The Raven has landed on the southeast corner of Willows Road Northeast and Northeast 95th Street.
Just blocks from downtown Redmond and the Sammamish River Trail, the Black Raven Brewing Company is a “neighborhood brewery” with a 34-seat taproom, selling pints, growlers or kegs of six standard Black Raven beers, as well as specialty series, said Robert “Beaux” Bowman, head brewer and co-owner with Kat Gillespie.
“We’re a brewery with a retail showroom,” Bowman emphasized. “We have no kitchen, but people can bring in their own food or order from Flying Saucer Pizza, right across the street. They waive delivery fees for us, they have great food and are a new, mom-and-pop business, so it works out well for us and for them. We’re looking at a kitchen, maybe in the future, but we don’t want to lose sight on what we do well.”
Black Raven’s grand opening is this weekend but since a soft opening in mid-April, word-of-mouth business has been steady, according to Bowman.
“We understand the Redmond customer base,” he explained. He and Gillespie are local residents. And Bowman began his brewing career across town at Mac & Jack’s, later working at Celtic Bayou.
Presently, “there’s a giant void for what we’re doing — Redmond doesn’t have any other brewpubs,” said Bowman.
But he’s willing to drop other brew sources’ names if it helps to create a regional buzz.
“We’ll feature one or two guest handles — other Washington breweries, on a rotating basis. We’ll do distribution to other pubs, restaurants and bars. Redmond is quickly more interesting because of us, Malt and Vine (in downtown Redmond), Mac & Jack’s and Redhook in Woodinville. This is more of a destination for breweries, which is neat.”
As members of the Washington Brewers Guild, Black Raven stamps WA.B.L. (Washington Beer Lovers) passports and roving beer lovers who collect 15 stamps “get a goodie, a tankard mug,” said Bowman.
His 4,400-square foot facility, housing a 15-barrel brewing system is “built for expansion and we have a long lease. We hope to be here a long time,” he added.
The six core beers you’ll find at Black Raven — Trickster IPA, Totem Pale, Tamerlane Brown Porter, Kristale Wheat, Morrighan Stout and Second Sight Scotch — are named for references to ravens in literature or folklore.
Thought to bring good luck in the British Isles, ravens also are common birds in the North Cascade mountain range of Western Washington, a short hop from Redmond.
Open six days a week (closed Mondays), Black Raven Brewing Co., 14679 NE 95th St., offers free Wi-Fi and has one TV for sports or special events, plus free parking. Patrons must be 21 or over.
For more information, visit www.blackravenbrewing.com.