It's the moment Seattle's nerdiest beer drinkers have been waiting for: miniscule Central District brewery Standard Brewing has announced some pretty major expansion plans, with more space, seven times the brewing capacity, and eventually even food and cocktails.
Launched by former Vito's and the Hideout bar manager Justin Gerardy in March 2013, Standard Brewing has rather magically coaxed incredible beer from a nano-sized system in a very cramped space in an apartment building on Jackson Street. In a city full of great breweries, this tiny one has always been worth squeezing into.
Gerardy has increased his brewing capacity slightly over the past two years, but his expansion announcement says he is "constantly struggling to maintain our 12 taps."
Gerardy has spent the last year and a half scouting new locations in the Central District, but eventually decided to stay in his current spot: "After finding rents in our area to be totally unworkable for this type of business, a deal was reached to keep us in our current building, where we can expand and stay indefinitely." Ultimately, he wants controlled growth so the brewery can maintain its "playfulness," an attitude his fans will likely appreciate.
The plan is going to unfold in stages over the next 7 to 8 months. The first thing you’ll see is the removal of that goofy false wall as you enter the tasting room. In early summer, the patio will expand to include the whole parking lot. It will become fenced in. We’ll be repairing the water damage and repainting the entire exterior of the building. Roof leaks will be repaired. Then, we’ll be bringing in a new system, which will likely give us about 7 times the output we currently have. We will be building out a yeast lab and bringing in a plethora of oak barrels for aging and sours. You will start hearing a lot about nerdy microbiology and unusual bugs making your Standard beer. Brettanomyces. Lactobacillus. Acetobacter. Mixed, wild cultures. My goal is to have monthly special bottle releases once it is all humming along smoothly.
In October, we will take possession of the space next door, currently occupied by the Halal Mart. Build-out will commence on a new bar space, where we’ll not just serve our beers, but food and liquor as well. The kitchen will be a little pop-up, where we will bring in talented, interesting food that works especially well with our beer. In unfussy ways, the years spent in a vest and tie, stirring brown liquor will come back into use behind a sexy bar top. This time, however, dress will be casual. In the end, the same low key atmosphere and style will be maintained along an ever changing, consistently high quality, variety of beery options, and we will all welcome a handful of new people into the Standard family while we stride toward a Grand Re-Opening somewhere around the new year.
The Little Brewery that Could is chugging onward and upward.