We just got back from an amazing trip to Portland over the weekend. The goal of our Portland trip was to venture out to venues which we still had yet to visit. We did just that – hitting places like Saraveza, Amnesia Brewing, Apex, Widmer Gasthaus, and even House Spirits (a distiller).
But, on our travel home, we decided that we had no reason to be home at any particular hour. With horrendous traffic ahead, we decided to venture off the highway and check out some venues in Olympia, WA and Tacoma, WA.
Though we have resided in the Seattle area for over three years, none of our members have visited Olympia or Tacoma for beer trips. With the exception of one brief visit to Tacoma’s Red Hot, none of us had even visited these towns!
So, we whipped out our handy iPhones and perused the ‘Places’ tab at Ratebeer.com. We decided on the two most intriguing options that we could find in each city. For Olympia: Fish Tales Brew Pub and Eastside Club Tavern. For Tacoma: Jake’s Bistro & Bar and Parkway Tavern.
We hope to have some more extensive reviews of some of these venues in our 52 Weeks column, but for now lets shed some light on these establishments. Today we discuss Olympia – tomorrow, Tacoma.
Fish Tales Brew Pub (Fish Brewing & Leavenworth Ales)
Fish Brewing has always been on my target list. The organic ales produced by the Olympia brewer have never disappointed. But the most impressive beers comes from the brewer’s “reel ale” collection, which includes beers like Leviathan Barleywine and 10 Squared Imperial IPA.
Fish’s facilities are right across the street from its brewpub. The brewpub is located right down the block from Olympia’s east side row of bars and taverns.
The beer list contains each of Fish’s regular rotation beers, as well as one “reel ale” at a time. It also includes the brewery’s Leavenworth Ales and Spire Mountain Ciders.
During our visit, there were no “reel ale” options available – Boo. But we were able to grab a few different IPAs to enjoy with our lunch.
Fish Tales has a fairly impressive menu. Filled with several seafood options, at a reasonable price, there is something for everyone. My favorite item from the table: the Oyster Po Boy with Seafood Stew. The po boy was stuffed with about 8 lightly fried hama hama oysters, topped with mayo and all the fixins. The stew was made with the Trout Stout, filled with clams and shrimp.
All in all, Fish Tales is worth the visit. I sincerely hope you can get a chance to grab one their “reel ales.” They are all worth a try.
Eastside Club Tavern
I did not know what to expect from this place. Its located in the short string of bars located on 4th St in downtown Olympia. Outside, there was a suspect group meandering amongst the alleys. But, the beer is always worth it and so we jumped on in.
Eastside is a massive place. It spans more than 3,000 square feet (guess), including a large “game” room filled with several pool tables, ping pong and foosball.
The bar area sprawls across the side of the bar. There are no food options (besides small snacks) and I do not recollect any liquor being served. But, the beer selection was amazing.
Eastside showcases 36 taps at one time, including cask and nitro taps. On tap during our time at the bar: Russian River Pliny the Elder, Anderson Valley Imperial IPA, Lagunitas Little Sumpin Wild, Double Mountain IRA, Lagunitas Undercover Shutdown and various others.
Beers are reasonably priced at $3.50 per 16oz pour. Rare beers, such as Pliny the Elder, were only $5.00 per 16oz pour. Happy Hour (4-7 PM) showcases $3 beers.
A few bonuses, include an amazing jukebox and growler fills. The bar back has a few TVs. Don’t forget to check out their bottle list, which houses several $5 22oz bombers!
Eastside is a must visit if in Olympia. Certainly, an excellent place to grab a good beer.