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The Best of Washington: Silver City Brewery Takes Home Title

November 2, 2010 1 comment

And the winner is...

Every year, local TV station, KING 5 takes a tally from the Washington State population on their favorite bars, restaurants, friendliest athlete, bike shops and so much more. This year and for the third year in a row, Silver City Brewing Co. located on the Kitsap Peninsula won best brewpub! Trust me, it is well deserved.

There were 402,855 votes in the 2010 Best of Western Washington contest. Other nominees for best Washington state brew pub include, 7 Seas Brewing (Gig Harbor, WA), Big Al Brewing (Seattle, WA), Black Raven Brewing Co. (Redmond, WA), Port Townsend Brewing Co. (Port Townsend, WA) and many more. Nominees spanned the state and many are at the top of my list.

Silver City gives us Seattleites a reason to hop on a ferry to Silverdale, WA. A large facility, Silver City brews amazing beers, showcases only the finest bar food and is very welcoming to its patrons.

Runners up include: 5th Place-Diamond Knot Brewing Co. (Mukilteo, WA), 4th Place- Redhook Brewing Co. (Woodenville, WA), 3rd Place-Boundary Bay Bar and Bistro and rolling in at 2nd Place-Fishbowl Brewpub (home of Fish Brewing Co. in Olympia, WA)

So, congrats to Silver City who brews amazing beers such as their Woop PAss Double IPA, Fat Scotch Ale (so good), Indianola Pale Ale IPA and several others including some amazing seasonals. I am looking forward to their Winter Bock, Nutcracker Special Belgium Brown Ale and their Christmas Ale, Old Scrooge. Tis the season.

Beers in the Hood: Ballard, Seattle

October 26, 2010 4 comments

An ariel view of Ballard's ship yard.

Over the past three years, I have done my share of research on beer spots in Seattle. Every neighborhood has a beer bar, a bar with a decent tap list or a bottle shop to offer those that search the land for all that is fermented yeast. One of the things I love most about Seattle is the variety of neighborhoods (reminiscent of Manhattan) where you step out of one and into the next…almost immediately it becomes obvious that you’re in a whole new world.

Tonight: Ballard.

I’ll start with a nice wiki excerpt:

Historically Ballard is the traditional center of Seattle’s ethnically Scandinavian seafaring community, who were drawn to the area because of the salmon fishing opportunities. In recent years the decline of the fishing industry, and the addition of numerous condo buildings, has decreased the proportion of Scandinavian residents but the neighborhood is still proud of its heritage.

Ballard is situated by so many unique landmarks: the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (a facility that move boats from the water level of the lakes to the water level of Puget Sound, and vice versa and is the location of a salmon ladder); the Ballard Farmer’s Market; the Ballard Bridge and historic Ballard. This neighborhood was Redhook Brewing Co.’s first home, has colorful public art works as well as restaurants with the freshest ingredients. With all of this going on, spending a day in Ballard will keep you entertained. Stopping at these places will satisfy your beer needs.

Old Peculiar

An Irish pub, Old Peculiar has a large wooden bar with a mirrored bar back lined with whiskeys.  Cozy nooks and an outdoor patio make this a versitle space while killer tater tots and at least 10 microbrews on tap nurture a bar patron’s desires. A place where the young and the old co-exist, I’ve seen Ninaski, Dogfish head and local brews such as Hales on tap.

During happy hour, food items such as Irish nachos, tater tots, chicken strips and chips are $4 with microbrews clocking in at just $3. When does this amazing deal occur? So glad you asked– during the hours of 4-6 pm and 10 pm-midnight ANY DAY of the week.

Its been awhile since I have visited Old Peculiar. Located on the main drag, Market St. NW, you step in and immediately your past journeys melt away. The space is a good size- not so big that you have trouble navigating and not so small that you are sitting on a stranger’s lap (unless that is your thing, then don’t let us stop you). There are plenty of regulars and some wildly entertaining people watching.

The Jolly Roger Taproom

This taproom is home to Maritime Pacific Brewery and is a new space. Before this newer, much bigger space, the Jolly Roger Taproom was located right across the Ballard Bridge in a small warehouse. The old warehouse was used for brewing with the taproom there for us to enjoy the fruits of Maritime’s labor. That’s what beer drinking is all about, right? It was a quirky space that felt as though you were on a shipwreck which fits with the whole Ballard, fisherman, Maritime, pirate theme.


Maritime's taproom is shiny and new.

Then one day, we were riding past the space and it was empty with a FOR LEASE sign. Oh no! Soon after, we found out that they were just moving to a larger space, but we would have to wait, as the space was being remodeled.

I honestly can’t remember how many months past before the new space opened, but when it did, we were the 4th and 5th people in line to experience Maritime’s new dwellings. The new space still alludes to the fisherman, pirate, sea captain theme except the boat is way nicer with bright, finished wood, plenty of natural light and amazing food and beers. I’ll start with some food recommendations: the fried pickles are delicious, as is the dipping sauce they come with, the onion rings are massive and tasty and the mahi sliders are killer– add some of the homemade hot sauce that is on the table.

BEERS: Maritime is more or less the staple local microbrew. Even bars that don’t focus any energy on beer will have a Maritime beer on tap and is usually my saving grace. Their dark amber ale, Nightwatch is a personal favorite- it is bitter, smooth and hoppy with that roasted flavor. Maritime has a good line up of beers that will appeal to any beer drinker, so check it out.

Old Town Alehouse

If your looking for something a little more sophisticated, a little more upscale, but still want some damn good beer then stop by the Old Town Alehouse. Their food and beer prices are not outrageous by any means, but the motif lends itself to the low key evening. Every time we walk by here, we pop in to see what they have on tap and generally there is at least one intriguing option.

Their beer selection says they are trying to keep a diverse tap list, but aren’t willing to do the research to get the rarer, more innovative beers on tap.

Great looking menu, a wide selection of beers - a place I need to visit.

For example, currently they have three Belgium beers on tap: Hoegarden Wit, Chimay White Label and Lindemans Framboise. All good beers but commonplace compared to several other Belgium breweries. In looking at their current tap list, it appears that the Old Town Alehouse tries to keep one of every style pouring. Port Townsend Brewing Co.’s Straight Stout, Georgetown Brewing Co.’s Georgetown Porter and Boundary Bay IPA is enough to make me stop in and wet the whistle.

I am very intrigued by their menu and its making me hungry. Your average appetizers such as fries, onion rings and hummus are followed by many affordable and delicious sounding options: gumbo, the spicy fried chicken sandwich (smothered in hot wing sauce- SOLD), the Ballard Beef Dip Sandwich (lets see if it rivals Chicago) and fish and chips. All sandwiches are $10.75 and most of the appetizers are under $9. So those of you that have experienced this joint, please leave a comment and let the world know!

So that’s Ballard’s beer scene in a nutshell. If you have a place that you love in this neighborhood (I can’t cover them all), leave a comment or email me at jess@beerblotter.com.

Next up: Belltown.

Events for Week of June 21, 2010

Stop by Rattle-N-Hum in NYC for some Dogfish Head beers this week!

Happy belated Father’s Day! I hope all you dads had time to enjoy a beer yesterday.  We had a blast on Friday at the Washington Brewers festival so many amazing beers ranging from sour stouts (Snipes Mountain), to epic IPAs (Port Townsend) and bourbon barreled scotch ales (Black Raven). Its still winter in Seattle (today is the official first day of summer) but here are your events around the country.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Come Meet the Genius at Rattle-N-Hum: New York, New York

4:30PM-7:30PM @ Rattle-n-Hum

Seriously, 21 Dogfish Head beers will be pouring tonight- almost everyone you can think of- Black and Blue- CHECK, Midas Touch- CHECK, Burton Baton- CHECK. Meet the man behind it all, Sam Caligione. What a great way to start the week. For a full list click here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2010

Smuttynose Beer Dinner: Providence, Rhode Island

6:00PM-8:00PM @ The Melting Pot of Providence

This $50.00 beer dinner (Please mention “Beer Dinner” when making your reservations) will provide you with a 5 course meal consisting of fine cheeses, a curry dish, a decadent dessert plus many amazing beers from Smuttynose Brewing Co.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lagunitas Tasting: Chicago, Illinois

8:00PM-10:00PM @ Fizz Bar and Grill

Tonight will showcase Lagunitas Brewing Company from Petaluma, California during a free tasting at 8 p.m. Fizz chef Weslie Bellini will pair light Mexican bites such as ceviche with the brews. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Three Floyds Tasting Night: Michigan City, Indiana

5:30PM – 7:00PM @ Sahara

This event is $15.00 a person which includes 6-7 Three Floyds brews and appetizers to complement these fine crafted beverages. Pray for Dreadnaught (their double IPA).

Friday, June 25, 2010

First Day of San Diego International Beer Festival: San Diego, California

4:00PM-8:00PM @ Del Mar Fairgrounds

Tickets are $37 if purchased in advance for a four-hour session and $43 at the gate. Ticket prices include admission to the 2010 San Diego County Fair. Tickets are sold through the Del Mar Fairgrounds Box Office or at www.Ticketmaster.com.  For more information on the Festival and the San Diego County Fair, please visit www.sdfair.com/beer.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bell’s Fermented Eclipse: Minneapolis, Minnesota

3:00PM-10:00PM @ Stub and Herb’s

Music, Bell’s Brewing Co. beer and BBQ- Check this out-Stub and Herb’s  has some Expedition Stout Barrels that they will be chopping up and throwing in a smoker for bbqing chickens. That just sounds amazing. The Bell’s beer trailer will be outside pouring this lineup: Batch 9000, Black Note, Bourbon-Barrel Hell Hath No Fury, Oatmeal Stout (1st time tapped in MN) plus 3 other special taps that are apparently secret thus far. Also look for Expedition Stout, Cherry Stout, Double Cream, Kalamazoo and Rye Stout on tap.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cheese Loves Beer VIII: Burlington, Vermont

1:30PM-3:30PM @   American Flatbread Burlington Hearth

Stop by today and sample artisanal cheese and craft beer pairings. This event will highlight cheese makers new to the local artisanal cheese scene and pairing them with the exceptional beers crafted by Zero Gravity Brewery. This event is very limited and a pre-paid reservation is necessary to attend. See the host at the restaurant, or e-mail dchbeer@gmail.com to make a reservation. Cost is $30 per person.

Summit Public House: 1 of 52

Summit Public House, Seattle, WA

1 of 52

Summit Public House
601 Summit Ave East
Capitol Hill, Seattle

Rank: #1 of 1

Type of Establishment:  Full bar with food…sometimes.

BEERS ON TAP (at time of visit) —>

Tap List!

FOOD OPTIONS:  Sometimes food means there is a kitchen, with one cook, who sometimes decides to offer meals.  The “menu” changes everyday I gather, and is posted on the same chalkboard that one can find the rotating beer selection.  During our visit the chalkboard informed us that there would not be food today.  There was, however, a print-out taped to the wall advertising a $5 grilled cheese.   Just drinks for us.

STAFF OPINION:  Though attentive, not very smiley or talkative.

Just a few blocks east of I-5, across the street from Top Pot Doughnuts, lies an establishment that BeerBlotter had never before set foot in.  This day, we changed that.

There doesn’t seem to be a sign anywhere on the outside of the building that says Summit Public House, but there is a large Leffe Poster in one window and a few neons to tell passers by that there’s beer inside.  No false advertising here.  A very round selection of brews can be found, macros to local micros and everything between.  Liquor too.  All bases are covered in the drinks department.

The place as a whole is small and cozy.  A cove to the right as you walk through the door houses the pool table, and to the left, a row of wooden booths separate the stand-alone table section from the bar.  The bar itself is warm and comfortable.  We grabbed a Hale’s Belgian Dubbel, Dick’s Double Danger Ale and Port Townsend Stout and took a load off in one of the booths.

Our three choices...

There was a decent showing for early on a weeknight, but all were well behaved and mainly quite, most with attentions on the T.V. above the bar broadcasting the BCS National Championship game.

A diverse crowd, both young and old.  The tattooed bartenders seemed a bit annoyed to be at work.  The seats were a little uncomfortable.  Summit exists in a strange place somewhere between a dive and a classy joint.

In summary, Summit Public House is not entirely jaw dropping in the character department, but could easily have a much worse beer selection and does a good job providing nearby Capitol Hillers with a solid local spot to grab a cold one and watch a little sports, play pool, or just relax and socialize with friends.

The 2008 Winners of Brouwer’s Cafe’s Big Wood Fest….Drum Roll Please

November 20, 2009 Leave a comment

Brouwer's Cafe's Big Wood Fest 2009 (Seattle, WA): An Event Not to be Missed!

 

Alas, a year has passed and it is time for the winners of Big Wood Fest 2008 to relinquish their thrones. However, in light of the fast approaching epic night of beer reviewing, drinking and more, I would like to refresh everyone’s memories of those beers that took home the gold, silver and bronze.

2008 Big Wood Fest Winners:

In third place, for the bronze metal: Port Townsend Brewing Co.’s Makers Mark Porter

Second place, for the silver: Lost Abbey’s Brouwer’s Blend

and…..

The winner and gold medalist (for the second year in a row): Flyers Brewery’s Bottleworks III

As mentioned in the previous blog, this year’s line-up features Port Townsend Brewing Co.’s Barrel Aged Imperial Porter. This thick, flavorful beer was tasted, reviewed and enjoyed by Beer Blotter. We are interested to see how it places compared to last year’s third place PT Porter.

2009 will bring new contestants from both Lost Abbey and Flyers. Lost Abbey will feature Angel Share. With flavors of vanilla and oak, this beer was aged for 1 year in freshly emptied bourbon and brandy barrels. We can only begin to imagine the complexity of flavors this beer is going to divulge.

Flyers Brewery out of Oak Harbor, WA is switching it up this year, featuring Laphroaig Chipped BW 8. After a relentless search for a description, a rate, a review of this beer, we present a beer unknown to beer bloggers and internet sources alike. The sheer weight of a gold metal should entice you to try this new beer and see for yourself.

Congratulations to Flyers Brewery, Lost Abbey and Port Townsend Brewing Co. for a job well done. And to all the beers listed for Big Wood Fest 2009, the day cannot come soon enough. Let the count down to December 3, 2009 begin!

Big Wood Lineup: Preliminary Thoughts on the Brouwers Masterpiece

November 19, 2009 1 comment

Abyss 08 and 09. we'll see you at the Big Wood fest.

***Note: I apologize for the brevity of this post, but i am fairly certain resident beer nerd Timperial Stout wants to chime in tomorrow about this lineup. I just cannot contain myself***

Brouwers Cafe’s Big Wood Festival is probably our second favorite Seattle beer festival of the year. It closely rivals, and perhaps in the eyes of many, passes Brouwer’s Hopfest. But, being as its November – its the only thing in our minds.

Big Wood is a celebration of wood-altered beers. Whether beer is barrel-aged or enhanced by wood chips, you will find it here. This year’s Big Wood is kicking off on December 3, 2009. If its like most of Brouwer’s events, it will likely start around 4 PM. I would suggest getting there around 3:30, snagging a table and ordering some fried chick peas (awesome). Hold down the fort for your buddies and enjoy the night.

In any event, this year’s beer list is incredible. We pulled a copy of last year’s list (which is being posted tomorrow on beerblotter.com) and firmly believe this year’s offerings far exceed last year’s bevy.

For starters,Picobrouwerij Alvinne, Cantillon and Oud Beersel are each being put on tap. I really enjoy the Belgian offerings mixed into these events, it just isn’t often an option.

Firestone Walker (The Black Xantus), Port Brewing (Brouwer’s Imagination) and Fremont Brewing (BN Barrel Dry Hopped Abominable) are all offering exceptionally curious ales for the event. I cannot wait to try them.

I was ecstatic to see Port Townsend’s Barrel-Aged Imperial Porter on the list. We sampled this ((downed a few) at the Naked City 1st Anniversary party last month. This is a very tasty brew.

We’d like to also say the same about Cascade’s Vlad the Imp Aler, a damn good sour produced outside of Portland at the Racoon Lodge (you should visit).

The big review is coming tomorrow – with Timperial’s full review of the goodies. Stay tuned, but make plans to see us on December 3rd!

Reminder: Brouwers has the best beer events. The next one coming up is Hard Liver Barleywine Festival. This is a great event with 4 oz pours – allowing you to actually try the whole list (or close to it)  without going to the hospital.

Grab Your Life Vest, We’re Going on a Boat: Port Townsend, WA

November 18, 2009 Leave a comment

the P-T brewpub lacks food - but has tunes, various nuts and booze

After a short Ferry ride across the Pudget Sound we land in Port Townsend. A quaint town with a local beer scene that includes Water Street Brewing Company and Port Townsend Brewing Company.

Stop #1 Water Street Brewing Co.:

It was a sunny yet windy summer day in July when we first stepped foot in Water Street Brewing Co.’s pub. Just in time for happy hour, we take a seat at the bar (would we have it any other way?).

The late afternoon sun streamed through the windows begging for a drink. As gusts of wind bellowed through the open bar door, a live banjo played to the rhythm of the outdoors.

From the moment you step foot into the wide open space you can’t help but notice the beautifully carved wooden bar and dollar bills stapled to the incredibly high ceiling. After ordering our first round of many to come, we sat back wondering how they got up there.

Queen Ninas Imperial IPA, 7%- bitter right off the tap. This beer opens up with a natural hoppy aroma. It is fresh, smooth and spikes the back of your throat with a tang of bitterness.

Mayor McPrior’s Irish Stout: medium brown in color. Coffee flavor with a hint of nuts. Slightly creamy but not thick. It has a nice, drinkable consistency.

Panama Red: stout like qualities but lighter in color. Hoppy and bitter combined with a prevalent malt flavor.

Accompanying our beers were a platter of well- crafted buffalo wings. Plump pieces of chicken smothered in spicy homemade buffalo sauce with fresh garlic were sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and scallions. Our experience was complete.

Water Street Brewing Co. is located at 639 Water Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368. A community brewpub supported and loved by locals. Check out Waterstreet’s winter beers, such as Burr’s Frosty Winter Ale and Chocolate Oatmeal Stout at the Winter Beer Festival the weekend of December 4, 2009 at Hales Brewery in Seattle, WA.

However, if this post has struck a cord and you MUST visit Water Street Brewing Co. in all its glory, then gear up for the 6th Annual Strange Beer Festival in Port Townsend, WA. Let the beer warm your soul in January as the streets surrounding the brew-pub are filled with belated holiday gifts of beer. Check back with Beer Blotter as we will keep you informed once the details about this event are released. Hope to see you there!

Stop #2 Port Townsend Brewery Co.

Upon arriving at Port Townsend Brewery, we walk through an outdoor beer garden equip with a live band and plenty of people into the tasting room. Peanuts are up for grabs on the bar and we are liking this place already. The tasting room/bar area is small with wooden walls, ceiling and bar top. Reminiscent of an isolated cabin, we feel on the outskirts of society, in the wilderness, eating peanuts and enjoying a beer.

Hop Diggity IPA, Cask Conditioned: incredible aroma of flowers, fruit. It smells as though it would taste like syrup. Instead it is crisp, not too bitter or hoppy in relation to other IPAs.

Strait Stout: black in color. Malty, sweet. Thick and smooth with a well rounded, crisp finish.

The only food this small bar sells include the following items: nuts, mixed nuts, and more nuts. So come with a full stomach or leave hungry.

Port Townsend Brewing Co, is located at 330 10th Street, #C, Port Townsend, WA 98368. During the warmer months, Port Townsend Brewing Co. is a short distance away from various campsites such as Old Fort Townsend and Fort Warden State Park.

Port Townsend, Washington is located on the Olympic Peninsula just across the Pudget Sound from Seattle.

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