Bellevue Brewing Company Nears Opening

October 25th, 2012 · 9 Comments · Washington Breweries

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.

Scott Hansen, Tony Powell John Robertson

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


9 Comments so far ↓

  • Jim

    I’ll believe it when it happens. BBC has been talking big for several years, but I’ve yet to see an opening date. WHEN the open the doors and pour beer and quit talking about it, then I’ll believe it and check it out.

  • Shep

    Opening date would be nice! What the heck is with all the promo without an actual date for folks to check it out?

  • Kaiser

    Shep – look for them to open at the end of November after Thanksgiving. While they haven’t set an exact date yet, that is the best indication at this point.

    To Jim’s point, yes, they’ve taken a very long, drawn out, public road to opening. I too look forward to the opening and finally getting to drink their beer, rather than just hear about it.

  • Adam

    The whole BBC thing feel more about marketing than about the beer. Like the whole idea of taking a poll to determine what kinds of beer they should make.

    I would much prefer it if they would have made some beers at home, and if any of them turned out any good and they though that people might like them, then open a brewery start a marketing campaign. These guys already have plans in place for extra brewing capacity and they have yet to make a single batch.

  • Jim

    “The whole BBC thing feel more about marketing than about the beer. ”

    Yep, that was part of my critical first comment. First they were going to open in January (like two years ago); then March; then June; then October; then a big deal that they turned their first spade of dirt; then got tap handles; then……another big announcement.

    Now two years after all the hype, they still don’t have a firm opening date, but as I stated, have been talking big.

    I’ll believe it’s real when they open the doors and pour beer.

    Great new breweries like Black Raven and American just went about their business and opened on-time and brew great beer. They didn’t spend two years making continuous announcement, but still not open to date. Beaux (Black Raven owner and brewer) just made it happen, and didn’t keep talking.

  • Ed

    Drove by yesterday and they are pretty far along, bar, stools, sign, brewing equipment all on site. Can’t wait!

  • Diamond D

    Wow! How about a little support for our brewing brothers. Any idea how much work it is to open a brewery? I doubt you’d be so hard on them if you did.

  • Jim

    I don’t think anyone is criticizing BBC for having some challenges. My complaint is that they keep hyping everything instead of just quietly going about their business like other breweries.

    Literally two years ago, they stated they were opening in January; then it was March; the it was June; then it was October; then a year later they made a big deal about turning their first shovel of dirt (a year after they first announced they were going to open); then a big deal over getting tap handles. Then big publicity over something else…….

    Meanwhile, I’ve yet to see doors open and beer pouring, but sure have heard a lot of talk about hype by the brewers. I’ve sure heard a lot of false promises as to when they are open.

    My – and I think others – complaint is not that they’ve had some delays and challenges. It’s that they keep talking about it and making false promises and making a big deal out of everything. Just shut up and go about their business. Then tell us when they really do open the doors.

  • Paul G

    Jim, they are open now and they were well worth the wait. The IPA and Stout are both well done and finally a brewery on the Eastside with a kitchen and hours past 10pm.

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