Spokane Journal of Business

Common Language Brewing to open in old Chronicle Building

Restaurants & Retail

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Sean Owens is part of a team of a half-dozen partners in Wired Water Inc. that last week signed a lease to build Common Language Brewing in 3,550 square feet of space in the Chronicle Building, at 928 W. Sprague, in downtown Spokane.

Owens says beer will be brewed on site, and the business will have seating for 100 to 120 patrons. Half the partners, who live in Spokane, including Owens, will serve as Common Language’s initial employees at the outset.

“At some point, we anticipate having between five and 10 employees serving different roles,” he says.

Owens says the partners want to build a community relationship with surrounding restaurants in which customers can order takeout from nearby establishments.

“We’ll offer the basics—chips, salsa, pita, hummus,” he says. “We didn’t want to own a restaurant. We want to be in the beer business.”

Owens claims the business partners got together not just for the goal of making good beer but also to serve the community at a deeper level.

“We’ve all been fortunate enough to have had prior careers that worked out enough for us to be able to start giving back,” says Owens, who once worked as a full-time veterinarian.

Prior to his veterinary career, Owens was a newspaper reporter at the former St. Petersburg Times, now known as the Tampa Bay Times.

He and his partners have pledged to donate 20% of all proceeds to local communities in distress, with an emphasis on women and children and members of ethnic minority groups, he says.

While the representative face of beer brewing often comes in the shape of “white men with beards,” Owens says his business partners recruited and subsequently hired Alex Williams, an African American woman, who once served as a head brewer at the highly rated Jester King Brewery, in Austin, Texas. Williams comes to Spokane after working most recently at Modern Times Beer brewing company, in San Diego.

“She is just an extremely talented individual,” Owens says of King.

Kevin Blocker
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