3646 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Seven days: 11 am – 11 pm
When Rachel Marshall returned to Seattle after living and working in Europe, she found there were culinary pleasures she couldn’t find an equal to here. One of these was a certain flavor of ginger beer. “I really couldn’t find one I liked as well as the drink they made in Germany, ” she said.
Marshall has worked in the food industry since graduating from college. This prepared he to take on the challenge of creating an authentic ginger beer. With that goal in mind, experiments began, and after much trial and error, Marshall and her partner Adam Peters found a simple recipe with the flavor they were looking for.
“Rachel’s Ginger Beer (RGB) is made of four ingredients: ginger, lemon, organic cane sugar and Seattle’s finest triple filtered water,” she said. They were pleased with the outcome, a ginger beer that was fresh tasting, fragrant and not too, sweet.
The next step was to see if it sold so in the spring of 2011 they got a booth at Seattle’s U-District Farmer’s Market. The vibrant atmosphere was a good place for them to begin their business and they attracted lots of customers because of the unique craftsmanship. They built relationships too with local farmers who became sources for the ingredients they use in their beverage.
While continuing their successful run at the farmers market, they opened the flagship brick and mortar Rachel’s Ginger Beer at Pike Place Market in the summer of 2013. By now they had a loyal following of customers and of course due to location and a good beverage, they made a lot of new customers too. The next expansion was the 12th Ave. location on Capitol Hill in the summer of 2015. Now, Hawthorne Blvd. has their very own Rachel’s Ginger Beer.
While expanding the business, the menu was also expanding. Marshall and Peters partnered with Monica Dimas, and brought her popular Sunset Fried Chicken Sandwich to the menu last spring. Dimas traveled a lot in LA and New Orleans, where a fried chicken sandwich is a staple.
Finding Dimas was another case of finding something done really well, not over-done. Her recipe for fried chicken is to double-dip the chicken using brined buttermilk and flour and then adding toppings like dill pickles and slaw, jalapenos, or bacon and a fried egg. It’s a perfect compliment to one of Rachel’s ten ginger beers.
In addition to original four ingredient RGB brew they have created other blends: blood orange, caramelized pineapple, cucumber tarragon, pink guava, white peach and passion fruit vanilla. Marshall’s favorite is the pink guava made into a float using NW Snoqualamie Ice Cream and a splash of booze. Yes, they do make floats and mixed drinks too.
Along with bottle sales and the ten types of ginger beers growler fills, Rachel’s Ginger Beer is known for its on-tap cocktails involving its ginger beers. Some specials to look forward to are the Moscow Mule: RGB, vodka, ice and lime or Dark & Stormy: rum, RGB, ice and lime.
From personal experience, the Seattle RGB is a lively place and judging from the surrounding crowd brings a lot of cheer to the people in that rainy city. Portland folk will love the lift too.