By Ken Robinson
Redmond has one. So do Burien and West Seattle and Ballard. Now Monroe has it own craft brewery.
Twin Rivers Brewing Company offers house-made craft beer in a tasting room adjacent to the brewing room next to Adam’s Northwest Bistro (And Brewery) on Lewis Street.
Owner/chef Adam Hoffman opened his fine dining bistro in the old Sailfish place two years ago. The former owner made beer in a space next to the restaurant.
Chef Adam said he realized the brewery need a boost.
“I wanted to take beer from good to great,” he said. He had been a home brewer for more than 20 years, making small batches for friends. Now, he faced the prospect of learning how to master about 30 varieties of brews. He decided to start with a shorter list, using the best grains and techniques he could find along with advice from more experienced brewers.
He enlisted the help of Glenn Parker, a customer of the bistro who was an avid home brewer. Together, they brought the brewery side up to date with new faucets, beer lines and other accoutrements that turned the place in a sort of ‘beer lab’. Then the space next door to the small four-barrel brewing room became available. Chef Adam grabbed it for expansion of the brewery. Justin Nelson, a friend, suggested it could be used as a ‘tasting room’–the only brewery in Monroe.
Chef Adam is a talker. In spite of a sometimes wildly busy restaurant schedule, he likes to move around the bistro and chat with patrons. Over time, he mentioned the tasting room idea to many.
Then, like an old-fashioned barn raising, people from all corners of the community came together to help make the tasting room a reality. Bill Davisson “was there constantly” doing carpentry and finish work; Kathie from M&M Antiques filled the place with decor from the past; Gary Brown did the plumbing; Izzy scraped the old flooring down to the cement; Jared from the new Big Box store wired the TVs and sound system; Dorian from Red Dog Taxidermy donated some stuffed animals from his private collection; Eric from Signco did the signs, decals and menu chalkboard; Donald and Charlemange built a custom cabinet system; Dave Beetlestone designed the company logo and Chuck from Eastside Tap hooked up all the lines that make beer pour perfectly from the taps.
“It was like something out of Mayberry,” Chef Adam said. “Suddenly, an electrician, a carpenter and whole list of people with different skills volunteered to make the place what it is.”
The new tasting room has already gathered a following. A group of local home brewers calling themselves “The Beer Republic” have been meeting at Twin Rivers Brewing to swap samples of their brews. Others have come to enjoy one of the nine brews on tap–from an IPA, Nut Brown Ale and Stout to a guest brew from Chuckanut Brewing in Bellingham and a hard apple cider from Spire Mountain.
Long, custom-made, free-form cedar counters populate the rectangular room. A variety of board games and puzzles are available for guests. Two flat screen TVs anchor the corners of the high ceiling. The atmosphere is early 20th century funk.
Other ‘tastings’, such as chili and beer brats, will be available from time to time. Go next door for the full menu at Adam’s Bistro.
The hours are Tuesday through Friday, 4 p.m. to close, and Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m. to close. The address is 104 Lewis St., Monroe.