Picture this, an upstart brewery located in Seattle along historic Ballard Avenue with the dream of brewing world-class beers to enjoy in their adjacent tasting room. Unfortunately, like many popular breweries, it didn’t long to realize the brewery was outgrowing the space if they wanted to continue providing award-winning ales and lagers served side-by-side with their unique beers. So in 2014, the brewery and taproom relocated to the nearby Magnolia neighborhood.
But during that move, something happened, as the brewery began to evolve into an exclusive source of fruited ales and ipas. True, on any given day you will catch an occasional Stout or other mysterious dark ale, right next to the latest Hazy IPA or fruited sour and this is by design. In fact, the brewery has prided itself on its variations on the theme “fruited sour ale” with beers like Dark Hymn, Heart of Stone while simultaneously serving up ‘hoppy’ ales like The Space Queen and Conditional Love. Five years later, we are sad to report, the brewery and their customers are feeling a bit squeezed for space which makes their announcement all the more logical.
Urban Family Brewing Company is returning to Ballard
Starting towards the end of the 4th quarter in 2019, look to Urban Family Brewing Company as yet another stop on your Ballard pub crawl.
For more on the story, here’s what the folks at UFB had to say about the move.
Feb. 5 2019, SEATTLE - After four years of running their brewery and tasting room in Magnolia, Urban Family Brewing Co. is moving to a new location in the heart of Ballard’s “brewery district.” Andy Gundel, owner of Urban Family, says the move will occur in phases: production will relocate this summer, with the tasting room to follow by the end of 2019.
“We think we’re going to be the first brewery in Ballard,” jokes Gundel. The new building will serve as the brewery’s home for the foreseeable future, he adds, since “the 23-foot ceilings and the ability to spread out to neighboring spaces mean we can grow as fast or as slowly as we need to.”
The team at Urban Family is grateful to the Magnolia community for their support, says Gundel, and will miss being in the neighborhood — but the new facility provides unparalleled opportunities. While they weren’t actively looking to move, it was inevitable in order to expand on the barrel program, as well as to keep the taproom feeling less crowded and more comfortable.
The new location will provide room for a bigger, 20-barrel brewhouse that some will recognize from another iconic Seattle brewery; a large walk-in space; an expanded taproom; and a larger outdoor area. While current space limitations prevent Urban Family from fulfilling many requests for private parties and events, the new facility will be able to accommodate these in addition to regular traffic. It will also allow for designated family-friendly, 21-plus and dog-friendly areas, along with greater access and exposure for new customers.
After the move, Urban Family will continue to focus primarily on fruited sours and IPAs; however, the expanded production facility will allow them to add more variety to their lineup, including more wood-aged offerings, as well as room for storage.
This will allow them to build up their barrel program and “focus on making more complex, wood-aged beer,” Gundel says. “We want to bring something special into the Ballard area. We know we’re not the first game in town, by any means, but we hope that we are viewed as a positive addition.”
Gundel and the rest of the team welcome questions and feedback, and encourage those who want to learn more about the move to come in, have a beer and chat with their staff.