Future Primitive Brewing opens tomorrow in White Center


I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that this is the most highly anticipated brewery opening around here in a long time. In fact, some of us are positively giddy! Future Primitive Brewing is now open in White Center.

Upstairs, their is another bar and windows overlooking the brewery.
Upstairs, another bar and windows overlooking the brewery.

The location is familiar to local beer enthusiasts; it’s the former home of the now-closed Big Al Brewing, though you’ll hardly recognize the place. Total face lift, bright and shiny new brewing equipment. Serious transformation.

Still some work to be done on what will be a great beer garden.
Still some work to be done on what will be a large, partially covered deck and beer garden.

Some of the faces and names behind Future Primitive Brewing may also seem familiar to local beer aficionados. The ownership group includes some well-know folks from the Seattle beer scene: Mike Baker, Dean Hudgins, Ian Roberts, Kevin Watson and Larry Soloman. The team brings a lot of experience and know-how to the table. For instance, Hudgins and Roberts own The Pine Box in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, Watson brewed for several years alongside Dick Cantwell at Elysian Brewing, and Baker works with Artisanal Imports, a local company that imports some damn fine beers from around the world. And that’s really just scratching the surface of the 70+ years of industry experience the team brings to Future Primitive Brewing.

Entering the taproom. Ground level bar. Standing room.
Entering the taproom from the front door. On the ground-level there’s a bar and standing room, with windows looking through to the gorgeous brewery.

Along with a brewery, and an all-ages taproom and beer garden, Future Primitive Brewing will eventually offer food from its own food truck, which is parked next to the beer garden. They’re still waiting on permits and are looking to hire a chef. The chef will help determine the direction they’ll go with the cuisine.

 Upstairs, the taproom includes a designated play space for kids.
Upstairs, the taproom includes a designated play space for kids. Running is allowed in the kid zone.

As far as beer styles go, expect a wide range of choices. They have a dozen taps and a 20-barrel brewing system for Kevin Watson to flex his creativity and skill. Also, his partners have plenty of inut when it comes to designing beers. Future Primitive Brewing plans to serve very popular style like IPA and Pilsner, as well as more adventurous styles like Saison and Imperial Stout.

Upstairs, another bar and table seating.
Upstairs, another bar and table seating.

For the opening, they’re pouring a Table Beer, a Pale Ale, two different IPAs, an Oatmeal Stout, and a Belgian-Style Blonde. They’re all outstanding. The Green River IPA is a total throwback and probably my favorite of the lot, with hop-driven pine flavors and a perfect amount of bitterness. The Oatmeal Stout is smooth, chocolaty, thick and deliciously rich. The Pale Ale is a real Pale Ale and in some ways reminiscent of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

The steam-fired, 20-bbl brewhouse was built to Kevin Watson's exacting specifications.
The steam-fired, 20-bbl brewhouse was built to Kevin Watson’s exacting specifications–a state-of-the-art system.

For one of the owners, Future Primitive Brewing represents something of a homecoming. Kevin Watson is a native of White Center, which pairs nicely with his experience working as the lead innovations brewer at Elysian Brewing.


When Big Al Brewing closed in January, 2017 it left a hole in the heart of White Center. So many local residents mourned the loss of what they thought of as “their brewery.” Big Al Brewing has been sorely missed and that is just one of the many reasons Future Primitive Brewing is such a welcome addition to the neighborhood.


Last summer in an article for Seattle magazine, when speaking of White Center, I wrote, “If a long-troubled business district is going to realize the promise of gentrification, establishing a good, upscale beer joint, especially one that welcomes kids as well as their thirsty parents, is a good start.”

A topnotch brewery is more than a start, it’s a requirement. At the very least, it’s a sign of good things to come.

Future Primitive Brewing
9832 14th Ave SW.
Seattle, WA 98106

Wednesday 2-8
Thursday’s 2-8
Friday’s 2-10
Saturday’s 11-10
Sunday’s 11-8


One comment

  1. I visited Future Primitives soft opening and I would have to say they did a first rate installation of this new brewery. The ales that were served were expectantly tasty and well balanced, as you should expect with this brew team at the helm. I look forward to tasting their Pilsner’s hoping for a classic Czech with nobel European hops.
    Historically, the building was designed as a brewery by Charles McElevey, a leading pioneer in the Craft Brew industry. with his Pacific Rim Brewing Co. after the sale of his California Alaskan Junction Brewery to the Elliot Bay start-up. After several permutations of brewery ownership, the new fresh look of Future Primitives is exciting and bold as the beers they are making for you. Prost!

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