Meet Nick Ladd and Jessie Quan, the owners of Ladd & Lass Brewing in Seattle’s University District. Jessie and Nick want to celebrate the full spectrum of beer styles by always ensuring a diverse tap list. The couple describes themselves as unapologetically geeky about fermentation and sells beers from lagers to hoppy libations to mixed-fermentation beers and everything in between. They’ve created the taproom to be a gathering place for all in a building full of history — ask them about it next time you visit!
Get to know more about Nick, Jessie, and Lad & Lass Brewing in this week’s Business Spotlight Q&A.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
What’s your favorite part about the community your business is in & why?
We love the vibrancy and diversity of the U-District. From UW to out-of-town visitors to our regulars that live right up the street, we are lucky enough to be able to meet and pour a pint for a variety of people. It is a privilege to be able to introduce people to our beers and chat with them about anything and everything under the sun. Since opening our doors in December 2021, we have been overwhelmed by the warm welcome from the neighborhood and our industry peers. It is truly amazing to so quickly feel a part of the community and we hope to do all of our supporters proud.
Why is it important to you and your business that people #SpendLikeItMatters?
Co-owner, Jessie Quan, grew up the daughter of small business owners. Having spent her after-school hours and childhood summers at her parents’ auto repair shop, she witnessed firsthand the struggles of a small business. But decades later, she also remembers the loyal customers that entrusted her father with repairing and maintaining their cars—choosing the business owners they knew by name instead of a large corporation with anonymous employees behind the scenes. So despite the memories of the long, hard hours worked by her parents, there are also very fond memories of coloring and playing with customers as they waited for their cars.
So why #SpendLikeItMatters? Because it truly does. Because it helps maintain a connected community, the very thing we’re trying so hard at L&L to foster and nurture. It’s the personal interactions and human connections that make small businesses so vital. It is so important for consumers to know that the actions and choices in their daily lives do matter and have an impact. And #SpendLikeItMatters does just that.
As a business owner, what’s the strangest or craziest idea you’ve ever tried?
Choosing to leave our day jobs to turn a homebrewing “hobby” into an actual business (without any previous industry experience) may no doubt be the craziest idea we’ve ever had!
On a smaller scale, we once collaborated with the good folks at Sweet Alchemy to create a beer-infused ice cream featuring “It’s Always Sunny in Seattle”, our fruited sour ale with mango, guava, and vanilla. Sweet Alchemy did a fantastic job and the ice cream turned out really lovely.
What’s something your customers may not know about you or your business?
The L&L staff currently consists of just the owners, Nick & Jessie, so when you come into our taproom there is a 100% chance you’ll be running into one of us behind the bar. Lucky you! 😉
What are some of your favorite local businesses and why?
Rubenstein Bagels and Hiroshi’s Poke are both favorites of ours. We love to eat—and eat well—and both businesses never fail to satisfy our appetites with their tasty offerings. We’re also fans of Maria Luisa Empanadas and Lovely & Dapper Desserts, both of whom have been great partners of ours, popping up at our taproom with their delicious empanadas and tin can cakes, respectively.
Anything else you’d like us to know about you and your business?
We tend to like our music as diverse as we like our beer styles. So be prepared to hear songs across all genres and see a wide range of beer styles when you visit our taproom. We’re also dog lovers so be warned that your dog will be subject to all of the pets and belly rubs when they visit. And all bets are off if your dog happens to be a pug!