by Marcus Harrison Green
What: Spinnaker Bay Brewing
Where: 5718 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118
For those of you whose dedication to wine and cocktails as their primary drinks of choice is akin to religious fixation, and consider beer only as the pariah of the adult beverage family, to be purchased reluctantly during cash strapped periods, a visit to Spinnaker Bay Brewing in Hillman City just might be enough to stimulate a conversion to beer as your preferred libation.
Founded, owned, and operated, as the realization of a lifelong dream, by Head Brewer Janet Spindler and her partner Elissa Pryor, with equal measures of love, passion and zeal, Spinnaker Bay Brewing, and its savory signature brews -with names like Little Dinghy Blonde™ and Fraid Not Pale Ale™ – has become synonymous with bringing Christmas Day to your taste buds, and developed into a magnet for attracting the residents of the broader Rainier Valley area.
On any given night its warm and welcoming atmosphere, complemented by carefully curated vintage decor, houses collars both white and blue – hipsters from Columbia City, hyperlocals from Hillman, and the beer curious from Mt.Baker, Seward Park, and Rainier Beach. All are often immersed in good-humored conversations, while sharing home made pastries or delicious eats provided by the local food vendors just outside the brewery. While serving as an incubator for community, its main allure remains its herculean tasting beer, which many have christened as the best brewed in all of Seattle, north or south.
A testimony to this fact, is that most of its servers – who it should be noted in an era where customer service has become as archaic as silent movies, and chivalry, appear to have graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Nordstrom School of Client Relations – labor there for incentives that trump the financial, as in response to why she loved working at the brewery, one of the staff replied: “To be honest, before here, I never knew Beer could taste this good!” So speaks another convert.