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Great Notion Brewing opening a second location in Seattle before it opens a first


Portland’s Great Notion Brewing is opening a second taproom in Seattle before it opens the first, setting in motion a dance that plays out like an inverted waltz written in 4/3 time, played at the feet of Zeus, plucked out on ancient lyres by trembling, ax-wielding, bearded beasts in plaid flannel togas.

Last November, Great Notion Brewing announced its plans to open a taproom in Seattle’s beer-bustling Ballard neighborhood (read that story). The taproom will take occupancy in a newly constructed building on 14th Avenue NW, but the project has not come together as quickly as expected. In the meantime, we recently learned that Great Notion will also open a taproom in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood on Airport Way South. The company hopes to open the Georgetown location by the end of July. No clear word yet on the Ballard location.

The Portland-based company already operates two brewpubs in Portland, as well as a taproom in Beaverton, OR. In Georgetown, Great Notion is taking over Mercer Estates Winery’s tasting room, which might sound familiar to Seattle beer lovers because it is located right next to the Lowercase Brewing tasting room on Airport Way South. It actually is in the same building. The two breweries should pair nicely together, with one providing well-crafted, more-accessible, more-expected beer styles and the other offering beers best classified as ambitious and adventurous.

Great Notion’s beers are often described as polarizing. The company focuses on hazy IPAs and culinary-inspired sours and stouts. Love it or hate it, they do it very well.  The brewery takes its name from a Ken Kesey novel, Sometimes a Great Notion, a formidable novel based in Oregon. I actually studied that book in college. I found it challenging but entertaining; it is something of a lark but not exactly what I’d call easy reading. A romping story wrapped inside inspired, near-free-verse prose. In other words, I think this brewery is very aptly named.

“Time overlaps itself. A breath breathed from a passing breeze is not the whole wind, neither is it just the last of what has passed and the first of what will come, but is more–let me see–more like a single point plucked on a single strand of a vast spider web of winds, setting the whole scene atingle. That way; it overlaps…As prehistoric ferns grow from bathtub planters. As a shiny new ax, taking a swing at somebody’s next year’s split-level pinewood pad, bites all the way to the Civil War. As proposed highways break down through the stacked strata of centuries.” ― Ken Kesey, Sometimes a Great Notion.

See what I mean?

If you’re interested in drinking a hazy IPA brewed with toasted rice and then fermented with milk sugar, guava, and vanilla bean (Guava Mochi IPA), this is your kind of brewery. Double Stack, one of the beers for which the brewery is best known, is an Imperial Breakfast Stout fermented with maple syrup then aged on whole-bean Sumatra coffee. Yes, it tastes like pancakes. If these kinds of beers excite you, then Great Notion is your jam. And speaking of jam, the brewery has a series of jam-inspired tart ales: the Jammy Pants series. The most recent is the Concord Grape version.

The taproom in Georgetown will be the company’s fourth location. Ballard will be the fifth.

Great Notion Taproom – Georgetown
6235 Airport Way South, Seattle, WA 98108

Great Notion Taproom – Ballard
5101 14th Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107