This was originally posted by bb.com back in 2009. Damn time flies. All of these places are worth a second post. So check ’em out, if you haven’t before!
Sunday, November 29, 2009 marked Beer Blotter’s adventure to beer bars unknown and a brewery worth the trip. This trip refers to a 25 minute drive from downtown Seattle to Redmond, Washington. “What is there besides Microsoft in Redmond?” Well, that is why we are here, to stimulate your brain and your taste buds.
Stop #1 Black Raven Brewing Company
Known for their Trickster IPA (which won Beverage Place Pub‘s year round IPA tap spot), Black Raven Brewing Company’s brew pub is part of a commercial park. Inside, the space is warming and welcoming. We immediately walk up to the bar, order the sampler (and an extra Wisdom Seeker Double IPA) and take a seat at a wooden top table. Sunlight, well what Seattleites consider sunlight, streamed through the windows. The bartender and bar regulars were very passionate about beer and Black Raven. Beer blotter would like to thank Lee Killough for the pictures and insider facts about the brewery. Aside from the two IPAs, the Brown Porter and Second Sight Scotch Ale come highly recommended. The porter is surprising light for the style and is nutty with caramel undertones. This brew was an experimental recipe when the brewery first opened and they got it right the first time around!
Black Raven is located at 14687 NE 95th Street, Redmond, WA 98052. Beware: This brewery might have great brewing equipment (which you can sit near in the back room) but they do not serve food. Menus are placed at every table for delivery option to the brewery.
Stop #2 Malt and Vine Bottle Shop
After a great time at Black Raven, we decide to stick around Redmond for a little while longer. This provides us with a great opportunity to visit the local bottle shop, Malt and Vine. Like so many establishments in Redmond, Malt and Vine is located in a strip mall off of Redmond Way and my dear beer lovers, it is worth the stop in every way, shape and form. Not only does this bottle shop have approximately 15 taps flowing at any given time, (Lets take a moment for some name dropping: New Belgium Love, Lost Abbey Angel Share) their bottle selection is amazing and the refrigerators are organized by brewery, not by style. This approach to organizing your beer coolers, in our humble opinion, makes bottle shopping easier and that much more enjoyable. The only negative about this bottle shop is that the area in which one might enjoy one of these profound beers is not very welcoming and is reminiscent of a high school cafeteria. If only high school cafeterias sold rare beer and had an amazing tap list…the world would be a better place….or not… But during our time spent at Malt and Vine, the world did seem a bit better or at least bearable.
Malt and Vine is located at 16851 Redmond Way, Redmond, WA 98052. Less than 5 miles from Black Raven Brewery.
Stop #3 Wedgewood Ale House
We had heard such great things, had such high expectations. Maybe that was our problem. A cold November day, we were looking for a place to walk into, to warm our hearts and fill our souls. The only thing warm about the Wedgewood Ale House was the Boundary Bay Brewing Cabin Fever and Port Townsend Winter Ale on nitro. Although it was too cold and the wings were too small, Wedgewood Ale House has the quintessential bar menu and they support Washington breweries. With only Washington breweries on tap, the BB Cabin Fever is perfect for the winter/holiday season. It tantalizes your taste buds and tickles the back of your throat with hops and vanilla. The Port Townsend Winter Ale was inviting and spiced well with a malt balance.
The Wedgewood Ale House is located at 8515 35th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98115
Stop #4 Fiddler’s Inn
Fiddler’s Inn has a hidden rustic quality upon first sight with a comfortable, “home for the holidays” atmosphere inside. Stuffed from our previous stops, no food was ordered, but the menu boasted pizzas and what we would call Italian fare. But food isn’t really why were are hear as the tap list and wall mounted taps prove their passion for the punch. A taste of this so-called “punch” included New Belgium Wild Ale, Anchor Steam Christmas Ale and Fremont Brewing Co. Little Woody Pale Ale. A quick side note about New Belgium Wild Ale, it is brewed with schisandra berries. WAIT! Keep reading. This berry is known as the “5 flavored berry” presenting notes of sweet, sour, salty, spicy and bitter. This beer is all that rolled into one.
Fiddler’s Inn is located at 9219 35th Avenue NE, Seattle, WA 98115.
Stop #5 Pub at Pipers Creek
The space is awkwardly open and if you decide to take a seat that is not at the bar, your very far away from the only light that brightly shines. Taps form a crescent shape in the middle of the bar. At this point, food was the last thing on our minds, so we are sticking to what we know and love, beer. Big Al Brewing Winter Warmer had stout like qualities and was spicy, somewhat creamy and delicious. We were all pleasantly surprised by Elysian’s BiFrost which has an undeniable hop presence as well as Dick’s Brewing’s, Silk Lady.
Pub at Pipers Creek is located at 10527 Greenwood Avenue N, Seattle, WA 98133
We met some friends along the way, tried some great beers, bought some bottles and beat the Sunday blues. Let us know if there are other Seattle or Washington State beer bars for us to try. Hell, we will even leave the state or the country if need be.
Leave a comment or email your bar idea to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tonight and tomorrow you can find Hopworks Urban Brewery’s (HUB) Jamie Rodriguez pouring the latest brew, Secession Cascadian Dark Ale. In addition, Jaime is bringing many other Hopworks beers to most events including Organic IPA, Deluxe Old Ale and Seven Grain Survival Stout. Below are the times and locations you can find HUB:
Wednesday, Jan. 26
Malt and Vine – 16851 Redmond Way, Redmond – 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. www.maltandvine.com
The Noble Fir – 5316 Ballard Ave. NW – 8:30 p.m. – For Brewer’s Night, Jaime will be sharing Secession CDA, Organic IPA, and Pig War Imperial IPA. Pig War is made with estate-grown hops from the San Juan Islands www.thenoblefir.com
More on HUB and thier new release comes straight from the press release:
Hopworks Urban Brewery’s (HUB) Secession Cascadian Dark Ale is now available in 22 oz. bottles and on draft at select stores, restaurants and bars throughout Oregon, Washington and Vancouver, British Columbia. The limited release beer is returning to HUB’s lineup through early Spring.
First released in the Summer of 2009 for the North American Organic Brewers Festival, Secession is a Cascadian Dark Ale. This emerging beer style features organic pilsner, C60, chocolate and black malts and a healthy addition of Magnum, Cascade, Amarillo, Simcoe and Mt. Hood hops. All of this results in a beer that is an alliance of Northwest hop flavors as formidable as the Cascade Mountain Range and roasted malts as dark as a moonless night.
Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) is Portland’s first Eco-Brewpub to offer all organic handcrafted beers, fresh local ingredients and a sustainable building with a relaxed and casual atmosphere. HUB incorporates all aspects of sustainability from composting and rain barrels to pervious pavers and hand dryers. We have made every effort to protect “our” future with a thoughtful alternative.
So check out this great brewery tonight or tomorrow at one of these awesome venues!
Written by our in-house cellar dweller, Timperial Stout.
When it comes to big, specialty releases that make waves on a national level, the Northwest is painfully lacking. Washington state, more specifically, pretty much has none. We don’t have a Dark Lord or a Black Tuesday or a Kate the Great or a Sexual Chocolate…
I can’t think of a single time that I rushed out to the bottle shop for a WA release. I have rushed out to bars to catch WA beers while they were on draft, but that is such a fleeting pursuit. I want to be able to add a bottle to the cellar and age it and show it off and pretend that I’m cool that I have a crazy barrel-aged imperial stout that’s 4 years old and nearly impossible to get. I have low self-esteem so if I don’t have an impressive cellar I have nothing.
But seriously, why can’t Washington brewers do this for me. I guess I do have that Black Raven wheat wine that they made for Malt and Vine‘s anniversary. Oh yeah, and those Pike Entires. Both are wax-dipped and shit, totally impressive. Well, whatever…I want more.
Our neighbors to the south are doing a little bit better than us on this front, but it’s by no means a landslide. Hair of the Dog and Cascade bottles are pretty sweet trophies to show off. I’ve got a New Old Lompoc Oak Aged Dopplebock down in my cellar. Pretty cool huh? I know.
The ultimate bottled prizes in the PNW come from Deschutes in Bend, OR. I know you know what they are. I know you are jealous of my ’07 Abyss. Your best bet to rival me in supremacy is to camp outside of your local bottle shop tonight, and every subsequent night until more bottle of The Dissident hit Western Washington (if we are so lucky). Then do the same thing in mid-December for The Abyss. Buy as many as they will allow, drink one of each on New Years and hide the rest in the deepest recesses of your cellar. In 15 years when your first-born turns twentyfun, make his/her first ‘legal’ beer be one of paramount class.
Friday, November 19th
We are super excited to officially announce the release of The Dissident, our sour brown ale brewed with Washington cherries, that takes 18 plus months to reach near perfection. A limited amount of bottles will go on sale at both Brew Pubs and our Tasting Room on Friday, November 19th at 11 am. Fans will be able to pick up six bottles of this beloved brew at a time.
Wednesday, December 1st
The wait is finally over for the fifth release of The Abyss, our imperial stout brewed with molasses and licorice aged in bourbon and oak wine barrels. Join us at our Brew Pubs on December 1st as we tap the first kegs and make the 2010 bottles available for you to add to your collection.
…Also of note, here is information on those two beers and other upcoming releases as it was received this morning from a brewery representative…
When: End of November
What: Reserve Series (22-ounce wax-dipped bottles and draft)
Finally…. perfection. After nearly two years aging in isolation, the 2010 Dissident has reached its pinnacle. Deschutes Brewery’s only wild yeast beer, brettanomyces and lactobacillus “critters” (a technical brewing term) create a distinctive Oud Bruin, Flanders-style sour brown ale, with a fruity aroma and flavor. To make things even more interesting, whole Central Washington cherries – pits, stems and all were also added to the mix. The result? A beer that’s anything but conventional.
Where: Very limited available in most states where Deschutes is sold
Beer Geek Information:
10.5% Alcohol by Volume (ABV)
What: Reserve Series (22-ounce wax-dipped bottles and draft)
The Abyss has immeasurable depth inviting you to explore and discover its rich, complex profile. Hints of molasses, licorice and other alluring flavors draw you in further and further with each sip. And at 11% alcohol by volume, you will want to slowly savor each and every ounce.
2010 marks the fifth release of this dark and mysterious imperial stout rated the 4th best beer on planet earth by BeerAdvocate.com.
Where: Available in most states where Deschutes is sold
Beer Geek Information:
~11% Alcohol by Volume (ABV)
Seattle is not at a loss for breweries and beer bars. That perfect place to have a pint is just around the corner. But what happens when you want to enjoy a beer at home, purchase a beer souvenir or contribute to your ever growing beer collection? That’s right, you visit a bottle shop.
Although here in Seattle, your local corner store will have a decent selection of micro-brews, a worthy bottle shop is about location, price, rotation, organization and of course, inventory. There are many bottle shops in the greater Seattle area, but I am going to focus on four, each with a very different reason for making the mention on this post.
Best Bottle Price
5909 Airport Way South
Seattle, WA 98108
Befriend this reasonably priced bottle shop on Facebook– cause that is what all of the cool kids are doing…
Full Throttle Bottles is located in the off beat neighborhood of Georgetown. Comprised of warehouses, biker bars and other edgy establishments, Full Throttle gives this neck of the woods a great selection at very reasonable prices. Although their inventory is smaller than several other bottle shops, you can’t beat their prices. I have acquired several special bottles for $1-$3 less than other places. An added bonus- spend over $10.00 ten times and you will get 11% off of a purchase. This Saturday, November 13, 2010 is Georgetown’s Art Attack- a great opportunity to support the local arts and grab some bottles to-go!
Best Selection and Most Knowledgeable
1710 North 45th Street #3
Seattle, WA 98103
Bottleworks is owned by the same people that created, built, own and manage Brouwer’s Cafe, so you can imagine this bottle shop has an amazing selection. If there is a release that makes its way to Washington State, then you better believe, Bottleworks will get it and get it first (and probably sell out first). Located in the Wallingford neighborhood among quirky store fronts, Bottleworks is the place you can go and enjoy a beer while you shop. Within this past year, Bottleworks installed 4 or 5 rotating taps. Grab a tasty beverage and peruse the store looking for your favorite IPA or the new release. From Belgium to Japan, sours and stouts, Bottleworks will meet your beer needs, every time.
A Bottle Shop for the Commuter
16851 Redmond Way
Redmond, WA 98052
As you may know, Seattle is home to Microsoft. After living here for about a week, you are bound to meet someone who works for Microsoft. The “campus” is located in Redmond, WA about a 20 minute (without traffic) drive from downtown Seattle. So what do you do after work in Redmond? And more over, why would a Seattlite who works in Seattle go to Redmond for beer? Well let me tell you. Malt and Vine not only offers a well-rounded, ever changing inventory, they always have amazing beers on tap- 10 or so at any given time. On a sunny day, you can sit down with a beer on the back patio or just window shop among the glass coolers. Just down the road is Black Raven Brewing Co., another reason to head to Redmond. But Malt and Vine makes the list for their selection and their approach to organizing the inventory- by brewery. Its quite the site to see 10 Midnight Sun beers all in one area glistening below the cooler lights. The staff here are very nice, knowledgeable and lovers of craft beer.
The Place to Go When Visiting Seattle
1926 Pike Place
Seattle, WA 98101-1013
Located in Pike Place Market- Seattle’s #1 tourist destination is the Pear Delicatessen. Although this specialty grocery sells fine cheeses, wines and simple groceries, they have a great selection of beers from the Western part of our country, mainly Colorado, California, Washington and Oregon. This is perfect for a local to stop by and grab some beers and snacks for guests and perfect for the visitor looking to take back a taste of the Pacific NW.
***Notes of a Beer Nerd is a column written by resident cellar dwelling mammal, Timperial Stout. Feel free to e-mail him at email@example.com with any questions, concerns or comments***
Enjoyed on 7/19/2010
Brewery: Big Time Brewery & Alehouse
Location: Seattle, WA
Beer: Old Sol Wheatwine Ale
Presentation: 22 oz. – Brown Glass Bottle – Capped
Vessel: Oversized Wine Glass
Recommended Serving Temp: 50 degrees
Notes From the Bottle: The labels on Big Time bottles have a very DIY feel to them. This isn’t surprising considering that they only sell the bottle in-house. The website offers the following information:
Old Sol Wheatwine Ale, our summertime barleywine style ale, introduced in 2002, Old Sol is available on tap and in bottles to go.
The 2003 Old Sol won a GOLD MEDAL at the Great American Beer Festival. This summertime version of Barleywine made with 46% wheat and Warrior, Simcoe & Amarillo hops will be a sure winner.
OG 23.6 Plato 1.100 SG 9.75% by vol. 7.75% by wt. Brewed on the Lunar New Year, tapped on the Summer Solstice.
Food Pairings: Shellfish, chicken, salad
Cheese Pairings: Gorgonzola, Limburger, Feta
Beer Advocate: A
Rate Beer: 89 (3.52)
Wheatwine is a strange animal. The style is still very new, and no one seems to know quite what to make of it. The specs, more often than not, require a malt bill that is nearly 50% wheat and an abv ranging from 9% to 14%. When it comes to competitions or indexing within beer rating websites, wheatwine is often lumped into the barleywine or strong ale category. Even though it seems that large beer festivals like GABF are permanently expanding the number of categories up for vote, wheatwine has yet to be added. Something tells me that it won’t be long until this exciting style has its day in the spotlight.
That something is the fact that wheatwines seem to be gaining trendiness by the day. More and more breweries have been making them, and if you were to take a look at some of the community run sites like beeradvocate.com or ratebeer.com, you’d probably be surprised that it didn’t catch on much earlier. Unlike ratebeer.com, beeradvocate.com actually has wheatwine as a category, and lists 70 beers. That may seem like a lot, but it really isn’t when you take into consideration that other not-so-popular styles like rye beer, old ale, and rauchbier have 322, 248, and 125 entries respectively. Also, a large percentage of the beers listed under wheatwine are variations on the same beer, one-offs, or brewery only draft specialties. But, my point that this style should have caught on earlier isn’t solely based on the fact that it’s an untapped resource. Even more so, it’s the ratings that have been acquired by the wheatwines that do exist.
There are very, very few wheatwines on beeradvocate.com that are rated lower than a B. ratebeer.com’s number system may offer a bit better of a perspective, but like I said earlier, they don’t recognize the style on its own, so it takes a bit of digging.
Smuttynose Brewing out of Portsmouth, NH makes, most likely, the longest standing, most widely known wheatwine in the States. In fact, other than the beer reviewed here tonight (and one mentioned later in this article), the entire Beer Blotter collective has only ever had one wheatwine…that of Smutty. Smuttynose Wheat Wine is a 95 on ratebeer.com. The much talked about collaboration Oatgoop, between Three Floyds Brewing of Munster, IN and Mikkeller of Denmark, recieved a 98 on ratebeer.com. General stalwarts of the style, New Holland Pilgrim’s Dole and Terrapin Gamma Ray are rated 91 and 90 respectively. Point being, the people like the wheatwine.
Just a year ago, it seems to me that it would have been very safe to say that there was only a handful of breweries in America making the style. Most likely, a good percentage of the craft beer lovers out there are not all that different from us, and have only tried one or two different wheatwines in total. In the last few months, more and more brews have been popping up in the style. Boulevard Brewing out of Kansas City, MO just recently added a wheatwine to the Smokestack Series called Harvest Dance. It received a 97 on ratebeer.com. Locally, Black Raven Brewing of Redmond, WA just made a wheatwine for Malt and Vine‘s (a Redmond based bottle shop) third anniversary. Only three ratings exist so far on ratebeer.com. – not enough for a score, but I can tell you first hand, it’s delicious. I was lucky enough to taste this little gem the day it was released. The 9% brew was enhanced with the addition of California orange peel, black pepper corns, local nettles, and a distinct sour quality. Quite possibly, Black Raven is so far ahead of the game that they are already throwing curve balls at the competition.
Just today (yesterday as you read this), there was a report on the front page of beernews.org that Duclaw Brewing out of Baltimore, MD will be releasing a wheatwine called Misery. They just keep coming and coming. You won’t get any complaints from me.
Enough about the rest, lets talk about the best…well, for tonight at least. The beer on the menu this evening is brought to you by Bill Jenkins of Big Time Brewery. ***Attention all, this is a name that you need to memorize.*** This guy can brew a beer! Yes, Bill is a celebrity in my eyes. I dare you to make a list of the best breweries in WA that doesn’t include Big Time. Yes I know, it is nearly impossible to get their beer outside of the University District brewpub, but that’s the charm of it, right?
Lets gather in the experience of Old Sol.
Old Sol fills the glass with a beautiful, clearly filtered, orange-tinged amber that looks ever so inviting. The carbonation is clearly minimal here, and the head, or lack there of, is right inline. What foam does develop on the pour is stark white and leaves a faint bit of lacing on the inside of the glass after each sip. A ring of white persists, in conjunction with the slightest cirrus cloud of a wisp.
The odor is very fruity, sweet, and boozy. Belgian style ales come to mind immediately. Notes of mango, nectarine, peach, banana… where it not for the malty scents at the core I’d sense this was a fruit juice before me. The malts are light and biscuity with a dash of caramel and vanilla. The wheat is doing things that I’m not entirely used to it doing, and I like it. So many of my experiences with wheat beers have been with unfiltered beers. Most often these brews are jammed up with suspended yeast that, inevitably, steals a lot of the subtle fragrances of the wheat itself. I finally feel like I am spinning, arms outstretched, through the great wheat fields that dominate the Mid-Western states of this great country, and it’s a good feeling. This thought may be just what sparks thoughts of a barnyard scent lingering deep within the nose.
The most elegant characteristic of this beer, and for that matter – this style, is the mouthfeel. “Velvety” seems to be the word of choice in the style guidelines, and I’d have to agree. The carbonation and alcohol seem to hibernate all the way until the swallow, which leaves only the viscous, sugary, syrupy, mouth-coating, wheaty goodness at the forefront for ultimate enjoyment. I’d be lying if I said it was hard to swallow, but sometimes I just want to revel in the moment and let the fluid glide around my mouth for ages.
Honestly, as odd as it sounds, the taste of this beer is the least exciting. I know, that sounds ridiculous, but it by no means takes away from the marvelous and unique experience that this beer provides.. What can I say, wheat is subtle. I’m also a tea drinker, so I know and respect subtle. The Belgian thoughts creep back, but then quickly subside when the wheat strikes. Infused sugars dominate, with a bit of spice and banana essence that seems to be a constant extract of the malt in question, or possibly the yeast. With great warmth, some bubblegum flavors make their presence known. There is another bizarre attribute found post-swallow – the flavors remain but the sweetness if so dominant that a dryness competes. I want more but I don’t need more. Confused, I’m fearful of a hangover, but I’ll take it in stride. All for the joy of sipping down the next big thing in craft brewing.
If you like Big Time Brewery & Alehouse Old Sol Wheatwine Ale, you should try…
Disclaimer: This beer was purchased on my own with my own hard-earned money at a local bottle shop, and aged to perfection by yours truly.