Beer Advocate, Thrillist, Bon Appétit, Imbibe, USA Today—for a brewery that began life in Portland just a few years ago, Great Notion Brewing has landed on national top lists and nabbed awards aplenty for its beers that skirt the line between conceptually kooky and really effing good. That's why it's particularly exciting that the Portland-born brewery is bringing such palate-pleasing ales to—where else?—one of Seattle's most concentrated beer zones: Ballard. Specifically, Great Notion Brewing will make its Washington debut at 5105 14th Avenue Northwest (next to Reuben's, and near Stoup and Obec). It plans—hopes, anticipates, longs—to open in summer 2020.
"We're just excited to be with all of our friends there—like Cloudburst is moving in there, Reuben's is right across the street," says cofounder Paul Reiter, who adds that he's friends with Adam Robbings of Reuben's Brews. "We gave him a call...an early heads up. We've already made beers with them before, so I think it'll be pretty cool."
Great Notion cofounders James Dugan, Andy Miller, and Reiter all hail from the East Coast, but when they landed in Portland they brought the hazy IPA brew style with them. The brewery was an early adopter (perhaps even the first in the region) of the hazy IPA and is often credited with boosting the Pacific Northwest's "haze craze." Beyond all things hazy, though, Great Notion's styles run the beer spectrum from coffee stouts to jammy tart ales.
"The way I say it is, we're inspired by fun food dishes, such as a blueberry muffin that maybe you helped a parent bake a long time ago. Or a pancake breakfast, you know, full of coffee and maple syrup getting spilled everywhere," explains Reiter on the brewery's devotion to taking its flavor cues from the culinary world. "And we want to emulate all the senses too, not just the taste. When you crack open one of our cans, we want it to completely smell like someone poured way too much maple syrup on their pancakes."
And whatever worry that Great Notion beers are more gimmick than good is entirely dissolved by the seriously tasty flavors that come out of their taps or cans. (Fyi, the new spot in Ballard will have 20 taps.)
What else will likely set Great Notion apart from its taproom counterparts is its food game. Reiter says they'll have their own kitchen which will focus on the forever-favorite beer pairing, the fried chicken sandwich. He says they'll likely have a Nashville hot chicken doppleganger.
Reiter says the look will be familiar to those who've been to their Portland locations: refurbished wood, polished concrete, metal for good industrial-cool measure. Nothing that's entirely breaking the taproom mold, but the space will be on the corner with plenty of patio/outdoor seating, and will likely see the artistic stylings of illustrator Chad Eaton, whose art graces all of Great Notion's cans.
Stay tuned for more news and updates as we have them.