Photo by Shane Harms
Ballard Beer Company patrons sipping local brews over the weekend.

Ballard Beer Company taps into local brewing scene

By Erin Bosetti

Fans of Ballard brews finally have a bar to call their own. Ballard Beer Company opened it’s doors July 10th in a space on Market and Leary, serving some of the best beers that Ballard offers.

Local brewing favorites like Stoup, Reuben’s and Peddler are already making appearances and the taproom plans to focus mainly on Washington beers.

Criteria for making the cut? “Be delicious,” says general manager Lindsey Vahn. Ballard Beer Co’s passionate owners and collaborators will be keeping watch at all the local breweries, eager to add something new to their tap list so their patrons know they are getting the best of Ballard every visit.

Ballard Beer Co.
A satisfied patron at Ballard Beer Co. Photo by Shane Harms

About five years ago owners Greg and Lena Anderson noticed “all of these breweries (in Ballard) pop up and realized that something was missing: a communal place for all of the beers to wind up,” says Vahn. Their vision for Ballard Beer Company is for Ballard beer fans to have a “place where you can mellow and hang out." The store will also boast a bottle shop in the first third of it’s space (opening in a few months), becoming the only place south of 65th Street in Ballard where you can imbibe then buy specialty beers to go.

The taproom is a cavernous great hall style space, with glowing chandeliers that drench the entire room in a comfortable glow. Family style seating on twin long wooden tables encourages mingling with your neighbors, a design choice that mirrors the company’s relationship with our neighborhood. “Ballard is just so communal, there is a good sense of history and people just love it here. ... People generally want to know their neighbor, and that’s not the case in every neighborhood,” says Vahn.

Vahn said that the neighborly camaraderie of Ballard is something also seen in the local brewing scene.

”Competitive energy just doesn’t exist in the brewing industry, and I kind of feel like Ballard is like that, people are just really welcoming.”

Ballard Beer Co.’s mission is to guide you towards great breweries in Ballard, not take business away from them.

“We are just kind of a jumping point. Come, sample some things and we’ll send you to that brewery. We want to be a part of that community,” says Vahn. For the neighborhood with the most breweries in the city, consider Ballard Beer Co. to be a sort of info center for beer culture.

This openness to collaboration with other businesses in the area shines again in the tap room's “bring your own food” policy. The bar will be fully stocked with takeout menus of restaurants in the area.

“We thought we would stick to what we know, beer, and leave the food to the experts,” said Lindsey. This makes Ballard Brewing Co. the perfect place for mismatched dining tastes. You can enjoy your Stoup Northwest Red Ale with Bitterroot’s BBQ while your friend pairs Bad Jimmy’s Habanero Ale with Chilaquiles from Señor Moose Café -- no problem. That laid back attitude is what makes Ballard Brewing Co. a great new addition to the Market Street scene.

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