It was one year ago today that Reuben’s Brews joined the booming brewery scene in Ballard. In honor of the occasion they brewed up an Anniversary Session Pale Ale that features a light pilsner-based malt bill, their favorite Kolsch yeast, low IBUs and plenty of citrus flavor from dry-hopping with Citra and Amarillo. It weighs in at just 4.4% ABV.
They celebrated at the brewery this past Saturday with special beers, and tonight the Reuben’s crew will be celebrating at Brouwer’s Cafe where they will have the Anniversary Ale on tap, as well as their Rye IPA, Roggenbier and a yet-to-be-decided upon option. Stop by Brouwer’s tonight to say hello to owner Adam Robbings, brewer Mike Pfeiffer and the rest of the crew. Reuben’s top keg customers will also be pouring a 1/6BBL of the Anniversary Ale tonight, including Chuck’s Hop Shop, Bravehorse Tavern, Black Bottle Belltown and Stoneburner on Ballard Ave.
It’s been quite a first year for Reuben’s. They’ve been churning out some great beers and have received some awards to back up the praise that many have been heaping on them. Adam was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions about their first year, as well as what the future might hold for them.
1) What would you say has been your biggest accomplishment as a brewery in the first year?
I have to say just actually opening our doors was a fantastic achievement, there were times when I thought we’d never get there in those early days! But since opening, there have been a lot of highlights. When people come up to you and say that they love your beer it is an awesome feeling – that is why Grace and I opened the brewery, we wanted to make great brews that people enjoy. It’s the best sense of job satisfaction I think you can have. But if we had to say one moment as a highlight – it was getting 6th place in the US Beer Open. Out of 2,500 beers, 300 breweries from 20 countries, we were 6th place overall – the highest placed West Coast brewery in the competition. For our small team, that was a really exciting achievement!
2) What beers from your lineup have been the most popular?
Good question! The interesting thing for us – which makes us slightly unusual – is that we’ve brewed a lot of beers in our first year, around 35. And each beer has its own advocates and supporters. But if we had to pick, our two imperial IPAs and our American Rye we brew the most volume of, if that’s a good measure of popularity! Our Balsch always goes quickly too when we have it.
3) Reuben’s was seen at quite a few events in the past year. What was your favorite?
We’ve tried to go to as many festivals as possible this year, which has been fun! The Washington Brewers Festival is always amazing. But I have a soft spot for the PNA beer tastes in Phinney Ridge – that was where it started for us back in 2010. We just attended the PNA Summer Beer Taste last week, and it was a really fun event. Our Imperial IPA won the people’s choice vote, and our Balsch won joint third which was amazing!
4) Have you gotten any time off in year 1? If you could take a 2 week vacation right now, where would you go?
Yep, Mike and I haven’t had much time off at all since last summer. But it’s worth it! If I could go anywhere right now it would be back to the UK to see my friends and family. Grace, Reuben and I have a trip there booked in November which will be fun.
5) What does the future hold for Reuben’s?
Certainly more brews! We’ve got a lot of beers still to brew commercially. We’re going to introduce some different bottled beers in the fall too, which will be fun.