Matt Pereira, owner and brewer at 4 Stitch Brewing Company, talks with a couple of regulars at the bar on Friday, June 23, 2023, in Mill Creek, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Matt Pereira, owner and brewer at 4 Stitch Brewing Company, talks with a couple of regulars at the bar on Friday, June 23, 2023, in Mill Creek, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

4 Stitch Brewing taps into Mill Creek’s fledgling beer scene

Matt and Dena Pereira started out making brews in their garage. Four stitches in a finger later, their new taproom caters to Dawgs and dogs alike.

MILL CREEK — It’s still difficult for Matt Pereira to get used to his new profession.

After more than two decades running his own business as a general contractor, Pereira now finds himself getting up at the break of dawn to brew ales rather than pound nails.

“You know, I’ll stop for a moment early in the morning while I’m brewing and just think, ‘I guess this is my job now,’” said Pereira, laughing. “It’s a little surreal.”

Pereira, along with his wife, Dena, recently opened 4 Stitch Brewing in Mill Creek. The brewery is a labor of love that started out in the couple’s garage before migrating to a small business park just off Mill Creek’s bustling 164th Street in April.

“Having the brewery in our garage was a good opportunity to build it up with a sort of safety net,” said Pereira, who said he really wanted to make sure he was making good beer and serving a fanbase beyond just buddies wanting a free pint. “We got to the point that we wanted to really see what we could do and this location was a perfect fit. We feel blessed to be in this position.”

4 Stitch Brewing Company owner and brewer Matt Pereira sits near the front door of his new brewery on Friday, June 23, 2023, in Mill Creek, Washington. The family-run business opened at its 9th Avenue SE location in the spring. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

4 Stitch Brewing Company owner and brewer Matt Pereira sits near the front door of his new brewery on Friday, June 23, 2023, in Mill Creek, Washington. The family-run business opened at its 9th Avenue SE location in the spring. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

The name is a wink and a nod to the ties that bind when opening a business and doing life together. A few years ago, while brewing his own recipe for the first time, Pereira was interrupted midway through the brewing process by Dena, who had blood pouring down her finger.

“She asked me to take her to the emergency room and I said maybe she could put some duct tape on it,” Pereira said. “I didn’t want to leave the beer.”

So he didn’t. Dena left for urgent care on her own and returned with four stitches in her finger.

Their marriage survived, and Matt got a name, 4 Stitch, for the pale ale he’d been tending. Later, it made sense to give the brewery the moniker. The pale ale is now the 624 Pale.

The new brewery is cozy and spacious at the same time. Pereira designed it to have plenty of seating, including a bar and taproom with a clean and minimalist vibe, a few extra seats among the kettles in the brewhouse and a patio out back.

Patrons sit out on the patio and in the brewhouse at 4 Stitch Brewing Company on Friday, June 23, 2023, in Mill Creek, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Patrons sit out on the patio and in the brewhouse at 4 Stitch Brewing Company on Friday, June 23, 2023, in Mill Creek, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

With a variety of IPAs and pale ales, 4 Stitch’s menu is classic Northwest. Pereira said he plans to experiment as much as he can, but for now he’s focused on keeping up and making sure his five-barrel brewhouse is turning out quality beer. On a recent visit, the menu had a few flagship beers on tap, including Soul Shine, a wheat beer with orange peel and coriander, and Li’l Sweets, an all-Citra-hop IPA, along new stuff like Razzle Dazzle, a light fruit beer, and Hipster Hey-Zeus, a hazy IPA.

The bar has a distinctly Dawg vibe, with University of Washington sports paraphernalia bedecking walls and sports projected on multiple flat screens. While chatting about beer, Pereira, a proud UW football season ticket holder, occasionally glanced up at a TV behind the bar replaying the Huskies’ recent bowl win over Texas.

“We want this to be a place people come, hang out and watch the game,” said Pereira, “whether that’s the Huskies, Mariners, Seahawks, Kraken, Zags or whoever.”

A few regulars hang at the bar as the night winds down at 4 Stitch Brewing Company on Friday, June 23, 2023, in Mill Creek, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

A few regulars hang at the bar as the night winds down at 4 Stitch Brewing Company on Friday, June 23, 2023, in Mill Creek, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

As for actual dogs, they’re welcome too.

The brewery has grown quickly. After opening in their garage in August 2021, the Pereiras decided to speed up their plan and find a more permanent location in 2022.

The couple wanted to open the brewery close to their Bothell home, and Mill Creek just made sense. Not only is there a diverse population to market to in the surrounding neighborhoods and businesses, but the city is underrepresented in the brewing world. While Everett to the north and Bothell to the south are replete with breweries and taprooms, Mill Creek has been somewhat untapped (pun intended).

Pereira said the most significant struggle they’ve had is lack of drive-by traffic.

Owner Matt Pereira fills a growler for a customer at 4 Stitch Brewing Company on Friday, June 23, 2023, in Mill Creek, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Owner Matt Pereira fills a growler for a customer at 4 Stitch Brewing Company on Friday, June 23, 2023, in Mill Creek, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

“The biggest thing is letting people know we’re back here,” said Pereira, referring to their location being tucked away off of 164th and within earshot of Bothell-Everett Highway. “We’re a little off the beaten path.”

The location in Mill Creek was a good find, but it was basically a shell of a building with little finished inside.

Fortunately, Pereira knew a few people. He used an extensive list of sub-contractors he knew from his day job and recruited family to help build out the bar, bathroom, brewhouse and everything in between. His brother did all the electrical work and his dad laid the brick that beautifully frames up the barback.

“We got a lot of help,” he said.

4 Stitch Brewing, 16709 9th Ave. SE in Mill Creek; 425-224-7583. Hours: Monday and Thursday 4 to 9 p.m., Friday 4 to 10 p.m., Saturday noon to 10 p.m. and Sunday noon to 6 p.m. More info: 4stitchbrewing.com.

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