The long gestating Fair Isle Brewing is finally opening to the public today in Seattle’s Ballard district. This farmhouse-style brewery, founded by Geoffrey Barker and Andrew Pogue, has been in the works for years, and previously collaborated with numerous breweries on limited small batch saisons and wild yeast beers. The tasting room at Fair Isle is 21+ and does not serve food, but has a dining room where they will host pop-up pairing dinners with local chefs.
Fair Isle Brewing’s lineup specializes in saisons. It also showcases a curated list of their favorite respected ciders and wines. The selected guest beverages are not just alternatives to their beers, but beautiful accompaniments that showcase similar crafts. The house-made saisons are created with ingredients farmed and foraged in the Pacific Northwest, and fermented with a house fermentation blend of wild and feral yeasts and bacterias. Fair Isle opens with seven Fair Isle draft beers, in addition to the wine and ciders of others.
Rather than one giant industrial Ballard warehouse, Fair Isle’s location provided a different approach; it is an amalgamation of four individual buildings joined at the hips. Each space took on a different operating function; brewhouse, tasting room, private dining room and barrel room, while still creating adjacency and connectivity to the other necessary functions. The founders tag-teamed construction with Dolan Built, a local contractor whose flexibility provided much needed horsepower and know-how at critical points in the buildout. Barker and Pogue oversaw and performed the rest of the construction.