Seattle is a city known for dripping coffee and falling rain, but just north of the Emerald City, things are pouring on a whole new level. At Gallaghers’ Where-U-Brew, beer fanatics are brewing, bottling, and pouring alcoholic pints of their own creations.
During my Wednesday night visit, an eclectic crowd had gathered. A young couple was bottling their specialty beer. Groups of friends were huddled around the huge vats, stirring their brew as they sampled someone else’s. A neighbor stopped by with her 90 lb Irish wolf hound to visit Sparky, the resident Dalmatian at Gallaghers’. Towards the end of the night, a church group requested that the Weezer CD be momentarily turned down so they could perform an opera piece. It was a jovial crowd, to say the least.
Somewhere between a bar and a DIY microbrewery, Gallaghers’ is set up to assist wannabe brew masters. Recipes for different drafts, lagers, and ales are available on laminated sheets. Ingredients and scales are strewed around the counters. Longhaired/bearded guys wander around to help you (or possibly steal a swig of your beer), so you can’t go wrong.
The process is relatively simple. First, grains are steeped in water. The steam-fired copper kettles (top of the line brewing equipment, naturally) heat everything up, just as if you’re brewing a huge vat of tea. Then the grains are taken out, and malt is added. Hops are also added during the cooking process, usually at three different intervals. After much stirring and wafting of beer smell, wort is pumped out of the kettles and everything gets processed through a cooling system. Yeast is added at this point. Then the soon-to-be-beer hangs out in a cool fermentation room. This is where the magic happens, as yeast breaks down the ingredients, leaving a deliciously alcoholic beverage. Brew masters come back two weeks later to bottle up and take home their beer.
Gallaghers’ is located at 180 W Dayton St Suite #105 in Edmonds, Washington, next to the ferry docks. After bottling, patrons walk away with 132 12-oz bottles of beer for just over $150. Root beer, cider, and wine can also be created at Gallaghers’.