The Class of 2015 is already shaping up nicely

Today I share some news about new breweries planning to open soon in Washington. Also, one that recently did open. According to the Washington State Liquor Control Board, 2015 promises to be another banner year for new breweries. That is, if the number of microbrewery license applications and approvals is any indication.

Nine new breweries applied for microbrewery licenses in the past 30 days and currently await (hope for) approval. These applications are from would-be-breweries in every corner of the state: Silverdale, Blaine, Spokane, Freeland, and so on.

238_brewing_logoBeyond those applications, the LCB already approved three new microbrewery licenses this year:

These numbers from the Liquor Control Board guarantee nothing. This exercise is a measurement of activity, but not a clear foretelling of things to come. Still, it certainly does seem to indicate that 2015 will bring a new brood of breweries.

Getting a microbrewery license from the state is one small part of opening a brewery. Many would-be-breweries don’t fully understand the process and the complexities until they apply for a license. They submit the application and are never heard from again. Some even earn approval from the state before disappearing forever. Others know exactly what is involved and have their ducks in a row by the time they apply with the state; those are the businesses that most often blossom into living breweries.

Feel free to use the comments section to share any additional information. Or, brewery owners, you can contact me directly via email and let me know what’s up.



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  1. Counterbalance Brewing is already open.
    Ghostfih Brewing is having their Grand Opening tomorrow at 3:00.

  2. The processes is much more convoluted than most think. We planed our brewery for over two years, and started the process in feb 2014. No one would talk to us, until WhiteWall Brewing opened and they were excited so they shared, so until then we did not have many details of what it would take. I started looking for investors and property, as you cannot file anything until you have property. We found property, talked to the city of Monroe and started permits. It was August, and the first hit, the Building Owner told us the people in the space we had leased was in a legal issue with them and they had to terminate our lease. This shut every permit down, the TTB, ACB, City and Health. You cannot do any without a location.

    We reached an agreement with the property owner and got a new location. This allowed us to restart our licenses in August. State ACB was fast, like three week, but then Monroe wanted to charge us $30,000 for traffic impact. This is insane for a 36 set tasting room. So we negotiated to $5,000. It took until yesterday tao get our TTB approval. But we are still waiting on Health department, which will allow us to finish our city permits. We hope to be open in March, but experience tells me April would be a better bet. The real kicker is that most of the license stuff only takes a few days once someone looks at it, but it takes weeks or months for the government to even look at the paperwork. Then add in vacations, availability ect and we are bleeding money while awaiting someone to sign a piece of paper. So its no wonder people file for license and then disappear. –William Huskey Dreadnought Brewing Monroe, WA

  3. Add these to the list:

    GSP Craft Brewing
    Gig Harbor

    Mt. Index Brewing
    49315 SR 2

    Outlaw Ales
    4404 Chrissella Rd E
    Bonney Lake

    Unicycle Ales
    22391 Stargaten Ln NW

  4. Added to the map today:

    Ghostfish Brewing
    2942 1ST Ave. S.
    Seattle, WA 98134

    The 238 Brewing Co
    10321 E Day Mt. Spokane Rd.
    Mead, WA 99029

    Mt. Index Brewery & Distillery
    (Barbarian Beverages)
    49315 SR 2
    Index, WA 98256

    Counter Balance Brewing
    503 S. Michigan St.
    Seattle, WA 98108
    (206) 453-3615

    Black Label Brewing
    19 W. Main Ave.
    Spokane, WA 99201
    (509) 822-7436

    GSP Craft Brewing
    Gig Harbor, WA
    (public location in planning)

    Outlaw Ales
    20406 96th St. E.
    Bonney Lake, WA 98391
    (253) 740-7756

    Unicycle Ale
    Poulsbo, WA

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