When you walk into the Bellevue Brewing Co. back behind Angelo's Restaurant at 1820 130th Ave. NE, the new brewery smells delicious. It smells like chocolate and coffee, but partner Scott Hansen explained the wonderful odor is wort, a mash of malted barley and water.
Whatever it is, it bodes well for things to come and the sooner the better for Eastside beer lovers who are thirsty for a handy pub that promises crafted brews, healthy pub fare and lots of attractive spaces for gathering.
According to John G. Robertson, managing member of the Bellevue Brewing Company, LLC (BBC), the production brewery is very near opening.
"Currently, we are planning a two-week "Open House" beginning Thursday, Nov. 29 if our permits go through," said Robertson as he and Hansen showed us around the 12,000 square foot brewery. "We would then hold a "Grand Opening" on December 13, featuring beer, food, live music, and a raffle. We might even throw in a few surprises!"
Although the more than 215 Founders Club members can't wait to get their special 25-ounce BBC mugs and beer club polo shirts, the partners are optimistic about the permit process. In the meantime, they are getting everything ready, including the 6,000 square foot, 20-barrel brewhouse and a 5,000 square foot, family-friendly taproom complete with three private hospitality rooms, a large L-shaped bar, lots of video monitors and free Wi-Fi.
Currently, head brewer Tony Powell of Redmond is working hard to get two beer styles out of four on tap for the opening. Next year the brewery expects to brew about 2,000 – 2,500 barrels, but Robertson anticipates BBC will eventually produce 30,000 barrels a year.
Beyond the liquids, the partners have snagged one of the premier chefs around, Rick Lowell of Bellevue. He will concentrate on creating a basic menu of from scratch healthy pub food such as pizza, soup, sandwiches, salads and homemade desserts.
Robertson stressed several themes. "It's important to us to be inclusive, to welcome everybody and let our patrons help determine the BBC scene," said Robertson, who grew up in Bellevue and graduated from Newport High. "We want to be a place where locals can hang out."