The funky beer is about to flow. After three years of anticipation and quite a few delays, Fair Isle Brewing — a farmhouse-focused brewery, with a mix of heady saisons and sours made with a mix of local ingredients — will open its first taproom today in Ballard. Co-founders Andrew Pogue and Geoffrey Barker make beers with foraged items such as fireweed, elderberries, and mushrooms, fermented with their house blend of wild and feral yeasts and bacterias. The initial lineup is full of saisons that hardcore beer aficionados may gravitate towards, while still approachable for the casual drinker.
This project was originally announced back in 2016 in connection to the respected Austin, Texas, brewery Jester King, which also specializes in farmhouse-style beers. After receiving the monetary boost, Pogue and Barker (two former Seattle homebrewers) have been working on their taproom: a warm, 7,000 square-foot space constructed partly with recycled wood from Oregon, 80 seats in our indoor taproom, 40 seats for an outdoor beer garden, and even a small kitchen where future guest chefs can set up shop for pop-ups.
Meanwhile, in a city where IPAs sometimes dominate the beer conversation, Fair Isle’s list of tart, funky, and citrusy saisons should be a welcome addition to the scene (one particular beer to watch out for is Sadie, a light, pineapple-flavored saison brewed with barley and wheat). There are also wines by the glass and rotating drafts from other breweries, such as Wayfinder’s Czech pilsner, along with a refrigerator for retail sales. Taproom hours are Wednesday through Friday, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.; 12+ only; dogs are permitted in the beer garden, but not inside the taproom.