Blackbeard’s Brewing Company in Westport, Washington has been open for just about one year, so they’re still what we consider a new brewery. See our story about the opening last May. Like so many other breweries in Washington, it didn’t take long for them to slam head-on into the need for more space and more brewing capacity. I visited the brewery last weekend and saw the expansion project for myself.
The size of the brewhouse never presented a problem; tank space was the issue. Blackbeard’s Brewing operates a 10-barrel brewhouse that they crammed into a too-small space, which left little room for fermentation and conditioning tanks. Along with the restaurant and kitchen, it is all crammed into a largish A-frame cabin. That’s about to change.
Next to the existing brewpub, they’ve erected a large building that will eventually house the brewery and a small tasting room. They’ll move the brewhouse and existing equipment next door, where it will join several new tanks, freeing more space for the restaurant and bar. Between the brewery and the pub, they’re building a large beer garden. If you don’t want table service, you’ll be able to order food to go from the pub and enjoy it on the patio or in the new tasting room.
They hope to start brewing in the new space by June, with the beer garden and the new tasting room open in time for summer.
Beyond the beer, the menu at Blackbeard’s Brewing focuses on pizzas and salads. Large, movable tables are very popular with large groups of tourists and locals alike. My group was there on a rainy Saturday in April and the place was packed. Not exactly a very touristy time of year, and the weather wasn’t ideal for a trip to the beach, but Blackbeard’s was selling plenty of beer and plenty of food.
As you might imagine, there is an unmistakable pirate theme at Blackbeard’s Brewing. During our visit, a couple of pirates stopped in to entertain the kids as they tipped a few pints. One of them was dressed as Blackbeard himself.
Yes, the beer is good. This is a new brewery, struggling to meet demand for its basic beers, so don’t expect to find anything barrel-aged, kettle-soured, or crazy. Just good clean beer.
The star of the show was probably the IPA, which would stand up to pretty much any other Washington-brewed IPA in terms of its aggressive hop character – piney, citrusy, all that good stuff. The Porter was good, leaning a bit towards the mild side, almost like a brown ale. The Pale Ale seemed very British, balanced and not overly hopped, with just enough hop backbone to keep your upper lip stiff. Also on tap, a Golden Ale and a Strawberry Blonde, which I did not try. Along with that, a couple of guest taps, which are currently necessary due to the brewery’s lack of fermentation space and a need to serve the people.
Blackbeard’s Brewing is not alone. Westport Brewing Company is not far away, making this sleepy little fishing village something of a beer destination. Bog Water Brewing, which occupied a prominent corner between Westport and Grayland, burned to the ground not too long ago. They’re currently rebuilding on the property, but we’ll wait to see what the future brings.
700 W. Ocean Ave.
Westport, WA 98595