Robyn Schumacher made headlines when she became Washington state's first female Cicerone (think beer sommelier), getting straight to work overseeing the beer program for Marination. Now comes word that she's partnering with two friends to open Stoup Brewing, a 15 barrel brewery in Ballard. The goal is to open by late summer.
I am going to be assistant brewer and I'm going to bring my Cicerone background to the education portion. We want it to have an education component, whether it be beer tastings, beer dinners ... these are our grand plans. Brad, the head brewer, and I both have science backgrounds so we'd like to have a lab.
Brad Benson is a former brewer on the east coast who's also been an environmental chemist for 20 years. "He's just always been kind of a mentor for me. It's been a dream of his to open a brewery as well as mine, so it finally all came together," says Schumacher.
Brad's wife, Lara Zahaba, does the marketing for Epicurean wines and will transfer her skills to Stoup (pronounced stoop).
As to why every other brewery seems to be opening in Ballard, Schumacher says:
Part of the reason we really like it is that Ballard is a big beer community and being near other breweries, we like that just because it becomes kind of a beer destination; you have a mix of semi-industrial and neighborhood in Ballard, which makes it really appealing. Instead of feeling competitive about it, it's just kind of a community feeling, it's a destination for beer which is cool.
In addition to a taproom that includes some sort of food option, there's talk of an outdoor space the trio will be converting into a beer garden.
And you can bet you'll be seeing Stoup on one of the 8 taps at Marination ma kai.