Our Story

Our Story

Thirsty Hop cultivates an encouraging, original, and welcoming environment that fosters social interaction and the enjoyment of quality craft beer and cocktails. We provide our guests with an educational and memorable experience through the mutual appreciation of great beer and cocktails.

The craft beer world over the last few decades has grown large and varied, becoming more and more of a presence in the American psyche. The Pacific Northwest has long been a key region from which small, unique breweries have shone brightly as styles have been played with and appreciation for things other than the mass produced and marketed mega-maltless wonders that so saturate the nation. And Pacific Northwest beer enthusiasts have enjoyed relatively easy access to these world-class beers of wide renown by visiting the local breweries, brew pubs, and tap rooms to sample a flight, enjoy a pint, or fill a growler to go for pleasures in later moments.

With all of the growth and variety bursting out of the craft beer industry, it is impossible to experience it all. Bars and taverns offer a variety of alcoholic beverages, but all too often the selection of quality beers leaves something to be desired for craft beer lovers. Out of this desire to experience much of the craft beer world without the inconvenience of traveling from brewery to brewery, the craft beer bar was born.

The Seattle area boasts many craft beer venues and has become a mecca for craft beer lovers to delight in. However, localities west of Lake Washington have not experienced the same growth. The lack of uniquely specialized craft beer sources east of Lake Washington was recognized quite clearly by Nicole and Rachel and discussed as a business opportunity of love back in 2011. Together they began visiting events and places, comparing and contrasting preferences, building a business plan, accumulating and planning for start-up capital, along with contemplating locations.

In the summer of 2012 Nicole and Rachel encountered Steve and instantly connected over the mutual appreciation and love of craft beer. With a love of beer as a background, and amusement in the idea, Steve expressed interest as a potential investor when the time would arrive for the business to be made real.

In November of 2013 Nicole, Rachel, and Steve began working together in earnest to find a suitable location for their dream to be realized. A loving synergy was built through sharing the dream, tasting and talking about styles of beer, evaluating and planning what to serve, together visiting and engaging local breweries and craft beer events such that even the necessary interactions with lawyers to formalize the creation of Thirsty Hop was an enjoyable, fun period of time. In the next year, March 2014, Thirsty Hop was birthed for real as an LLC!

In May of 2014, the vacant space at 13102 NE 70th Place in the Bridle Trails neighborhood of Kirkland was discovered. Peeking through windows hazed with a light patina of aged dust and back splashed by sun-speckled glare, the exploring partners looked into a space with pleasingly industrial overtones and a lingering remnant of a long gone comfortable and welcoming environment. The location, too, was verging on the surprisingly perfect in an area woefully under-served by craft beer specialists. Nicole, Rachel, and Steve’s dream had become reality and Thirsty Hop opened its doors on December 31st, 2014.

Owner Profiles


Upon moving to Washington from Ohio in 2010, Nicole was astonished by the quality and variety of craft beer offerings in the Pacific Northwest. Nicole was so passionate about the craft beer culture in the Pacific Northwest that she quit her day job and began devising a plan to become a part of the industry itself. Prior to opening Thirsty Hop, Nicole held highly quantitative and analytical positions in the fields of labor economics and pricing. She now utilizes those skills to collect and analyze data about BEER!


Being a Washingtonian for most of her life, Rachel has enjoyed and experienced the wonderful world of Pacific Northwest brews for many years. She has spent most of her adult life working as a bartender and always dreamed of one day owning her own bar. Her love of craft beer and bartending would ultimately become the foundation of Thirsty Hop’s inception.


Having lived in Washington state for most of half a century, Steve early on experienced the region’s independent, small craft beers as they were introduced. He has spent decades tasting lots of beers and indulging an amateur interest in exploring all types of styles. Meeting Nicole and Rachel and learning of their impending business venture, Steve unretired and joined the partnership. He now enjoys talking about the industry, the ingredients, the people, and the BEERS!

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