When Adam and Grace Robbings founded their Ballard craft brewery in August 2012, they agreed to name it after their son, Reuben, now five years old. After much cajoling from friends and raised confidence after success in home brewing competitions, Reuben's Brews was born.
The Robbings are now expecting their second boy in May and Adam is jokingly threatening to name their second offspring Brews or, perhaps, Bruce. As their family grows, so has their business. To facilitate that growth, Reuben's Brews is adding a second building to their operation at 5010 14th Avenue NW, mere blocks from their original brewery. Remodeling of an old Volkswagen repair shop started this week. Robbings expects the build out to be completed by April or May, right about Brews or Bruce's due date.
The new space is about 5,000 square feet, three times larger than the original. It will house the tap room, replete with 24 taps, as well as production and storage space for the award winning beers. He will also need to make room for his growing collection of awards like the gold medal for best wood-aged beer he won for his Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout and the silver medal for American IPA for his Crikey IPA at the Best of Craft Beer Awards in Bend, Ore., last week.
The Robbings plan to eventually open the tap room daily. The original tap room will close when the new one opens and only house production for small batch beers.
"This isn't massively bigger but it's comfortable," Adam Robbings explained. "We have been brewing three times the capacity I designed for (the original) space. I didn't initially plan to be in bars and in stores. We just wanted to brew the beers we wanted to drink and sell them out of the tap room."
Robbings estimates he has brewed about 65 different styles of beer since founding the craft brewery in 2012 and leaving his career in the telecommunications industry to brew full time in April 2013.
Reuben's Brews produced 827 barrels last year. The new facility will raise production capacity to about 7,000 barrels but Robbings promises he wants to cap production at under 4,000 barrels.
"There are about a dozen styles of beer I haven't been able to brew," Robbings says matter of factly. "The purpose for adding a new building is not to brew a lot more. It is to brew a lot more different styles."
Photo caption: Adam and Grace Robbings will be growing their family, expecting a second son in May, and their business, adding a second building to their brewery also in May. Photo courtesy Reuben's Brews.