Q&A: Reuben’s Brews, Seattle WA

Located in Ballard, Reuben’s Brews was co-founded by Adam and Grace Robbings, a husband and wife team, and was named after their son Reuben. From humble beginnings, they’ve grown to become a big brewing success! We caught up with Grace for a Q&A, and heard about the birthday present that started it all.

How long has Reuben’s Brews been in business?

We opened our taproom August 5, 2012. Then in May 2015 we opened our bigger brewery and taproom two blocks down the street!

How did you get started?

Although only a month old at the time, our clever, thoughtful son Reuben came up with the idea of giving Adam a homebrewing kit for his birthday. When Reuben and I took Adam to Bob’s (our friendly neighborhood homebrew supply store) to pick up his kit, I was expecting to pick up a little tin of “beer mix” and a bucket to brew. We were a bit surprised and overwhelmed by the seriousness of this beer-brewing business. I thought, “Oh great, there’s more storage space gone once Adam gives up on this little hobby in a month’s time.”

Even though I rarely admit to being wrong now that we’re married, I couldn’t have been further from the mark thinking that this would be an easily discarded hobby. The first brewing system has been dwarfed by the upgraded and supersized brewhouse, and there has been no chance for the mash tun, brew kettle or hot liquor tank to gather any dust! Adam’s hobby turned into full-blown obsession, and in tribute to the little man who started it all, Reuben’s Brews was born!

So Reuben’s Brews got started out of your home?

We literally did start out of our garage – a true story! Adam’s homebrew setup was in the garage when we won the People’s Choice at a large beer festival in 2010 as homebrewers. Because of that, we were getting emails from bars asking us for our beers – but we were only homebrewers in a garage. So Adam continued to hone his craft, going to brewing school and entering homebrew competitions. By the time Reuben’s Brews opened, Adam had become one of the top homebrewers in the state and in 2012 won a medal at the National Homebrew Competition.

It sounds like business is booming – what do people think of your beer?

Since opening in 2012, we are the most decorated brewery in Washington State. Since we opened we have won more awards for our beers than any other brewery in Washington – and are currently mid-sized Brewery of the Year in the Washington Beer Awards. We also won two medals at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival, and have won awards for our beers in multiple continents – including Europe, Australasia, and North America.

What’s something to look for if you come and visit Reuben’s Brews?

Every Thursday we host a different charity in the taproom and donate $1 per pint to that cause. We are close to having donated $40,000 to local charities from this program alone!

Thanks, Grace!

Year-round and seasonal beers from Reuben’s Brews are available in 22 oz. bottles, and cans will be available starting in March 2016. You can follow Reuben’s Brews on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @ReubensBrews.

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