There’s a lot beer lovers may miss when they travel to the Pacific Northwest, a region overwhelmed not just with breweries, but really good ones. And while there are plenty of businesses that captivate beer geeks, one in particular has long caught my eye.
Seattle's Reuben's Brews is something of rocket ship in an area pleasantly saturated with some of the best beer in the country. The name might not sound familiar to those outside Washington, but Reuben’s is one of the fastest growing breweries in the state. Not long before I sat down with owners Adam and Grace Robbings in September, their business was growing at just over 100 percent in IRI-tracked dollar sales in their home state compared to 2016.
Since opening about five years ago, Reuben’s has expanded into a pseudo compound spread across a few different buildings in as many blocks in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, where they run a brewery and taproom, packaging facility, barrel-aging space and more. I came to know their beer years ago when my brother sent me a bottle of their award-winning Porter, but their lineup and my expectations have expanded rapidly since then.
Amongst the phenomenal growth of Reuben’s Brews, Adam and Grace have faced typical challenges not entirely unique to their company, ranging from the kinds of brands they make to how they’re sold. However, Adam’s methodical processes and logical focus continue to push together aspects of art and science that drives the brewery’s core ethos. You’ll find the way he talks about making beer - and the level of detail he requires to do so - is rather inspiring.
Above all else, however, this is a family business. The beer is important, but not as much as the people that surround it. The namesake of the brewery - Adam and Grace’s son, Reuben - is seen as a future. There’s been plenty of success so far, but this is still the start of a much longer journey.