Chef John Howie Opening a Brewpub in Bothell

When a would-be brewery owner asks me for advice, I always tell them that one of the very first orders of business should be to hire a skilled, experienced, and preferably well-respected, brewer to guide the process of building a brewery and creating the beers. That’s exactly what local celebrity chef John Howie has done. Drew Cluley (Big Time Brewing, Pike Brewing) will be the head brewer at Beardslee Alehouse in Bothell, which is scheduled to open later this year.

John Howie is the chef behind such notable local eateries as Adriatic Grill, Seastar, Sport, and John Howie Steak. Now he is poised to add Beardslee Alehouse to his portfolio. Slated to open in September 2014, Beardslee Alehouse and Wildwood Spirits Co. will be a brewery/restaurant and distillery located at Beardslee Crossing in Bothell.

[singlepic id=329 w=300 h= float=right]Congratulations to Drew Cluley (above). I’m sure he is excited to be embarking on this new adventure. And cheers to John Howie for jumping aboard the beer bus and for hiring a top notch brewer.

Press release:


New Restaurant/Brewery and Distillery to Open September 2014 in Bothell

BOTHELL, Wash. – Chef John Howie and Distiller Erik Liedholm announce the opening of their new restaurant/brewery and distillery for September 2014 in Bothell. Both will be located in The Village at Beardslee Crossing, at 19116 112th Ave NE; Beardslee Alehouse in Suite 103 and 201, and Wildwood Spirits Co. in Suite 102. The village is along Beardslee Boulevard, at the NE 195th Street and I-405 interchange at Exit 24.

“We are thrilled to be coming to Bothell,” commented Proprietor/Chef John Howie. “We see great growth and opportunity in the Bothell area, and look forward to bringing our exceptional products and services to the city.”

The Beardslee Alehouse will be a 10-barrel brewery, offering 12 to 13 craft brews for the ale house, produced by Head Brewer Drew Cluley. The ale house will feature the finest of local craft brews in guest taps. Beardslee Alehouse’s restaurant will operate under a “farm to table” philosophy, with everything made in-house. The restaurant will grind its own meat, bake fresh bread, and feature a “locker” for aging housemade charcuterie. Burgers, brats, and flatbreads will be highlighted, and housemade charcuterie, cheese and pickled vegetables will compliment the menu. There will be a full-service bar, with popular local wineries on tap.

The environment of Beardslee Alehouse will reflect the local concept of the menu. Every table in the restaurant/brewery will be made from a giant red sequoia that was harvested from the property. The base of the tree will make for a large exterior fireplace, sitting on the west facing patio. The bar will include an indoor fireplace, with casual seating. Additionally, two large community tables will enhance the neighborhood atmosphere of the restaurant.

“Taking down the giant red sequoia had to happen, but being able to repurpose the wood through tables, chairs and other elements of the restaurant is amazing,” commented Proprietor/Chef John Howie. “It will really add to the environment of Beardslee.”

Wildwood Spirits Co.’s distillery will also embrace a local philosophy. Following a “farm to distillery” concept, 90 percent of produce for distilling will be sourced from Washington state. The first two spirits distilled at Wildwood Spirits Co. will be Kur gin and Stark Vatten vodka. Until the distillery opens in September, the distilling process will continue as it has at Michigan State University, where Liedholm brought Washington state produce and studied with world-renowned Master Distiller Dr. Kris Burglund. Both Kur and Stark Vatten have already received numerous awards from both of the competitions they’ve been entered in; the American Distilling Institute’s Annual Judging of Craft American Spirits and the American Association of Craft Distiller’s Awards.

“It’s great that people are already as enthusiastic about the product as we are. I believe we’ve benefitted from having the resources to develop our dream spirit at Michigan State University,” commented Distiller Erik Liedholm. “We’ve had the ability to perfect our product before showcasing it to anybody.”

Wildwood Spirits Co.’s tasting room aesthetic will be a new take on an old, English apothecary. Mill work, Edison bulbs and medicine bottles will help create the ambience, while settees and comfortable chairs will shape an inviting space for guests. The centerpiece of the tasting room will be a window that allows guests to view the beautiful copper stills. The equipment will be supplied from German still manufacturer, Christian Carl, whose exceptional quality is widely acclaimed. Primary equipment will include one 450-liter alembic pot still, one 150-liter rectification still, and one 20-plate column still. For more information, visit the website here.

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