Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Are Taprooms the New Seattle Coffee Shops? – CoffeeTalk


Seattle is embracing taproom culture as independent craft breweries expand their presence. Taprooms have become a hub for various events, from baby showers to celebrations of life. The trend has spread to neighborhoods with affluent beer-loving customers, but fewer of the traditional industrial buildings. In 2020, state law expanded the number of locations a brewery can operate, allowing more breweries to open or announce additional taprooms. This trend is also seen in residential enclaves like Ravenna, the Central District, and Maple Leaf. The term “third place” was coined by sociologist Ray Oldenburg in 1989, and Starbucks has reimagined the concept by focusing on pick-up stores, drive-through-only, and delivery-only locations.

Covid restrictions in Seattle led to a shift in local coffee shops, with taprooms becoming more popular. Reuben’s Brews founder Adam Robbings opened a satellite taproom on Fremont Avenue, offering 25-ish taps of beer, hard seltzer, hop water, cider, and a nonalcoholic sour. Coffee remains part of Seattle’s identity, and Danny Hanlon and Tim Hayden opened Analog Coffee to encourage interaction and connection among customers. Analog reopened in early 2023, offering a complete return to form and focusing on customer interaction rather than just a single person in a queue.

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