We’ve been curious about the progress of Stoup Brewing in Ballard, and here's the latest on the brewery at 1108 NW 52nd Street, part of the recent beering of Ballard. The tanks are in, the brightly painted shipping container doubling as bar back and keg fridge is in, and the salvaged walnut-wood bartop is in. Seats and tables are on the way and will be situated with front-row views to the brewing process. The two-level building has an open, airy feel, with a nice side patio planned for a beer garden. The team will open with just the lower level and eventually expand upstairs.
The trio behind Stoup consists of a chemist, a Cicerone, and an English major, the perfect setup for some sort of racy joke.
There's Brad Benson, aka the chemist, he’s been a professional and home brewer for quite some time now; Robyn Schumacher, aka the Cicerone, is also a seasoned home brewer and beverage director of the Marination locations; and Lara Zahaba, aka the English major—but also a PR maven and Brad’s wife—who didn’t realize she liked beer until she met Brad. The group got word this week that they have a federal license to start the beer a-brewing.
And what about said beer? Expect traditional all the way, but with German leanings. The trio of self-proclaimed beer nerds is focused on the science behind brewing. For example, a day of fun for them is looking at yeast samples under a microscope. (I’m sure the drinking of beer aids in that particular joy.) But expect to see that science and simplicity in their flagship brews—including a Northwest IPA, a red ale, and later down the line, a porter. Benson hopes to have seven to eight varieties when in full production mode. And he's experimenting with using spent oyster shells as part of a water purification system, lowering the acidic levels of brewery biproducts. Science!
Food options are still being finalized, but there's talk of sandwiches and a fancy vending machine for snacks, Zahaba says, “There will be no Rold Gold Pretzels.” Think more like salmon jerky and San Pellegrino sodas. With the brewery's vicinity to residential areas and Gilman Playground, it should be a happening spot for post-intermural sport game drinking and family-friendly beer outings. So in attempt to curb low blood sugar levels and cranky kiddos, sustenance will be necessary.
The hope is to be open by the end of September (there are still many permit hoops to jump through), but here’s a surefire way to get your fill of Stoup as soon as it opens. The group has started a founder’s club, where you get to be—wait for it—a Stouperstar. Kicking in $250 gets you a lifetime membership with a metal ID card, and a bunch of Stoup swag, plus members drink from 20-ounce imperial pint glasses, while others merely drink from 16-ouncers. For info on joining, check out the website here.