Tribally-regarded as the “Ballard Brewery Blocks”, the area between 8th Avenue N.W. and 17th Avenue N.W. has become an incubator for aspiring breweries and brewers. Just ten years ago, many in the neighborhood were content to stand in line for a seat or pint of Maritime Pacific’s Imperial Pale Ale paired with a slider. Today, the area is home to numerous breweries, continuing the legacy Maritime’s George Hancock started many years ago.
As someone that has visited the area on numerous occasions, we’ve often been gobsmacked by how many breweries have championed the tasting room while ignoring the historic stereotype that a brewery needs a companion kitchen. Instead, we’ve relied on nearby restaurants or food trucks to complement our IPA, Porter, or Brown Ale. It is with this in mind that owners Andy Wall, Jamie Butler, and Travis Eaton orchestrated their latest venture “Trailbend Taproom”.
During a preview, we had the opportunity to sample chicken wings (honey-chili-glazed and wood-fired), greek salad (with romaine lettuce, tomato, cucumber, red onion, peppers, olives, feta, pepperoncini, and red wine vinaigrette), as well as their Bravo pizza (wood-fired, with pizza sauce, mozzarella, provolone cheese, roasted garlic, salami, pepperoni, and Italian sausage). Overall, everything arrived hot and to order.
Not stopping at the kitchen menu we reviewed the draft list, featured on the eastern wall of the restaurant. Organized by lightest in flavor to the most complex, the menu looks like something out of a 1950’s train station with beer names written in wooden blocks side-by-side with city codes where the brewery is located. Numbering in 42, the draft list isn’t exclusive to ales and lagers but also includes ciders, coffee, ginger beer, wine, and even a made-in-house cocktail (or two). So if something from a faucet isn’t your thing, then you’re welcome to request a cocktail or glass of wine.
Opening soon to the public, with a strong focus on made from scratch pizzas, sandwiches, and salads, Trailbend Taproom, located at 1118 N.W. 50th Street hopes you’ll consider them as part of your next brewery crawl. Opening soon on weekdays and weekends featuring lunch and dinner, we will definitely be returning when they are officially open.