Tracy Linder had it in her mind she would open her own place for a long time. She knew it would be a neighborhood place to enjoy craft beer, having developed a passion for craft beer while enlisted in the Army. “I was stationed for three years in Germany,” Linder said. “Germany is where I learned to appreciate good beer.”
On a drizzly afternoon in Seaside, Linder shared her story with a reporter for this paper. It’s not just beer she’s spent time learning about. She’s also something of a wine maven. “I learned a lot while working at the Montinore Vineyard in Forest Grove,” she said. “I was there one day and I was offered a job. I was in grad school. The next day I became part of the winemaking process. I was covered in wine. It was a revelation.”
The Whet Spot opened to little fanfare at 12 N. Holladay Drive in early December. A tap room and bottle shop, The Whet Spot currently offers patrons a rotating selection of 20 craft beers on tap, with four or five local beers on tap all the time. Linder also offers three hard ciders and a selection of wines, white, red, and rose. Take a gander at the refrigerated case and you’ll find about 150 different beers, wines, and ciders by the bottle. “By March, I expect to offer 200,” Linder said. “You can also buy beer to go by the growler, or bring in your own growler which I’ll fill.”
A small but delightful nibbling menu of chips and salsa; chili and soup; a hummus platter; an antipasto platter of red wine salami, garlic white cheddar cheese, smoked black pepper cheddar, figs, olives and chocolate. A chocolate hazelnut brownie made by Patty’s Wicker Café and made with the Hazelnut Brown Ale by Rogue rounds out the food offerings.
“We’re working on pretzel bites next,” Linder said. “Dough Dough Bakery is going to make them for us just up the street.”
Linder is a North Coast native who grew up around Seaside and Cannon Beach. She is a graduate of Seaside High School and studied communication at Portland State University where she received her master’s degree. After the Army, she became a government contractor, working ground maintenance on vehicles left behind when troops left for Afghanistan and Iraq. She lived for a time in Kuwait and also in Watertown, New York, returning in 2013 to the North Coast to be closer to her grandparents. “I took a job in the Columbia River Gorge. I also drove for Uber for six months in Portland,” Linder said.
One might be curious how she came to call her place The Whet Spot.
“That was Kelly Hall’s idea,” Linder said, referring to a friend. “She’s the one who came up with the name.” In a few months Hall will be joining the Whet Spot’s crew of bartenders working the taps; anyone wishing to know more about the origins of the name, can ask Kelly when she’s there.
The Whet Spot promises to be a friendly but sophisticated place to try local craft beer. Linder is all about the independent brewery. Looking ahead, she envisions there could be live music some evenings. There may be great art for sale on the walls.
“We’re still developing what this is going to look like,” Linder said. Stay tuned for great stuff.
The Whet Spot is located at 12 N. Holladay Drive, Seaside. Winter hours of operation are Wednesday and Thursday; noon to 9 p.m.; noon to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The phone is 503-298-3645.
“I love pouring beer,” Linder said. “Come on by.”