporating exciting new technologies, and we aim to be in full swing by Spring/Summer.”

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