Here’s a post you won’t see too often in this blog: it’s about a long awaited and ultimately disappointing brewpub experience…
I first learned about Airways Brewing over a year ago. It was back when they had just celebrated the opening of their brewery and tasting room, and also announced plans to open a pub – called the “beer & bistro.”
Rather than make a solo visit to the brewery, which has rather limited hours and is located in a business park midway between Tukwila and Kent, I decided to wait for the more accessible bistro to open in downtown Kent. I wanted The Spouse and The Daughter to enjoy the Airways experience with me, or so I hoped.
Airways Brewing opened their Beer & Bistro in November 2011 – as a 21+ establishment!
I contacted the owners about this and the answer I got was that the brewery, by virtue of their tavern license, is restricted to 21+, and that means the beer & bistro has to have the same license.
I’m not sure if I can believe this, having visited so many other establishments that do not appear to have such limitations. An example of this is Diamond Knot in Mukilteo: their brewery and alehouse is 21+ while their Lincoln Avenue restaurant is all-ages.
Also, according to the licensing authority’s website… “WAC 314-20-017: A brewery or microbrewery licensed under RCW 66.24.240 or 66.24.244 may hold up to two retail liquor licenses to operate a spirits, beer, and wine restaurant, a tavern, a beer and/or wine restaurant, or any combination thereof.”
Since the beer/wine restaurant and beer/wine tavern licenses have exactly the same cost structure, I’m inclined to believe the proprietor is the one deciding not to cater to families, not any licensing restrictions. As previous readers of this blog know, not being family-friendly pretty much disqualifies an establishment as a candidate for my Puget’s Perfect Pint accolade.
Anyhow, despite all this I made a stopover last week in Kent on the way back from my visit to Powerhouse Restaurant & Brewery. I stopped by Airways Beer & Bistro to check them out. I tasted four Airways brews (see photo) and munched on a flatbread pizza. Frankly the beers were OK but not particularly noteworthy and the food also just OK.
With some very good rotating guest brews on tap, Airways Beer & Bistro is a welcome addition to Kent’s beer scene – but therein lies the problem for Airways. After my sampler, the pint I chose to follow with was my beloved Koperen Kettel Belgian Pale from Sound Brewing in Poulsbo. There’s no reason for me to trek down to Kent again to get some Sound brew.
To reach Kent from Seattle ride Metro’s 150 bus; from Bellevue take Sound Transit’s 566 Express. Both take around 45-50 minutes each way. On weekday afternoons, two northbound Sounder trains stop at Kent station providing the fastest ride back to Seattle. As always use Sound Transit’s trip planner.