Community centers embrace Northwest’s beer and brewing culture

Home brewing instructors Kate Broeking and Daniel Harris at Belltown Community Center


Kate Broeking and Daniel Harris moved to the Pacific Northwest for the same reasons most people do – its beautiful wilderness, plethora of outdoor activities and large art and music communities. But they also felt called to the Northwest’s huge beer and brewing culture.

The couple began teaching introduction to home brewing courses at Seattle Parks and Recreation’s community centers last year and will be teaching courses at three different centers this fall.

Participants learn the art of home brewing at Belltown Community Center

“If you’ve decided to start brewing, or you appreciate beer and think making some yourself might add to your experience, we offer an opportunity to learn the basics of home brewing,” Broeking said. “It’s our hope that knowledge can help more people to ignite their own passion for the craft.”

Home brewing has always been a part of Broeking’s life. Her father home brewed when she was a child, and Broeking would help him secure caps on the bottles. When she grew older, she moved to Colorado where her aunt and uncle worked in the brewing industry.

“I was able to see large-scale brewing firsthand and was blown away,” Broeking said. “Around that time, I was finally able to convince my father to part with some of his equipment so that I could get started myself.”

Harris had friends who were into home brewing in college and had the opportunity to learn about the process. When he and Broeking finally secured their own equipment four years ago, they enjoyed making their first batch so much that it became a serious pursuit.

The two don’t sell their brew, but say they love sharing it with friends and family.

“A six-pack of homebrew makes a great gift and our friends look forward to trying our newest batches,” Harris said. “We also enjoy having people over for brew day so that we can relax, talk and show folks the ropes while making great beer.”

The community centers’ home brewing classes are growing more popular which Broeking attributes to the accessibility of craft breweries in the area.

“People seem to have an ever-growing appreciation for beer in all its various forms,” Broeking said. “Home brewing has a lot to offer. It’s an opportunity to be creative and experiment with all kinds of new flavors and styles and to share them with people who can appreciate and improve them. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that it’s a lot of fun playing mad scientist in the kitchen.”

Introduction to home brewing courses will be taught at Bitter Lake, Ballard and Belltown community centers this fall. Participants must be at least 21 years old. The next class will be held from 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 8, at Bitter Lake Community Center.

To register for that class, or to view future times and locations, please visit and browse through the cooking classes in the Hobbies, Clubs and Lifestyles program section.