Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

Q&A with North 47 Brewing Co. founders Carl and Stephanie Leach

Ron Swarner

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Carl and Stephanie Leach of North 47 Brewing Co. / photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Husband and wife duo Carl and Stephanie Leach have always had beer in common. Their relationship started at Central Washington University when Stephanie enjoyed helping Carl with his home brewing. It became their passion — when Carl wasn’t studying to be an eventual reservist in the Air Force and Stephanie wasn’t fine-tuning her studies that eventually lead to a career in tourism. Currently, the Kent-based home brewers look toward the future as founders/business partners of North 47 Brewing Co., a taproom in the Browns Point neighborhood north of Tacoma. Peaks and Pints ran into the Leachs at the South Sound Craft Beer Festival Saturday.

PEAKS AND PINTS: Did you imagine you would be brewery owners when you were young?

STEPHANIE: I wanted to be a park ranger or something that would let me work outside.

CARL: I wanted to be a pilot.

PEAKS AND PINTS: What’s the philosophy behind your business?

THE LEACHS: We want to keep it small and local. We aren’t going to be the next major brewery and don’t want to be. Keeping brewing fun and tasty is the way to go.

PEAKS AND PINTS: How did you end up in your current space?

THE LEACHS: We have family in the Browns Point area and figured it would be a nice little area that could use a new hangout with some local beer.

PEAKS AND PINTS: What is the greatest challenge to starting a brewery at a time when so many are doing the same thing?

THE LEACHS: The greatest challenge we had was working on getting permits from the county. We have found that other brewers and brewery owners have been very inviting and helpful, and there is still room for more breweries.

PEAKS AND PINTS: What will be the size of your brewing system when you open?

THE LEACHS: We’ll open with a 3bbl. system with three fermentation vessels.

PEAKS AND PINTS: What beer styles will be on tap when you open?

THE LEACHS: We will have two IPAs, a Blond, ESB, Porter, a Hefe and hopefully something seasonal and fun.

PEAKS AND PINTS: What do you see as underserved beer style niches right now?

THE LEACHS: Definitely a Kolsch … it’s a great light beer that most people like but you just don’t see a whole lot of them out there right now.

PEAKS AND PINTS: When can we nestle up to the bar?

THE LEACHS: We are hoping to be open sometime in November, but there is still no set date yet.

PEAKS AND PINTS: North 47 will operate as a taproom with kegs and growler fills, but won’t have a kitchen.

NORTH 47 BREWING CO., 1000 Town Center NE, Suite 160, Tacoma, http://north47brewery.com/