After nearly five years at the Wallyhood-adjacent corner of NE 45th St and 8th Ave NE, Floating Bridge Brewing is going out of business, pouring their last pint at 10pm on Saturday, May 15. An April 25 Facebook post from brewery owners Dawn and Russ states that they “were unable to reach terms with the landlord that were viable for the business.”
I stopped by Floating Bridge about once a month during the pandemic and would speak to Dawn and others about the state of the business, which was unsurprisingly not great. They rode the roller coaster of shifting paradigms (contactless delivery!) and reopenings/reclosings valiantly and optimistically (Phase 5 IPA!). But reading between the lines of that April 25 Facebook post and recent discussions, I’m guessing the downturn from the pandemic was too much to bear.
Since their opening in July 2016, Floating Bridge wasn’t just a place to get interesting beers—deviating from the tried-and-true IPAs they also brewed sours, spicy lagers, and stouts—they’ve been an active community member as well. They have held debate watch parties, hosted campaign events, and lobbied for a signaled crosswalk across NE 45th St at 8th Ave NE. They will be missed.
On a recent visit to Floating Bridge I asked a staff member if he thought the landlord was playing hardball with the rent because he wanted to sell the building. He didn’t think this was the case, since the landlord also owns the adjacent Blue Moon Tavern, whose lease has several years left on it (and who are doing their damnedest to stay afloat until they can reopen).
So for now the building isn’t going away, but sadly Floating Bridge is. If you want to say goodbye, have a pint, and maybe pick up a logo glass or t-shirt as a memento, they will be open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 3pm to 10pm. Cheers.