Since opening in 2013, Justin Gerardy’s tiny Standard Brewing has established itself as one of the most respected newcomers in a city full of fledgling breweries. The guy pulls off an incredible amount of beer on his tiny nano-size system, but he has spent the past year and a half scouting a new, larger location in the Central District, a place where he can add some barrels to his brewery and give the neighborhood a proper taproom with food and cocktails.
After all that scouting (which included everything from the Catfish Corner, the Field Roast building, and the the old fire station at 23rd and Yesler), Gerardy announced this week he will stay put in his current location, but he’s expanding into the rest of the building, making the brewpub happen at his current address.
The expansion also means graduating to a five-barrel system, which increases his output sevenfold, letting Gerardy be “bigger than small, but still not wholesale.” In other words, he'll make more beer, and wants to experiment with a host of styles rather than produce tons of, say, a flagship IPA.
As for the taproom, he’s envisioning a clean, bright establishment with lots of dark wood and an almost midcentury modern vibe, one that will serve food (in a sort of popup model) and draw on Gerardy’s past life as a craft bartender. He'd like to incorporate beer into the cocktails in some fashion. Given his past roles as bar manager at both Vito's and the Hideout, whatever lands on the cocktail list is bound to be good.
But that's still a ways off; Gerardy doesn’t take possession of the rest of the building (currently a Halal mart) until this fall. The first major change will happen this summer, when he expands the brewery's tiny but excellent patio to take over the entirety of the parking lot out front. Look for the outdoor space to be ready perhaps by midsummer. Here's Gerardy's full take on the changes in store.
The taproom sounds splendid, but perhaps the most exciting part of this expansion is all the terrific sour and wild yeast beers in Standard’s future. Gerardy will have both a yeast lab where he can isolate particular strains and the considerable storage space necessary to house the barrels where these yeast-driven beers spend many months fermenting. “I want to be at the forefront of the discussion of fermentation.”
He's hoping the new Standard—grown up, yes, but still pretty laid back—will arrive shortly after the new year. It will provide some much-needed respite later this summer, when construction work on 23rd will create some major detours just to the east of the brewery.