If it seems like you were at Schooner EXACT‘s Grand Opening last year during the first Seattle Beer Week, you aren’t crazy. In 2009 the former nanobrewery had purchased a larger system and subleased a space connected to the former location of Trade Route Brewing in South Park; their opening celebration was right around this time last year. When Trade Route then opted out of their lease to move down south to Pacific, Washington, Schooner EXACT was left with a decision to make. Owners Matt & Heather McClung could either work out a new lease with the landlord themselves for the entire space, or they could search for something new. When Matt was asked what he thought about moving to a new space just about six months after moving in with their larger system, he replied, “I think it will kill me.” But, they saw the opportunity to find a place that fits their needs better, and they went through the arduous task of picking up and moving all over again.
Their new location at 3901 1st Ave S is about a mile and a half south of Safeco Field in SODO. The brewery space is larger than what they had before, and it is set up perfectly for a retail tasting room presence. They have installed a long wooden bar with room for about 10 people, and they will have table seating both inside and out. They’ll be pouring their year-round lineup of beers, such as the popular 3-Grid IPA and Gallant Maiden Hefeweizen. In addition, they will have special releases such as their complex Hoppy the Woodsman and a new rotating series of Imperial IPAs.
Matt and Heather have welcomed well-respected brewer Dave Hutchinson (“Hutch”) to their team at the new location. Hutch was most recently brewing at the Rogue Issaquah brewery, and he formerly worked at Pacific Crest Brewing and was the first employee at Georgetown Brewing. With Matt and Hutch working together, I can’t wait to see what they turn out. In his spare time, Hutch also plans to work on developing his own nanobrewery. Maybe it will be him moving into a larger location of his own a few years down the line…
Join Heather, Matt, and Hutch on May 15 during Seattle Beer Week for an opening event at the brewery from 11am to 8pm. You will be able to check out the new tasting room and enjoy their standard lineup, as well as some special one-off beers they have been saving. You’ll also be able to grub on some BBQ ribs (fantastic at last year’s opening!) and pulled pork sandwiches.
You can see a few of my other photos from the new tasting room and brewery here.