The Brewers of Ballard

There are now TEN – yes, One Zero – count ’em – 10 craft breweries in Ballard. Market pessimists who whine that we have over-saturated the marketplace with the influx of new breweries have not been to Ballard recently. I have been to each of them in recent weeks and they are all very busy, even mid-week.

The promising thing about this heralding a continuation in the growth of craft beer, is that each of these locations is growing its own batch of loyal followers.

The newest one – open for only three days as of this writing – is Lucky Envelope.


Lucky Envelope Brewmaster Barry Chan and Director of Operations Raymond Kwan have begun a regular brew rotation packed with traditional German-style beers like Munich Helles and Schwarzbier lagers, along with Asia-inspired beers like a Belgian Style Tripel infused with Thai ingredients. The brewery will start with six beers on tap: an IPA, Fog Dart Pale Ale, Seattle Helles, Thaiger Mom Trippel, British Stout, and a Cherry Stout.

Lucky Envelope is named for the Chinese tradition of giving red envelopes with money to celebrate Chinese New Year and major holidays.

A brewery that has made Ballard historic again is multi-award-winning Reuben’s Brews. When Adam Robbings, wife Grace and brother-in-law Mike Pfeiffer opened Reuben’s Brews in August 2012, they had five of their beers available in the taproom. Since then Reuben’s has regularly had 12 of their own beers on tap.

They quickly became a well-respected brewery and have won more awards for their beers than any other brewery in Washington since opening their doors. In January 2015 they signed with Click Wholesale Distribution in anticipation of the new brewery coming online to help make their brews more widely available.


The new brewhouse and taproom greatly expands the space they need for making beer and serving on-premises customers. They will keep the old location as a brewhouse to meet the ever growing demand for their beers. Very well done Adam. It just keeps on getting better.


The new location is at 5010 NW 14th St.

Populuxe Brewing is tiny in size but big when it comes to innovative brewing. They serve pale ales, a brown, saisons, a CDA and a couple of IPAs.

“The word “populuxe” is a portmanteau of the words “popular” and “deluxe” and that’s how you’ll describe the suds at Populuxe Brewing. From sensationally hoppy IPAs to crisp and spicy saisons, you’ll find a beer for every beer lover.

“Our cozy indoor seating area is complemented by a larger courtyard that offers plenty of picnic tables, a covered and heated patio, two firepits, a cornhole court and lots of room for the little ones to expend energy while parents look on. Expect to see strollers, kids and dogs aplenty when the weather is agreeable.” – from


The junk yard feel of the outdoor tasting area slaps pretentiousness in the face and screams at you – THIS IS ALL ABOUT THE BEER, DAMMIT!

Stoup Brewing opened a summer patio on the west side of their brewery/taproom during Seattle Beer Week. The Stout and Porter are killer. Go there. Try one.


Stoup Brewing is a long held dream of Brad Benson and Lara Zahaba – two hopeless drink and chow hounds.  Brad loves beer and has been a loyal student, courter, and crafter for years that number beyond his fingers and toes.  Lara loves all things gastro – from a savory plate to a smart pour. The pair, professionally and recreationally, have spent the better part of their hours improving their palate’s quality of life.

Enter, Robyn Schumacher – friend, teacher and self-professed beer geek graduated Cicerone. She had the same dream. Fitting that Robyn’s infatuation with beer bloomed under the tutelage of a Biology degree. Robyn’s regard for all things hop and malt only deepened while her teaching career flourished.  Brewing in her spare time was the final hook.

 Coming soon – reviews of more Ballard breweries:
  • Hilliard’s Brewing
  • Maritime Pacific Brewing
  • Bad Jimmy’s Brewing
  • Hales Ales
  • Peddlers Brewing
  • Northwest Peaks Brewing