At the time, Ballard City Hall sat in black crepe-draped mourning, the flag at half-mast. Yet Ballard the neighborhood refused to die, resisting absorption by the big city and retaining an independent streak. In my youth, it was synonymous with warehouses, Danish bakeries, old people, and traffic that backed up for miles on the two-lane Ballard Bridge. Today, Ballard still shows its seafaring roots and Scandinavian heritage. But it has risen anew, with the same autonomous, entrepreneurial spirit that marked its founding.
In its most recent incarnation, the neighborhood encompasses the Ballard Brewery District, where 12 of the city’s best breweries cohabitate within a walkable, one-mile radius.
I live right in the middle of the Ballard Brewery District, and let me tell you, it’s phenomenal. It’s a bit weird being an interloper here, especially given the fact I moved here in the middle of the pandemic and have lived my entire life in the Chicago burbs up until now, but the beer is great1. I’m really happy the author highlighted Fair Isle, because they have quickly become my go-to brewery down the street, which was a bit of a surprise for me because while I’ve enjoyed saison in the past, I’ve always been more of an IPA guy.
Not only is this a great article about beer in Ballard, but it’s a great little history piece that taught me quite a lot.
and it beats the Chicago winters any day.↩︎