It has been a long road for Bellevue Brewing Company (BBC). They first started getting beer drinkers’ attention when they set up their Facebook account in early 2010. Since then, they’ve found their perfect location, hired an experienced team, worked their way through many trials and tribulations, and now they are just about ready to open their doors and pour their first beers. Their goal is simple: “To bring the first and only locally-owned craft brewery to Bellevue and brew the finest, world-class ales and lagers.”
John Robertson is the founder and co-owner who is driving the vision of BBC. Co-owner and industry veteran Scott Hansen will serve as the Chief Operating Officer, drawing upon his years of experience from leading Leavenworth Biers and Fish Brewing to help BBC run a smooth operation and find its place in the market. They scored an experienced brewmaster when they hired Tony Powell, who was with Fish Brewing for nine years. BBC will also have an advisory board made up of individuals with various industry experience, including Al Triplett, who was with Redhook for 24 years.
BBC’s last major hurdle was to get their gas hooked up at the brewery, which was due to happen this week. I stopped by several days ago, and the rest of the brewery is ready to go. They’ve got the malt, hops and equipment; they just need the means to fire up the engine. Once they accomplish that, Tony and his team can get started on making some beer. They are currently targeting a late November opening, just after Thanksgiving.
This will not be a small start-up operation, as far as craft breweries go. They will be brewing on a 20bbl brewhouse with 120bbls of cellar capacity and 40bbls of bright tank capacity. They will be distributing kegs to the local market, and they are also looking into canning or bottling their products. The best place to get their beer is probably in their 250-seat taproom, which will be both family friendly and have a large L-shaped bar area.
They will start off with 4 signature beers: ESB, IPA, Scotch Ale and Oatmeal Stout. They also plan to release seasonal and specialty offerings, and they have the ability to pour up to 20 individual beers at one time in the taproom. Cask beer will be a regular feature, as well as barrel-aging. They will also pour guest taps from other local breweries, as well as hard cider.
The taproom will have a full kitchen offering menu items like pizzas, nachos, pulled pork and other sandwiches. There will be a lounge area, 6 flat screen TVs, an 18′ projection screen, wi-fi, and rooms that you can reserve for private events.
While they are already planning to operate on a significant scale to start, they have left room to grow in the brewery, and they are already exploring options for expanding to a separate off-site production location in the future. In a time where nano-breweries and small operations are all the rage, BBC has their sights set on growth. If it means getting more quality beer into people’s hands around Puget Sound and beyond, that’s a great plan in my book.
Best of luck to John, Scott, Tony, and the rest of the team at BBC!
Bellevue Brewing Company
1820 130th Avenue N.E.
Bellevue, WA 98005