Flycaster Brewing Co. is slinging suds in the Totem Lake area of Kirkland. As the city’s first-ever brewery, it’s made a name for itself with crisp, hoppy beers. Combining a love of flyfishing with a dedication to fine craft beer, Jeremy and Tara Eubanks have been reeling in customers.
A business park doesn’t seem like the place you would find Kirkland’s first brewery, but inside one suite it has been transformed from cubicles to barstools. It went from drab to fab with wood tables, a fireplace, new floors, and new lighting.
It’s home to Flycaster Brewing Co., a brewery fast making a name for itself on the Eastside. Owned by Jeremy and Tara Eubanks, the brewery opened in 2014 to booming business and continues to grow.
Kirkland was thirsty for a brewery. When Flycaster opened its doors, it ran out of beer halfway through the second day of business after serving up more than 1,000 pints. After the grand opening, the brewery had to close for a month while Jeremy caught up on production. It was an inspiring problem to have.
“They really grasped onto us,” Tara said of the Kirkland community.
Flycaster has been so accepted on the Eastside, it won the 2015 Best of 425 “Best Brewery” category after a year in business. It was a happy shock to the Eubanks.
Flycaster Brewing is a little off the beaten path, and if you didn’t know that the brewery was nestled in an office park, it would be tough to spot from the road. Customers are mostly finding it via word-of-mouth and reputation. “We’re a destination brewery,” said Jeremy.
Flycaster is a combination of two of Jeremy’s passions — beer and fly-fishing, so the inside is decorated with pictures of fishing flies and rivers. The brewery’s best-selling beer is the Rocky Ford IPA, named after a creek in Eastern Washington that’s popular with fly fishers. Rocky Ford is Jeremy’s love letter to fly fishing and Yakima hops and also an essential on the tap list.
“In the Northwest, everyone wants an IPA,” Jeremy said.
Flycaster is the result of Jeremy’s trial-and-error foray into the world of micro brewing. He first started brewing two kegs on the deck of their former apartment in Lynnwood. He wrote up a business plan 10 years ago, but it got shelved as the pair had children.
The brewery isn’t a full-time job for both yet — Tara works as a lawyer, and Jeremy recently left his job at Microsoft in February.
Because Flycaster is a taproom, not a tavern (meaning it doesn’t include a kitchen), it is open to all ages. It makes sense to the Eubanks, who have three children, ages 5, 8, and 11.
“We know how hard it is to get out,” Tara said.
Flycaster hosts events like family movie nights, where movies are shown on a screen in the back distribution area. There are also live music nights featuring local artists.
Shifting from a small homebrew kit to a small brewery has been a learning experience. Consistency is key when serving up a brand.
“The biggest thing we’ve learned is only change one thing (in the recipe) at a time,” Jeremy said. “It’s like a science experiment.”
One way the Eubanks track customer satisfaction is by plugging into the social media world, keeping track of reviews on Yelp and Untapped, and gauging public comment about their beer.
When Jeremy heard from an online review that the blonde didn’t taste quite right and that it had been better the first time the reviewer tried it, he was down at the brewery within 10 minutes reworking the recipe.
“We take (feedback) to heart,” Tara said.
The brewery has recently expanded, able to make 14 kegs per brew, which makes distribution to local restaurants easier. The beers’ distribution is still small, so the best bet is to go to Flycaster direct. The beer isn’t bottled or canned, but it is available at select restaurants in Kirkland and Shoreline.
Try It: A Flycaster Sampler
Yakima River Red: An amber beer. Malty and crisp, spiced by bitter Chinook hops.
Bonefish Blonde: A summer beer, the Bonefish Blonde is light, crisp, and perfect for sunny Northwest days. If you’re going to work your way through the menu, start here.
Rocky Ford IPA: Hoppy and flavorful, it’s no secret why the Flycaster faithful like this one. Bitter and strong, this is a Northwest hop-head crowd pleaser.
Parachute Porter: Rich and drinkable, it’s not as heavy as other porters. If you’re not sure about dark beer, give this one a try to dip your toe in the water.
Hopper Pale Ale: Jeremy calls this one a good introduction to beer. Somewhere in between a blonde and an IPA, it’s a clean, crisp pale that’s light in color, yet deep in flavor.
When you go
Flycaster Brewing Co.
12815 N.E. 124th St. Suite I, Kirkland