LYNNWOOD — For father-son duo Brandon and Jordan Molina, opening their new brewery has been a lesson in patience and perseverance.
The Molinas opened their new brewery along Highway 99 in Lynnwood in late August. They picked the name Peace of Mind Brewing, but leading up to the opening of their new business was a roller coaster. The novice brewers had to deal with roof leaks and unusable bathrooms, equipment stolen out of their storage area and a new brewing system that was too big to fit into the building.
Forget peace of mind. It was enough to make any new business owner lose their mind.
“I remember chatting with Shawn (Loring) of Lazy Boy Brewing and he said, ‘I hope you know what you’re getting yourself into,’” Brandon said, laughing.
Despite all the hurdles, Peace of Mind Brewing is open for business and filling a craft beer void in south Snohomish County. Located in a restaurant-style building that has housed a number of restaurants over the years — most recently Cask & Trotter — Peace of Mind Brewing doesn’t have a lot of competition in Lynnwood after Big E Ales closed down during the pandemic.
The Molinas have used the old kitchen as a brewing space and taken advantage of the open seating plan to allow beer drinkers to stretch out. There are TVs on the walls, a cozy seating area outside and a small “art nook” that Jordan designed as a place for beer-drinkers to mingle and be inspired.
Jordan, who plays in a band, said music and art is a big part of the brewery and brewing experience. “Yeast loves good music,” said Jordan over the rock music pumping through the speakers on a recent afternoon.
Peace of Mind plans to have a mix of regulars and one-off beers on their menu. There will be classics like their Deep Forest double IPA and their Heavy Hefe mixed in with more experimental beers like their Sunkist citrus hazy pale and their Xenowort brown ale. They currently offer a small snack menu and have long term places to establish a food truck rotation.
Peace of Mind Brewing wasn’t easy to get off the ground. The building the Molinas leased is in a great location, but the space itself was a mess when they arrived, so the pair spent five months cleaning and repairing to get it ready. Just a few weeks before they planned to open, the copper was stolen out of their new glycol chilling machine.
And when their new brewing system showed up, they realized it was too big to fit through the doors. Brandon rented a saw, cut a hole in the wall and put in a roll-up door. They installed four big-screen TVs in the dining room a few hours before opening. They also ran out of ice.
“Being a small business owner, you just have to do a little bit of everything,” said Brandon. “It’s been stressful, but we’ve learned a lot. That’s how it goes.”
The Molinas are new to the brewing game. In fact, it was the pandemic that gave the two time to start brewing. After Jordan signed his dad up for a brewing class one Christmas, the two started brewing on a lark. Soon, the weekly hobby turned into a passion.
“We bought a little system and started brewing out in the rain and wind on my deck,” Brandon said. “We didn’t really know what we were doing, but it was fun and it was a great way for us to be together.”
The two took the steps of many homebrewers: They started collecting equipment, set up a space in their garage and began tinkering. Brandon said they brewed base batches, then made variations to find what worked and what didn’t.
“We were just learning the process and trying different things,” Brandon said. “We were really trying to understand what we were doing and what’s happening.”
In 2021, the Molinas old haunt, Big E Ales, closed down. It was the place the two would meet on a weekly basis, catch up on life and share a pint. The closing inspired the two and they started discussing opening their own brewery. They applied for licenses and before they could say “peace of mind,” they were brewery owners.
“I think we are the shortest time period between starting brewing and opening a brewery ever,” Brandon said, laughing.
The Molinas set up their brewery in Brandon’s garage in May 2021. The experimenting continued and the pair even sold some growlers out of the garage and got a few kegs on at The Hop and Hound bottleshop in Bothell. Named 41st Street Brewhouse, they were officially a brewery and even had their own uniforms.
“I got us lab coats to wear,” said Brandon. “We would go out to breweries and do ‘field research.’ ”
One of those breweries was Hemlock State Brewing in Mountlake Terrace. Jordan reached out to the owners, asking if he could visit and learn the ropes. They invited him in and he pitched in, helping to brew, clean and do a little bit of everything around their brewery. The fact that Peace of Mind has the same exact Stout 7-barrel brewing system as Hemlock State was a happy coincidence.
“I just started pouring information on him,” said Hemlock State brewer and co-owner Jerret Botch. “He absorbed it all. Jordan is a really independent thinker and he started really taking initiative and learned it all.
“I really wish we’d had a big brother when we were starting out,” Botch added.
The symbiotic relationship between the two brewers has already paid off for Botch and Hemlock State. When their keg washing machine broke down right before the big Tour de Terrace weekend this past summer, the Molinas let them borrow their machine and the weekend went off without a hitch.
“Both breweries have gone out of their way to help each other,” Botch said. “We want them to succeed and they’re great people. They’re really like family.”
For Jordan, Brandon is more than family. In his life since he was 7, his step-dad is now a business partner and co-brewer.
“He’s always tried to help us with our peace of mind,” said Jordan of Brandon. “He’s always positive and saying, ‘It’s OK. We’ll learn from our mistakes. Don’t worry and be in the moment.”
If you go
Peace of Mind Brewing
18411 Hwy 99, Lynnwood