Boeing engineers Greg and Lena Anderson run the brand-new Ballard Beer Company, a taproom and beer shop serving almost exclusively local—in fact, almost exclusively Ballard—beers. As of very recently, Ballard is among the country's most brewery-filled neighborhoods, hence, the idea for a bar specializing in the neighborhood's work. BBC even has a beer made especially for them by nearby Maritime Pacific Brewing: Dead Reckoning Pale Ale. At the bar's opening party, I opted for the Imperial Session Ale from Stoup Brewing, which was like the beer equivalent of a cheerful grandma's flower garden. (Presumably the grandma is cheerful because she's wasted.)
BBC's spacious main room is furnished with heavy-duty wooden tables of a kind that Vikings or well-mannered dinosaurs might appreciate, designed by Heather Earnhardt of Wandering Goose and her partner, Zac Young. (The BBC doesn't have a kitchen, but you can order in from nearby restaurants.) On the walls hang watercolors and drawings by Lena's grandfather, who owned Ballard's patriotic-looking Spirit gas station for decades. A loft will soon contain couches. Greg reports that he tried his first beer at the age of 7: "It was in my grandpa's bedroom. He was drinking a Budweiser. I said, 'What's that?' He said, 'Here, try it.' I spit it out all over his bed. I think my course in life was predetermined at that point." Asked if he'd ever tried Sparks or Four Loko, Greg says, "That stuff scares me! But I've seen people drinking it at nine in the morning, so maybe it's an alternative to a latte."
This article has been updated since its original publication.