Greater Seattle’s beer scene is an embarrassment of riches. The Seattle-Tacoma area is home to more breweries than any other metro in America. From suburban solar-powered newcomers to old standbys reinventing themselves, the beery collective continues to grow and evolve.
And as far as the thirsty masses are concerned there’s always room for more. Especially ones that also serve wine.
On Friday, Seattle’s busiest beer neighborhood welcomes the city’s newest brewery, as Obec Brewing opens its Ballard taproom. Situated in the heart of Ballard’s unofficial brew district, its 1144 NW 52nd St. location is a keg toss away from Stoup and Reuben’s Brews.
Pronounced oh-betz, the name stems from the Czech word for community, which we’re also hoping translates into a solid Czech pilsner from the Obec crew. Per usual, Obec is headed up by a couple of homebrewers turned pro, though the two brew dudes have slightly different specialties. As Eater reported back in January, Wayne Jehlik focuses on old-world Czech, German and British styles, while partner Brian Gill is into Belgians, sours and “Northwest” styles. Jehlik’s wife Stacey is on board as operations manager.
"I love me a good IPA, but I do like balance," Jehlik tells Seattle mag, noting his affinity for more malt-forward European styles.
Fear not, hop hounds. A traditional American IPA and and double IPA are on the way, but Obec is opening with an English porter, English pale ale, a hopped up red rye ale and, naturally that Czech-style bohemian pilsner. While Jehlik didn't have time to fill all Obec's 12 tap lines with his own brews, guest taps from nearby Stoup and Lucky Envelope will also be flowing when they open at 4 p.m. Food truck Peasant Food Manifesto will provide non-potable sustenance and while dogs are welcome, two-legged mammals under 21 will have to stay home.
Of course, the snarkiest among us may be thinking, “Another brewery? In Ballard? Kewl.” Know this, snarks: Obec scored a tavern license as opposed to a standard brewery license, allowing them to serve wine, too. A solid move as inevitably someone in your taproom-hopping squad may want a beer break. Look for opening day vino from Fall Line Winery and Solera Bravo Wines.
1144 NW 52nd St.
Opening hours: 4-10 p.m. Wed.-Thu., 4-11 p.m. Fri., noon to 11 p.m. Sat., noon to 9 p.m. Sun.