Brewery Showcase | Stoup Brewing (Seattle, WA)
Images Courtesy of Stoup Brewing
1108 NW 52nd Street, Seattle, WA, 98107
- Monday: Closed
- Tuesday: 03:00 PM — 09:00 PM
- Wednesday: 03:00 PM — 09:00 PM
- Thursday: 03:00 PM — 09:00 PM
- Friday: 03:00 PM — 10:00 PM
- Saturday: 12:00 PM — 10:00 PM
- Sunday: 12:00 PM — 09:00 PM
At just after noon, it’s the quintessential Seattle day. It’s grey, misty, and – if we are being honest – a bit dreary. The city is just waking up. In most places.
Stoup Brewing isn’t one of those places.
There are already groups of people claiming tables and seats around the bar at Stoup, which is located in the hip and lively neighborhood of Ballard. One man walks in with his wife and approaches the woman behind the bar saying it’s their first time in the place without their dog. The bartender smiles and laughs back.
“Oh no! Are you lonely?” She asks.
The woman behind the bar? Lara Zahaba – one of the three owners of the 2-year-old brewery. Zahaba, along with brewers Brad Benson and Robyn Schumacher, have created a curious, collaborative and delicious environment for beer enthusiasts in the Emerald City. But the story of Stoup starts as far away from Seattle as you can get – in Hoboken, New Jersey.
Zahaba, who is married to Benson, had been living in Hoboken with a career in wine when Benson, with newfound free time, began brewing.
“Brad had been a lover of craft beer since we met,” Zahaba explains.
Benson, who had been an environmental chemist, started brewing commercially on the East Coast. Beer had grown from a passion into a career.
The pair moved back to Seattle in 2003, where their love of the craft continued to grow. Nine years later, the couple hit a turning point.
“Three years ago, now, we asked ourselves why we weren’t a part of the industry,” Zahaba says. This question would start it all.
Around this time, in April 2013, Zahaba and Benson met Schumacher, who happens to be the first female Certified Cicerone in the state of Washington, through mutual friends. Not long after, in October 2013, the three had established their roles – Zahaba as the marketing and public relations head, Benson as the head brewer and founder, and Schumacher as brewer and manager of the taproom – and Stoup’s doors were opened.
Two years later we’re here today, on this dreary Saturday afternoon, and Zahaba has been pouring beers all morning – for everyone from a group of taste-testing friends, to an elder couple, to the owner of another brewery down the street. It seems that the gamble has paid off, and all there is to do now is fill up your glass. And boy, does Stoup have options.
A few beers to not pass up include the Bavarian Hefeweizen, the Citra IPA, and the Northwest Red.
“We pay homage to the German style with this one,” says Zahaba. “It’s a style that we love.” This beer, featuring a German yeast strain and banana and clove notes, is a Stoup staple. Though just a bit sharp, it is wonderfully refreshing and crisp.
The Citra IPA is perfection. Light in both color and body, this sweet, crisp IPA has notes of grapefruit and lemon. A hearty dose of Citra hops doesn’t hurt this brew. In fact, it keeps you reaching for more.
It’s no surprise that this Pacific Northwest brewery hit it out of the park with the Northwest Red. The color and flavor of this beer is rich. It’s completely balanced, being both delectably hoppy and sweet, and leaves you with a hint of chocolate.
If you’re wondering where you can get your hands on these, it’s here in the taproom. At the moment, Stoup is not canning or bottling. They’re perfectionists – in the best way – at Stoup.
“You lose control when bottling,” says Zahaba, noting that the brewers are extremely particular with their beer and the taste. She notes that, they “haven’t decided when they’re going down that road.”
What we can promise, whether you’re coming from near or far, is that a visit into Stoup is well worth the trip.
So, on the next quintessential Seattle day – no matter how grey or how glum – know that there is some sunshine in town. It can be found on 52nd Street, and I cross my fingers that Zahaba is behind the bar to greet you.
More information about what’s on tap, upcoming events, alternating food trucks, and overall news can be found on their social pages.