It may be Seattle Cocktail Week but Capitol Hill’s pocket of craft beer brewers — large and really small — opened their doors last Saturday for the annual Washington Beer Open House, a statewide celebration of the brewing industry.
CHS stopped by the teeniest of the bunch to enjoy the festivities. 12th Ave nanobrewery Outer Planet Brewing — yes, it really is located at street level below microhousing — just marked its fourth year brewing on Capitol Hill with new faces joining ownership including Jeff Linse and Gabriel Villenave.
Outer Planet debuted in February 2015 under co-founder Renato Martins and brewmaster James Stoccardo. Brewing at a commercial scale in the tight quarters required battling through new equipment and new processes. Ten barrels of beer ended up going down the drain as Stoccardo found his bearings, CHS reported at the time. Today, the three barrels at a time production facility keeps the beer flowing.
The new brewers join a busy Capitol Hill beer community. E Pine’s Elysian, part of global beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev, has been closed during a multi-month overhaul that will include a refresh of the E Pike pub and beer production facility to better showcase the brewing operation while making much needed equipment upgrades.
The Elysian effort was no doubt inspired by competition and fellow beer crafters in the neighborhood. Some of the competition is in the family. The Redhook Brew Lab and its mini eight-barrel brewery celebrated a summer 2017 opening in the Pike Motorworks development on E Pike. The company is owned by the Craft Beer Alliance, a company partly owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev.
Setting off the run of beer investment, independent Optimism Brewing opened in November 2015 on E Union after its owners overhauled a $6.5 million auto-row era building into a working brewery with twice the capacity of the Redhook brewery. Optimism celebrated its third anniversary — a little late — earlier this year.
Outer Planet is located at 1812 12th Ave. You can learn more at outerplanetbrewing.com.
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