SEATTLE, WA – Back in 2011, Seattle passed legislation to encourage growth of the city’s nascent street-food scene. It appears to have been successful. According to the public health department, there are currently 289 active permits for full-service mobile food units in King County.
Food-truck cuisine has grown well beyond its roots of tacos and burritos to a world of options: Hawaiian poke, Caribbean fusion, sweet and savory pies, Indian curries, Thai noodles, gourmet burgers, vegan sandwiches, modern Jewish food, Southern grits, Filipino lumpia, Louisiana Cajun, and hickory-smoked barbecue. There’s even a completely gluten-free food cart.
As the city’s mobile food scene has expanded, so has its beer culture—particularly craft breweries. Stoup Brewing, Reuben’s Brews, Populuxe Brewing, Peddler Brewing Company, Bad Jimmy’s Brewing Co., Rooftop Brewing Company, Standard Brewing, Seapine Brewing Company, Lowercase Brewing, Hilliard’s Beer, Spinnaker Bay Brewing, and Flying Lion Brewing are among the many that have opened in the last three years.
And these craft breweries are going beyond the Pacific Northwest’s near psychotic dedication to hop-heavy IPAs, brewing an array of styles—from light and crisp to deep, dark, and large—while also experimenting with things such as aging beer in sherry, bourbon, and tequila barrels.
Instead of relying on bars, microbreweries are opening up their own taprooms or getting their brews into places like Chuck’s Hop Shop, which has two successful locations in Greenwood (656 NW 85th St, 297-6212) and the Central District (2001 E Union St, 538-0743). It’s at these taprooms—or, more specifically, in their parking lots—that a symbiotic relationship has developed between beer businesses and food trucks.
To appease restaurateurs who worried that food trucks would eat into brick-and-mortar business, Seattle’s street-food legislation placed restrictions on trucks parking on public streets: They must be at least 50 feet away from any existing food business.
But craft breweries and Chuck’s Hop Shop allow food trucks to park in their private lots, where no such restrictions apply. And, conveniently, most taprooms are located in sparsely populated industrial areas, where they aren’t in direct competition with restaurants, bypassing tension and boosting sales.
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