Over at the former Bell and Whete, the space that was once the dining room is getting ready to receive tanks and fermenters—those roll-up garage doors that once gave diners exposure to the Belltown breeze will be pretty useful in taking delivery of bulky brewing equipment.
On March 17, Marcus Charles’s ever-so-slightly medieval restaurant at Second and Bell will be reborn as a pub, known as The Brewhouse, and a brewery with the impossible-to-misunderstand name Belltown Brewing. The bar itself won’t look wildly different from the Bell and Whete days—even the art is much the same. The lineup of 33 taps will pour a mix of Northwest/West Coast beers, plus a few European creations. Except now, a portion of that taplist will come from the brand new brewing system on other side of the low wall at the end of the bar.
How is it that Belltown, one of the drinking-est neighborhoods in town, doesn’t yet have a brewery? (Yes, there’s Cloudburst, but that feels more like kin to Pike Place Market.) Charles says he was surprised when Bell and Whete’s customers focused more on the bar than the dining aspect; he’d figured the area had more than enough places to get a drink. But hey—might as well embrace it.
Charles brought on Adam Frantz, most recently head brewer at the well-regarded American Brewing Company in Edmonds, and also a veteran of Mac and Jack’s. He’s readying three flagship beers—an aromatic IPA, light and dry pilsner, and an American-style red ale—but his 4.5-barrel system will usually put out anywhere from five to seven beers at a time, from a coffee brown ale fermented on cold brew to all sorts of seasonal saisons. These brews will pop up at Charles’s other nearby establishments, like Local 360 and Mama’s and the Crocodile.
A special single-barrel tank setup is designated for teambuilding classes, wherein coworkers or other groups can sign up to make a beer together, then come back and drink it a few weeks later. It doesn’t get more Seattle than that.