Black is Beautiful Imperial Stout

The death of George Floyd, at the end of May, that sparked continued anti-racism protests all over the world hit a nerve with us; we at Ghostfish wanted to do something. Some team members are protesting, others are volunteering for various organizations; but what could we do as a team? Brew beer, that’s what! 

Head Brewer, Reid Ackerman brought a brewery initiative, Black is Beautiful, to our attention. What started as a single brew by Weathered Souls Brewing Co., based in San Antonio, Texas, spread to a worldwide brewery collaboration. With a Stout recipe as its base, over 1,170 breweries in 50 US states and 22 countries developed their own unique versions of Black is Beautiful. 

At the root of the collaboration is fundraising for and awareness of systemic injustices that people of color face daily. Here at Ghostfish, Reid chose Social Justice Fund Northwest to be the beneficiary of our donation. 

Social Justice Fund Northwest supports organizations that use community organizing to reach their goals. This develops leadership from within the communities most affected by social inequities, resulting in long-term societal transformation. For more information, visit their website.

About Ghostfish Brewery’s Black is Beautiful Imperial Stout

With a deep dark brown color and velvety chocolate-colored head, Ghostfish Brewery’s Black is Beautiful Imperial Stout is rich and balanced with notes of chocolate and raisin accented with harmonious complexities of caramel, toasty malts, and coffee. It’s full-bodied and warming with a dry finish and lingering notes of raisin and chocolate. 

Grain bill: Pale millet, pale buckwheat, caramel millet, chocolate roasted millet, light crystal millet, medium roasted millet, dark roasted millet, flaked *Purity Protocol gluten free oats.

Hops: Mt. Hood, Columbus

Q&A with Ghostfish Brewing Company’s Head Brewer Reid Ackerman

Q: Tell me about the style of beer. 
A: Imperial Stouts are traditionally an English-style beer, with roots traced to English Porters in the 1700s. The modern craft beer era revived Imperial Stouts in England and it was popularized here in the states.

Q: Any special ingredients used in this beer? 
A: There’s a wider spectrum of malt roasts and flavors than what we typically use. We have not used much caramel malts, so it’s great to see the interplay of these roast styles – pale, light crystal, caramel, chocolate, medium, and dark roasts. We also sparingly use flaked oats as they are so important to achieve the mouthfeel desired in a gluten free stout. 

Q: What do you hope customers take away from drinking this particular beer? 
A: I hope folks will consider the importance and urgency behind this initiative. Why it is so important and what/who is necessitating it. As a white person, I ask myself what are the ways I perpetuate inequality, especially in small ways. I’m asking myself what I can do to help people of color gain an equal footing not only in the brewing community but overall society. Regardless of size; incremental or sweeping, efforts towards answering these questions can be progressed through collective action, which I invite people to consider. Let’s not judge others; let’s support others. 

*Purity Protocol: set of stringent standards for oats that minimizes the chance of cross-contact from gluten-containing grains like wheat, barley, rye, and triticale.

Covid-19 Updates

Wednesday, November 18

In accordance with the new COVID-19 safety restrictions, Ghostfish Brewery’s Taproom will be closed for indoor dining but OPEN for takeout and curbside pick up 7-days a week NOON – 8:00 p.m.

Order here >>

Delivery available through DoorDash & SevenRooms, learn more here >>

Thank you for your support during this tumultuous year. Now, let’s flatten the curve!

Gluten Dude to Release New App for the Gluten Free Community

Extra! Extra! Gluten Dude is at it again! The main man behind the popular blog is launching an app and we were lucky enough to catch Gluten Dude for a virtual Q&A. Read on to find out more about what we can look forward to when you download the Gluten Dude app!

Ghostfish: What made you want to create the app?

Gluten Dude: The purpose of my app is simple: to better the lives of those living with celiac disease and anyone else who must eat gluten-free; to create a close-knit community where people in the gluten-free community come to discover, to learn, to share, and to connect, all to make their lives easier, better and healthier.

Living a 100% gluten-free life certainly has its challenges: physically, mentally, and socially. Using the Gluten Dude app will help to alleviate some of those challenges. 

Ghostfish: Tell us about some of the challenges the Gluten Dude app will assist us with. 

Gluten Dude: Eating out is one of the more challenging and stressful parts of having celiac disease. One crumb is all it takes to set off the autoimmune response. Everything that is fun and spontaneous about eating out can be overshadowed by the anxiety of whether you can get through your meal unscathed. [The app will provide a] directory of 100% gluten-free restaurants, restaurants that are gluten-free friendly, recommended by the community, and personally vetted by Gluten Dude, all in an effort to guarantee you a safe meal. Each restaurant includes images, a description, reviews, ratings, directions, etc. Some restaurants even include a video and their menu. The user will be able to search by their current location or another location. The app currently covers the US, Canada, Paris, Italy, London, Spain, Germany, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Australia, with more locations coming. Eating without fear. What a concept.

The internet is littered with falsehoods, outright lies, and dangerous information regarding celiac disease and eating gluten-free. People are looking for answers to their problems, quickly and accurately, and they are not sure where to turn or who to trust, putting their health in jeopardy. [On the app, you’ll find a] forum run by the most trusted voices in the celiac community. There are a number of topics where you’ll be able to chime in with questions, answers, and advice. The forum sticks to the facts, allowing people to get the answers they need…and deserve.  The forum includes Ask the Physician, Ask the Dietitian, Ask the Chef, and more, where you’ll be able to get direct answers from experts in the industry.

Ghostfish: We hear that your app will help folks find gluten free beer, we’re obviously pretty stoked about this feature. Can you tell us about it? 

Gluten Dude: Beer, sadly, is not gluten-free. The most popular “gluten-free” beers on the market today are actually “gluten-removed” and are not safe for those with celiac disease. There are a handful of amazing 100% gluten-free beers out there nowadays, but because their distribution is limited, they can be really difficult to find. I can’t tell you how many stores I personally have walked into fingers crossed, only to come out empty-handed. The Gluten Dude app shows the stores, bars, and restaurants where people can purchase gluten-free beer. The user will be able to search by any location and each location will show which specific gluten-free beers each establishment carries. Cheers!

Ghostfish: What will be the primary differences between this app and others on the market?

Gluten Dude: What other apps on the market??? Just kidding. While there is nothing that offers the celiac/GF communities as much as the Gluten Dude app will (restaurants, beer, forum, videos, chat, etc.), there are one or two apps that focus on locating gluten-free restaurants. The main one has been out for some time now. Kudos to them for standing the test of time. The main difference is that my app will initially focus on only 100% GF restaurants. You will not find fast-food restaurants and any other restaurants that cannot keep the community safe.

Ghostfish: What was the most challenging aspect of creating this app?

Gluten Dude: Coronavirus!! I’m sort of joking, but not really. We kicked off development in late winter, just before the virus struck. The development team I hired all had to go virtual, which definitely slowed things up a bit.

Locating and vetting all of the GF restaurants was quite a challenge as well. For each suggested restaurant, I first had to make sure they were completely gluten free; sometimes easier said than done. Then for the ones that made the list, I had to gather the address, phone number, and URL, as well as putting together a nice one-paragraph description and a great photo. Doing this for over 1,500 restaurants…well…you can imagine.

While I’ve enjoyed the process, I will say that it’s been a challenge and a half to get it done. But it will be worth the wait.

Ghostfish: What were you pleasantly surprised by when creating the app?

GD: Hmmm…that’s a good question. I love the responses I’ve been getting from the app testers. From those in the celiac/GF community to the restaurants who will be on the app, pretty much everyone has shared my excitement. It really is a win-win for everyone.

The Gluten Dude app is available now, learn more here >> https://glutendude.app/.

Brewery Updates, COVID-19

Update: Thursday, March 26

Hi there! Per the Governor’s latest announcement, we are continuing to safely supply to-go orders to our local customers. Please take a look at our no-contact takeaway options here.

Additionally, we’ve added local food delivery and beer shipping to Washington State residents. We’re working on adding other states to the shipping capabilities, however, each state has its own rules and paperwork, so keep checking back if your state isn’t represented yet.

For those not in Washington State, check to see if Marina Market can ship for you, link here.

Can’t get beer shipped to your state, but you still want to show Ghostfish your support? Consider sporting a Ghostfish hoodie or any of our other merchandise. Shop here.

Gift cards are a great way to help businesses like us stay afloat during uncertainty. Please consider purchasing a gift card to use when the Taproom re-opens.

The day will come when we get to open again. Until that time, we’d love to hear from you! Please consider staying engaged with us on Facebook or Instagram. It’s a delight to see our fans, even if it’s from a distance for now.

Be well!
from the Ghostfish team

Update: Monday, March 16

Per Governor Inslee’s press conference, the Ghostfish Taproom is closed for usual business. We remain open for retail purchases (packaged beer, growler fills, etc) and to-go orders from the kitchen. Stock up on gluten free beer, and choose lunch/dinner options from our 100-percent gluten free food menu. You may order online or call us at 206-397-3898.

We are working to set up a delivery service and will have details on that ASAP. Keep an eye on this page and our social media channels (Instagram, Facebook) for updates.

Additionally, consider purchasing Ghostfish from online retailers, more information here.

Consider purchasing an e-gift card to use for a future delivery, for to-go orders, or when we reopen.

As with other small businesses in Seattle, your continued support during these unprecedented times is greatly valued. Thank you.

Sending you well wishes, from the Ghostfish team.


Friday, March 13, 2020

At this point in time, most of us understand that we’re dealing with something very serious in our communities and around our planet. Our hearts and thoughts continue to go out to all those around the world who have lost loved ones as a result of the Coronavirus (Covid-19). 

Here in the Emerald City, the proclaimed “epicenter” of the U.S. Covid-19 epidemic, we’re in an ever-changing state of flux with a growing number of event, school, and program cancellations and closures. Unfortunately, some of our fellow Seattle-based business owners have already shuttered their doors as a result of declining sales and many more will likely face the same reality if things continue in the same manner over the foreseeable future.

For now, it is business as usual at Ghostfish. Our Taproom & Restaurant will remain open during our regular weekly business hours. We’ve got a wonderful selection of Ghostfish beers on tap and we’re on the heels of adding some exciting new food items to our restaurant menu. You can trust that we’ll continue to uphold our high standard of cleanliness, sanitation and personal hygiene and we’re counting on the fact that you will do the same when visiting us.

I’ve always believed that beer is a great mechanism to bring people together. If you don’t feel comfortable joining us at Ghostfish or just want to take a break in the kitchen, please know that you can always give us a call at 206-397-3898 to place a pick up order for your favorite Ghostfish food or packaged beer.

If you’re unable to reach us, consider stocking your fridge by ordering beer online here>>

Additionally, you can support Ghostfish by purchasing an e-gift certificate to use at a later date.

We’ll get through this adversity together, stay safe and be well!

Brian Thiel
Ghostfish Brewing Company
Co-Owner & Managing Member

Resources for more information about COVID-19:

5th Anniversary Events

Five events to celebrate five years

It’s time to celebrate! And, we can’t think of anyone better to commemorate these last five crazy-roller-coaster-of-a-ride years than with you. All our 5th Anniversary events are right around the corner, and we hope to see you at any (or all) of them!

VIP Membership Launch Party

What comes with 7 free growler fills, discounted Taproom draft beer discounts, and more? Our VIP Membership, that’s what!

Wednesday, February 19 ~ 3:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Join us for our first ever VIP Membership Launch Party where perks will be a-flyin’ for VIP Members. Enjoy the first pour of our 5th Anniversary beers – either the Doppelbock or Barrel-aged Tart Saison (must have a current membership or purchased one that day to take advantage of this opportunity. The public releases for these beers are 2/21 & 2/22).

Additional VIP Member-only prizes will be given away all night from merchandise to gift certificates. More information here and instructions on how to purchase a membership can be found on our events page


Millet Malt – A Hands-On Workshop

Thursday, February 20 ~ 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

We’re delighted to welcome special guest Linsey Cornish, VP of Operations at Grouse Malt House (Wellington, CO) to Ghostfish for our 5th Anniversary celebrations. She’ll lead us through the workshop where you’ll learn about what millet is, its historical use in food & beverages, millet crops in Washington state, and how millet is used in Ghostfish beer.

The workshop explores hot steep malt sensory and provides instruction on millet malt appearance, aroma, flavor, and mouthfeel. We will also sample a special millet malt forward beer created by Ghostfish Head Brewer, Reid Ackerman.

One ticket provides access to the workshop and one 12 oz pour of the millet malt-forward beer, and special tasters of our 5th Anniversary beers (Doppelbock and Barrel-Aged Tart Saison) before they go on sale to the public. 

More information and purchase tickets online here >>


Release 5th Anniversary Doppelbock

Friday, February 21 ~ NOON – 10:00 p.m.

Alright, you’ve got a limited chance to get this one! Our 5th Anniversary Doppelbock will only be available in the Taproom or online at Marina Market. Online, it’s available in 22 oz bottles, and at the Taproom get it on draft or buy a bottle — but hurry, it’s limited.

JUST ANNOUNCED: On this day only, we will sell the last of our 1st year, 2nd year, 3rd year, and 4th year anniversary beers. Once they’re gone they are gone forever. Sales will be limited to one anniversary year bottle per person. There are only a few cases available, so mark your calendars and get to the Taproom.

RSPV and for more information visit the event page >>


Annual Bash – Release 5th Anniversary Barrel-Aged Tart Saison

Saturday, February 22 ~ 3:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

As in previous years, this is the party of the year! This year’s bash features the release of our 5th Anniversary Barrel-Aged Tart Saison. It will be flowing all night long. For those that can’t make the party, keep an eye on store shelves for this one. It’ll be hitting the streets this week.

The buffet menu is still in the works. Check our Facebook events page for updates


Hangover Brunch

Sunday, February 23 ~ NOON – 3:00 p.m.

After five full days of fun, indulge in some “hair-of-the-dog” and delicious nosh at our annual Hangover Brunch.

The menu includes a breakfast taco, our popular All-American (includes spent grain pancakes, eggs, bacon, and fried potatoes), veggie hash, biscuits and gravy, and more, and is available until 3:00 p.m. The regular menu will be available until 8:00 p.m.

The Brewing of “A Smokeball’s Chance in Helles”

A Story of Two Breweries: Ghostfish & Outer Planet

You know what we love more than anything? Changing the perception of gluten free and pushing the limits of what people think they can do with non-traditional grains. This fuels us.

As a result, we get to collaborate with breweries in our community to share our experience from the past five years of brewing hundreds of beers with grains that don’t contain gluten. It’s exciting learn from other brewmasters, but also witness the amazement once they taste these unique brews.

At our facility back in October, our Head Brewer, Reid Ackerman, worked to brew a gluten free beer with Ariel Klein, Head Brewer at Outer Planet Brewing. Ariel was an excellent partner as she has a significant amount of experience with lager-styled beer and yeast proposa. Additionally, she was eager to learn the art of gluten free brewing. Partnering to create this beer was a fantastic learning experience and a win-win for all involved.

What did we brew, you ask? A special helles lager we’re calling “A Smokeball’s Chance in Helles” — on tap now at both breweries. 

Check out this fun video Outer Planet Brewing produced. It showcases the brewing process and the joy of the day.

Recently, we spoke with the Reid and Ariel about the process. Here’s a Q&A we hope sparks curiosity and the desire to try something new.

What is a helles beer?

Reid: Traditionally helles are very bright, mildly sweet, light hued, full bodied, bottom fermenting beer. We wanted to add a unique dimension to ours, so we included a small portion of applewood smoked red Proso millet.

Ariel: The smoked helles style is one that has intrigued me for quite a while now – I love the delicate balance of light sweet grain and a gentle smokiness. This balance is quite difficult to achieve, and we were excited to present ourselves with a real challenge! 

How did brewing day go?

Reid: Overall it was really smooth! And, considering we were unsure how the proportion of smoked malt would play with the rest of the grist, it was a very pleasant surprise that the smoke flavor was balanced and light, but still very noticeable and appreciated. 

Ariel: Perhaps the biggest challenge was attempting to get the balance of ingredients right – something which we hem and hawed about over a few frosty pints. We were lucky to have access to some fantastic smoked GF malts – though we did consider smoking our own millet (perhaps we’ll save that one for next time!).

What do you hope customers take away/experience from this beer?

Reid: For those who haven’t tried our beers before, I hope they walk away with an understanding that you can make excellent beer from alternative ingredients. Especially, when aided by some excellent people in the community.

Ariel: First and foremost, I hope that our customers enjoy the beer! Assuming we are able to accomplish that, I hope they take away the knowledge that excellent beer of any style can potentially be brewed with gluten free ingredients and enough group knowledge. I hope to hear people say “this is a fantastic smoked helles lager” rather than “this is a fantastic lager for a GF beer”.