Is there family in town for the holidays? Perhaps you need a place to hide from your kids or in-laws with a cold local beer to unwind? I've got you covered! Check out this little gem and take an extended stroll (bring the dog!) down to Side Hustle on Lake Street where you can enjoy a crisp local brewsky and relax. Nestled in the space formerly occupied by Asher, you will find beers that have been sourced directly from nearby breweries and kegged the same day. And the vibe is comfortable, approachable, and non-pretentious.
Owner James Whittaker and his wife Sharon (photo) are cutting out the middleman and bringing fresh craft beer varieties directly to their welcoming Kirkland location. James explained how true local craft beers are usually found in out-of-the-way or uninspiring locations, while walkable downtowns typically offer industrial beer disguised as a true craft. His goal is to bring a great ambiance AND super fresh craft beer to one place. Side Hustle is only for the 21+ crowd, so you'll be leaving the kids home for this one. There are currently about 9-10 breweries in their co-op, most of which don't distribute broadly, so check out the taplist and pricing here. The Stout from Watts Brewery has been a best seller. In addition to beer, there are also ciders, and wine from Morgan Lee and 425 Cellars. I tried the pineapple hard seltzer ( alas, I'm not a beer girl) which was crisp fruity and refreshing. And the Two Vintners Cab Sav was also right up my alley. If you prefer to avoid alcohol, there are unique options for you too, such as Lolo Hop water (sparkling water made with hops) or Zentopia CBD seltzer (nighty night!).
Side Hustle is a spot where you could bring your laptop and work all day or meet up with Friends, in an unofficial "Cheers" of Kirkland type of way. Mind and board games are stacked by the tables. The staff is super friendly and they even have a reclaimed wood bar with a resin pour in the shape of Lake Washington! Once a month they will host events such as comedy performances (Andrew Rivers on January 19th!), or the infamous Kirkland Wine Walks. There's no food at Side Hustle, but you are welcome to order or pick up from elsewhere and bring it in. Reach out directly if you'd like to host lectures or private parties (max 66 ppl) in this excellent space. Hours are M-F 3-10 and Sat 1-10 and Sun 1-9. Ohhh, and don't forget Happy Hour which is $1 off any drink 3-6pm. They also have a "Mug Club" for your mug... $100/ year that gets you free special event admission, 20 oz pours, and other fun perks.
Since I'm admittedly not a beer connoisseur, I'll rely on you all to ''brew' up some feedback to share.