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FlyCaster Brewing to be first brewery in Kirkland this spring
Bonefish Blonde, Hopper Pale Ale, Yakima River Red and Rocky Ford IPA.
These are the first microbrews to come from the first brewery in Kirkland when it opens in mid-May.
FlyCaster Brewing Company is the product of one Bothell man’s two passions - fly fishing and brewing beer.
After months of permitting applications, remodeling and preparation, Jeremy and Tara Eubanks are looking forward to FlyCaster’s grand opening on May 16-17.
“It’s been very challenging trying to do this with the family life and work life but it’s been amazing, we’ve built this all ourselves,” Jeremy Eubanks said, adding that they’ve been able to do it without any investors or other financial help.
The Eubanks started dating in high school and, for as long as Tara Eubanks has known him, fly fishing has been her husband’s true passion.
Jeremy Eubanks grew up in eastern Washington and attended Eastern Washington University while Tara Eubanks attended law school at the University of Washington.
They both moved to the Eastside after Jeremy Eubanks landed a job with Microsoft, where he still works today. The move, he said, sparked his interest in brewing beer, as there are so many breweries in Seattle and the surrounding areas.
While he was attending grad school at Seattle University he created business plans for opening a brewery, eventually prompting him to take the leap.
“It was a ‘if I don’t do it now, I probably won’t do it’ mentality,” he said.
In May 2012, the Eubanks solidified that decision to begin the steps of opening FlyCaster Brewing Co.
“Being first-time business owners, the process has been long and we have had many ups and downs,” said Tara Eubanks, who is a co-owner. “We have experienced times of uncertainty, doubt and disagreement. We have been out of our comfort zone on many occasions. Yet, this process has helped us understand what we are really made of and taught us a lot.”
Jeremy Eubanks explained he’s been brewing about 15 years and remembers continuously pouring out his brew for the first five years because he didn’t like the way it tasted.
He said his current beer is the kind of “stuff I can drink during fly fishing,” with an American style.
“No funky Jalapeño flavors here,” he said with a smile.
Jeremy Eubanks said his brew uses “citra hops” from Yakima with standard grains, specifically noting the IPA’s tropical, floral flavor.
As with the other recipes, the Bonefish Blonde is described as a clear, crisp brew that can be consumed as one relaxes as they fly fish for a bonefish.
While Jeremy Eubanks said FlyCaster Brewing Co. has a demographic of “outdoorsy folk” and microbrewery lovers, customers shouldn’t expect to see a large moose head on the wall of his brewery. Instead, the brewery will have a “fishing lodge meets modern” feel to it. So far, the place has wood paneling on the main wall, walnut slabs for the bar top and flooring with deep browns and blacks. More will come as the grand opening gets closer, he said, envisioning people sitting around a fireplace on couches and leather bar stools.
The brewery’s front bar space can house about 40 people, while the back warehouse, where the beer is brewed, can hold another 40. Jeremy Eubanks said FlyCaster, which will only sell its own beer, is open to families with children, as they will sell pretzels.
During the coming months, the small business owners’ hope is to host private events Monday through Thursday, as well as some public ones - think fly tying classes and showings of fly fishing films.
Other short-term goals are to mount a TV for sports and partner with Friends of the Cedar River Watershed, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the Cedar River and Lake Washington Watershed. Eubanks said this organization is important to him because the Cedar River is often where he fly fishes.
Throughout the next six months Jeremy Eubanks looks forward to potentially working with local summer festivals such as Kirkland Summerfest, Kirkland Oktoberfest and other Washington state beer festivals.
The Eubanks’ longterm goals include increasing the number of beers with a seasonal beer, stout and brown ale, and getting their brews into restaurants. Eventually, they’d like to expand the brew system, the location and turn the brewery into a pub that sells food. All of this is outlined in their five-year-plan, Eubanks said.
“We have had a lot of support, both physically and emotionally from our friends and family, and we are thankful for that,” Tara Eubanks said. “We are both looking forward to the future success of this business and to that moment when we say ‘why the heck did we wait so long?’ We want our kids to be able to see that dreams really do come true.”
To celebrate FlyCaster Brewing Company’s grand opening, food truck Ultimate Melt, which cooks and sells grilled cheeses, will serve customers on Friday, May 16 and Street Hawk, a food truck that sells burgers, will be at the brewery’s Saturday opening.
FlyCaster Brewing Company’s hours are 4-9 p.m. on Fridays and 1-9 p.m. on Saturdays. It is located at 12815 NE 124th St., suite 1 in Kirkland’s Totem Lake neighborhood.
The main bar at FlyCaster Brewing Company before it's fully renovated. The grand opening will be on May 16. RAECHEL DAWSON, Kirkland Reporter