Written by Chris Ellis- THANKS CHRIS!
Week 42 of 52
6186 Mt. Baker Highway
Deming, WA 98244
Type of Establishment: Brewpub, ultimate après-ski hangout
Visit: Thanksgiving weekend, our first trip to Mt. Baker of the 2010-2011 snowboard season
Beers on Tap (at time of visit):
Hair of the Frog Barleywine
Son of Frog English Style Ale
The North Fork prides itself on its variety of pizzas, but the menu also includes calzones, grinders, sandwiches, steamers, salads and a French onion soup made with vegetarian(!) stock. I usually go with pizza or a veggie grinder/onion soup combo, but opted for the soup and veggie calzone this time. The French onion soup is always a great treat for me, as it’s rare to find a place that makes it without beef stock. The Calzone was big, baked to perfection and provided ample sustenance after a day of riding.
This place can best be described with one word: magical. Situated on the Mt. Baker highway about half way between Bellingham and the Mt. Baker ski area, the North th Fork is truly an isolated gem. I first discovered the North Fork on a late September day trip to Mt. Baker. Being new to the Northwest, a friend and I decided to venture north and explore a legendary portion of this great state of Washington.
We were pleasantly surprised to find the Beer Shrine, shining alone like an oasis in a remote land. I became rather obsessed with the North Fork’s logo, proudly emblazoned on their roadside sign. The logo is a medieval-style wood carving of what appears to be two monks brewing beer; ancient alchemists conducting sacred work. The image’s style was one I was previously fond of, and having found the perfect drawing, I decided I wanted it tattooed somewhere on my body. I contacted the person who maintains their website, requested a high-res copy of the image, and in the winter of 2009 I had it permanently inked on my left arm.
Now that you have that bit of history, allow me to describe the actual bar. It’s rustic, comfortable and warm. It feels like being inside a log cabin, meticulously decorated with antique beer memorabilia. Hundreds of vintage bottles and cans are displayed along shelves, and old-timey beer advertisements and signage adorn the walls. Families sit at tables, enjoying pizza, and locals are camped out at the bar watching college football on the single TV.
Beers on tap vary, but they’re all made in-house. Thankfully, barley wine was available the day we stopped by, hands-down their finest (and strongest) brew. The IPA leaves something to be desired in the flavor department, but the Son of Frog was a pleasant surprise having never tried it before.
If you leave Mt. Baker any later than 2:00, expect to wait at least 45 minutes for a table, as the North Fork is an extremely popular destination for locals and those traveling back to Bellingham or Seattle after a day on the slopes.
Oh Thanksgiving – I miss you already. Alas, there is one heck of a week ahead.
A first pouring of our 1st Anniversary beer met a quite amazing meal on Thursday. We followed that up with a journey out to Kitsap, stopping by Silver City Brewing, Der Blokken Brewery and 7 Seas Brewing, along the way. I have got to say that Kitsap is one heck of a trip. The beer gets better each time I visit.
After a day at Mt. Baker on Saturday, we got our first ever taste of the Beer Shrine – North Fork Brewery. Later this week, expect some write ups on some of these wonderful excursions.
Lets embark on a new week in beer:
Monday, November 29, 2010
21st Amendment Beer Dinner: New York, New York
6:00PM-9:00PM @ Spring Lounge
The first of these events features 21st Amendment’s Fireside Chat (in a can!), the newest winter seasonal by 21st Amendment Brewery of San Francisco, and is catered by Jeff Maslanka, head chef of Black Shack Burger in midtown and 67 Burger in Brooklyn. He’ll be serving up short ribs braised in Fireside Chat, along with some seasonal sides that will both highlight and be highlighted by the taste of the beer.
The food is complimentary, the beer is not. So bring your wallet and your appetite.
We’ll also be featuring these great brews by 21st Amendment on draught – Brew Free or Die IPA, Back in Black, and Hop Crisis
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Yeast Strains with Mikkeller: New York, New York
7:30PM-9:30PM @ Jimmy’s N0. 43
Join in the sampling of 6 different beers from Mikkeller‘s Yeast Series. This will only cost you $10 and these beers are not only delicious, but will provide insight into this innovative, international brewery.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Holiday Ale Festival: Portland, Oregon
2:00PM-10:00PM @ Pioneer Courthouse Square
Its that time of the year, so gear up for some Christmas beer drinking fun!
The 15th annual Holiday Ale Festival will begin on Wednesday, Dec. 1, and continue through Sunday, Dec. 5 at Pioneer Courthouse Square, located at 701 SW Sixth Ave at the intersection of SW Broadway and Yamhill Streets, immediately on the MAX Light Rail line.
Wednesday 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Admission & Costs:
*FREE* re-admission into the Festival all 5 days with wristband and current year’s mug!
To enter and taste beers, the purchase of an initial tasting package is required. Advance tickets cost $20, or $25 at the door. This package includes a souvenir mug and 10 beer tickets.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Big Wood Barrel-Aged Beer Festival: Seattle, Washington
11:00 AM-Close @ Brouwers Cafe
You’ve read about it here on BeerBlotter.com. This is one of those “can’t miss” beer events that happen in Seattle. The initial tap list has already been handed down by the good folks at Brouwers Cafe. We are astonished at some of the iconic names, including a rare appearance by the elusive Russian River Deviation (a Bottleworks Anniversary beer from several years back).
The event begins at 11:00 AM and will continue through the weekend. If you are trying to sample the big guys (HOTD, Russian River, The Bruery, Lost Abbey), I would suggest getting there early on Thursday. See you there!
Friday, December 3, 2010
Founders Brewing Co. Sampler: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
4:00PM-6:00PM @ Bell’s Beverage
As you might already know, Founders is a Beer Blotter favorite. Although I do not know what beers are pouring- Founders will not disappoint!
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Strong Ale Festival: San Diego, California
11:00AM-11:00PM @ Pizza Port Carlsbad
The 14th San Diego Strong Ale Festival at Pizza Port Carlsbad will be held Friday and Saturday, December 3rd and 4th. The festival will feature more than 75 beers all over 8% alcohol from all over the United States. Admission is $30 and includes 8 taster tickets each good for a 4 ounce pour. If you can’t make it today, Pizza Port always has stellar beers on tap!
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Belgium to Brooklyn: Brooklyn, New York
11:00AM- 11:00PM @ Mugs Ale House
Oh my- this is epic and actually begins on Saturday, December 4th. 5th Annual Belgium 2 Brooklyn Mug’s Ale House Belgian Style Beer Festival: Saturday 12/4/10 & Sunday 12/5/10 from 11 AM onwards. No entrance fee, pay as you go. Over 40 Belgian Style Ales on draft + Mug’s Ale House usual enormous bottle selection.
Check out beeradvocate.com for a full tap list! Highlights include, ‘t Smisje Speciaal 2009 10.5% ; Struise Tsjeeses 10% ; Mikkeller Santas Little Helper 10.9% and Dogfish Head Au Courant 2003 7% among so many more!
If you have an event you are going to or have an event you want us to post about, please email me at email@example.com. Cheers!