If you want to do it right — create your own cask ales, “served through beer engines and at cellar temperature” — you’re going to have to do it yourself. Georgetown-born Machine House Brewery is building a cozy tap room and soccer pub to showcase its English-style beers amid the growing food and drink scene along E Jefferson because it’s a bloody shame to waste great beer.
“Very few pubs can serve it properly,” Machine House co-founder Bill Arnott tells CHS. “We’ve found we need to control the experience. We need bartenders who can explain and present it.”
“It’s this kind of thing that doesn’t have the best reputation if you get it wrong. When it’s done right it’s completely exceptional.”
Arnott and co-founder Alex Brenner hope to open the new Machine House taproom in the 1300-block of Jefferson by summer — hopefully in time for the World Cup. Compared to the massive and spartan factory setting of the Machine House brewery in Georgetown, the 14th and Jeff pub will be a cozy affair at just 1,000 square feet. The plan is selection of handles pulling Machine House ales, a handle or two for guest taps, screens for English Premier League football and, we assume, the rest of the world’s soccer offerings, plus, in a first for Machine House, food. Details on the English pub offerings are still being worked out.
Arnott said the goal is to expand Machine House’s presence in the city while maintaining control over presentation and creating a neighborhood hangout in an area of the city he used to call home — “before I was priced out.” The English-style beer pub will neighbor the “pacifiquenorthwest”-flavored francophiles at L’Oursin and nearby Vietnamese steakhouse Seven Beef. If you don’t like the game selection at Machine House, you can walk over to check out Paul Pogba at Cafe Presse or Mesut Ozil at German-styled beer hall Rhein Haus. Meanwhile, Seattle University’s Championship Field soccer pitch is right across the street.
Machine House, Arnott said, has been brewing in Georgetown since 2013 and was born out of his nostalgia for the beer of his homeland. He met Brenner playing soccer and the two struck up a friendship over beer as a business. “We didn’t know what we were doing,” he says of the early days of planning for Machine House. “We were very naive.”
Today, the beers are a unique part of the city’s brewing scene and, while Machine House won’t add to the Hill-brewed offerings like Optimism, Outer Planet, Redhook, and Elysian, it clearly is doing something right.
“In a country where beer is expected to be cold and fizzy,” Arnott said, “we’ve been here for five years.”
Machine House is planned to open by summer at 1315 E Jefferson. You can learn more at machinehousebrewery.com.
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