First Impressions: NW Peaks Brewery

It’s been more than a year since I first heard about NW Peaks Brewery and I eagerly anticipated my opportunity to visit this innovative Ballard neighborhood nanobrewery…

By definition nanobreweries are tiny; their brewing systems typically  produce only 1 bbl (31 US gallons) at a time. This means each batch is a different and distinct beer. NW Peaks is certainly in this category: their website currently lists more than 40 different brews; roughly two per month since they opened.

NW Peaks started out in 2011 selling beer primarily through “MountainBeers” the brewery’s monthly growler exchange program. Members pay a subscription to receive freshly filled growlers of the latest NW Peaks brews. If we lived in Ballard I have no doubt we would have signed up.

This year has seen NW Peaks kegs appearing on an increasing number of taps around Seattle. Places like Naked City, Brouwer’s, Chuck’s 85th St. Market, Noble Fir, and perhaps most notably, as a permanent tap at Flying Squirrel Pizza.

At NW Peaks Aug 25th

At NW Peaks Aug 25th

However in all this time I didn’t see any set opening times for the taproom so we held off visiting. Recently this situation changed: there are now opening hours posted for Thurs/Fri and some Saturdays. Be sure to check the website.

At NW Peaks Brewery

At NW Peaks Brewery

We enjoyed a great visit to NW Peaks last Saturday afternoon. Owner/brewer and avid mountaineer Kevin Klein was pouring from four taps so we opted for his sample platter – a taste from each tap.

As an aside, we chose a gorgeous sunny day for our brewery visit and we weren’t the only ones. We met some great people at NW Peaks, including a couple who, like us, had ventured over from the eastside. The outside seating area – an urban beer garden of sorts – is a great place to meet interesting people who have all come for the same reason – to sample some really excellent beer.

As for the beers we tasted: I have to say they were all great brews; but the standout was clearly the Ingalls Ginger. If every NW Peaks brew is as good I have to believe Kevin has a bright future in the Seattle brewing community. I particularly appreciate Kevin’s ability to produce tasty beers while at the same time stay within the ‘sessionable’ end of the ABV spectrum.

NW Peaks Brewery: Recommended 🙂

The brewery is easily reached on foot or by transit from pretty much anywhere in King County. The content in this post also appears in Beer Trek 2012: Fremont to Ballard.


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