Edmonds’ Harbor Square to add two high-profile businesses

By Bob McChesney, Executive Director, the Port of Edmonds | Dec 02, 2010

If Harbor Square needed a theme song, “Roll Out the Barrel” might a contender.

The Port-owned business park recently signed leases with—not one—but two craft breweries: Gallagher’s Where-U-Brew and American Brewing Company, which will be doing business as the Breakaway Brewery.

According to the national brewers association, a craft brewery is a small, independent and traditional brewery that brews less than 15,000 barrels per year. Microbrewery is another word for the same thing.

That the two businesses signed leases within days of one another is just a coincidence. The two have no relationship other than they are both brewers. Neither producer plans to operate a restaurant or pub in conjunction with their brew operations. At least, they say, for the time being anyway.

And that is pretty much where the similarities end. Gallagher’s is already an established Edmonds business, having operated out of a much smaller space in the Dayton Place shopping complex at 5th and Dayton for many years. Owner Dennis Gallagher describes his business as primarily a place where people can brew their own beers and ales. He expects to continue to have a limited amount of their private label brews available for sale.

American Brewing, on the other hand, is brand new and is expected to open in mid January. Owner Neil Fallon says that their Breakaway IPA will be available at their Harbor Square tasting room and at a limited number of local retailers. He speaks highly of their brew master, who has been head brewer at the Boundary Bay Brewery in Bellingham and Watershed Brewing in Port Townsend.

The Port of Edmonds is currently in the process of master planning The Harbor Square Business Park for future redevelopment. The plan concept will include mixed use, open space, public access and marsh improvements. The brewing facilities will mix nicely, and additional new tenants will be identified as market conditions improve. Harbor Square redevelopment is a process that anticipates economic development and will redefine the property over several years.

Meanwhile, the Harbor square facilities are doing well and are increasingly becoming the location of choice for new and expanding businesses. American Brewing and Gallagher’s are just two examples of that. The Port of Edmonds welcomes them as neighbors and tenants, and we—figuratively, of course—raise a glass to their future success.

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