Starting this today, folks in Bellevue will have a new craft brewery to call their own. Darkness Brewing, founded by Ron Sanders and Eric Bosler, is planning a grand opening celebration complete with live music all day, live art (you’ll have to go to find out about that), and Texas Joe’s Famous Tex-Mex Tacos food truck. The taproom has been open limited hours with guest taps for a few weeks, and Saturday marks the debut of the all-Darkness lineup.
Ron says they rejected the idea of brewing a flagship beer or trying to make beers that fit particular styles. Instead, they want to represent what he called, “home brewer style,” where they take risks and have fun with their beers. When they home brewed together, they favored darker styles and they’re still focused on them, but with a twist. He let me sample all of their initial offerings, and I think there’s something—probably more than one offering—for any palate. I won’t give away too much, but you’ll find everything from Bellvue Uncommon, a pre-Prohibition style Kentucky Common to Stonebraker, a cherry wood smoked porter named for a friend and brewing partner. Ask Ron to tell you the whole story when you meet him. Beer is about stories and he tells it best. For those of you who love beer lovers, but don’t yet like beer, there will always be a carefully-chosen cider on tap, too. They are already planning seasonal releases, so you will have ample reason to check in regularly.
The pair love their community and it shows. Eric and his family live up the hill from the brewery, and both of their wives work down the street. The building was once an auto dealership and has housed a number of other businesses, most recently a print shop. Found materials from the printing business now make up parts of a high top table and other elements in the taproom. The bar top, expertly built by local artists Matt Meyung and Jason Davis, is fashioned from reclaimed lath from a local 1860’s house. The brewing partners plan to showcase local art and music alongside their beers, as they focus on becoming a neighborhood destination first and foremost. Looking around the brewery and taproom, it’s obvious Ron and Eric bring a home brewer’s do-it-yourself sensibility and an eye for detail and uniqueness to the work. You’ll have to go there to relax in the taproom and sample their offerings for a while. They plan to keep it small and let it grow along with the burgeoning neighborhood.