Washington Craft Beer

CRAFT BEER STATE OF THE MONTH SHOUTOUT – Part 1

TRAVELER’S LOG : Greetings gang. So a recurring segment that will be featured on my IG account (@travelersbeerlog) is something I’m calling the State of the Month. The idea is for me to highlight a state that I’ve traveled to for the whole month. This includes pictures of merch, beer, and breweries as well as sneak peaks of rankings and shoutouts. Now, along with that being on my IG page, I’ll also be posting my full write-ups and reviews of EVERY SINGLE beer and brewery for that state here on the blog. Be sure to leave comments, questions, or future recommendations either here or on the @travelersbeerlog page! DISCLAIMER: I had to split this post in 2 since it was pretty large. This has the first 6 breweries I visited. The others will come with the second post. With that being said, let’s welcome our first state for July…

WASHINGTON

Number of Breweries Visited – 12
Number of Beers Logged – 51
Number of Times Visited – 3

Now, this is a state that needs NO introduction to all you craft beer heads out there. The crazy thing about it is that I have only scratched the delicious, hoppy surface of this beer crazed state (every time I’ve been here for for it’s just been Seattle. Still – definitely a great place to come for beer as you’ll soon read). With that being said – here are all of the Traveler’s notes for this glorious place.

Beer Old Stove Brewing

Any brewery with great beer AND *good* food is an automatic win in my book. Last time I was here they talked about relocating. Will have to go check out the new spot.
  • OLD STOVE BREWERY@oldstovebeer / @taproomatpikeplace
    [ 2/7/2018 ] AKA The Taproom At Pike’s Place. A great spot in downtown Seattle right near Pike’s Place Market. One of those breweries that also has some really great food and even greater people there to help with all of your beer needs. Plus you’ll see fish being chucked through the air just a couple blocks away. Check out what I tried:
    • Breakside I.S.A.: (Imperial Saison) Really nice, manageable floral notes. Great tropical flavors follow (pineapple & a little peach). Not overly hoppy, which can be appreciated although that classic bitter bite is there. Smooth finish as well. Nicely done beer. 
    • Citra Pale Ale : Light bodied coupled with some bitterness. Has some fruit notes on it too (pineapple and maybe orange peel? Most likely from the citra hops). Really easy drinker. Perfect summer beer. 
    • Tout Le Monde: (Belgian Dry Hopped Saison) Very interesting and a tad bit complex on the palate. Heavy earthy/herbal notes on it, which is expected. At first I though I tasted roses and mango but turns out it was mango and ^ l i t c h i ^ . Fancy. Also a nice pale, cloudy straw color. 
    • Peach Sour: A traditional, TART, sour! Very good with nice peach on the nose and a drier peach taste on the palate. Just peaches alllllll over this thing. Fruit flavor is perfect but if you’re not a fan of sours steer clear because this thing is a traditional one. 
    • Ginger Rye Ale: A lot of ginger here, especially on the nose. Pretty light bodied considering it’s a rye but they probably wanted it that way so the ginger can really come through. Not a whole lot of hop character here either. Just basically a sweet, malty gingery brew.
    • Scotch Ale: Nice boozy glass of beer. Probably couldn’t do a full glass though. Has a heavy malt base and hits you with the sweet burn of the scotch at the very end. Really nice scotch ale! Careful with that alcohol % though… It’ll get ya.
  • CLOUDBURST@cloudburstbrew
    [ 2/7/2018 ] Do you enjoy the smell of fresh hops in the morning? What about the sweet, sweet scent of mash brewing? Well you will get all of that and more in this spot. I love a good, down home brewery. Fermentation tanks exposed, brewers with beards jaunting around with smiles. What’s not too love? I had to grab a shirt from the place just because I loved the spot so much. Seems small on the outside but it’s a craft nerd’s paradise on the inside. In another world, I’d live here permanently. All nice and warm. Snuggled up next to the fermentors… Oh sorry, I was day dreaming… Here are the beers I had:
    • Market Fresh: (Saison with Guava, Jasmine, & Coriander) Very fruity! Almost cough drop like but not in a bad way. Doesn’t distract from the overall taste and body which is crisp, tart, and VERY refreshing. Awesome deep golden yellow color. A prefect summer sipper!
    • Definitely Your Father’s: (Winter Ale) This one is honestly comfort in a glass. A very balanced beer with a bit of hop tingle at the end and a GREAT smooth, roasted caramel malt body all the way through. A really nice “burnt orange” color with low head retention. Easy drinker for sure.
    • {No Mistakes Scharz}: Didn’t get a whole lot of the beer because it has just tapped out but what I did taste was cool and interesting. Definitely want to try more of this style to get a better feel. Similar to a brown ale. Rich and a little nutty. 
  • REDHOOK@redhook
    [ 2/8/2018 ] Alright so this place is a much more well known spot not just in Seattle, but pretty much in all of the West Coast and beyond. This spot is AMAZING and is great if you want to just be a loner, beer nerd (PSH WHO DOES THAT???) or if you want to go out with a group of friends and sit at a nice table with some good beer and good food. The inside is beautiful and there’s an even better outdoor area. Plus the merch is ON POINT. Peep the beer:
    • Auto Shop Alt: (Alt Bier) Great beer with that classic alt lager taste to it. Little ricey but still super clean and crisp and also refreshing on the palate. Has that perfectly textbook pale-straw coloring as well. Can’t knock it – it’s a nice one.
    • Prodigal Sorcery: (Pale Wheat Ale) Really nice beer with a GREAT hop footprint. Hops come through clean and steady but don’t overpower the overall lightness of the brew. A definite must have for what beer lovers looking to branch out to a much happier place. Has a light/golden hue to it. Perfect spring or summer beer.
    • Short Ryed To Hell: (Helles Rye Lager) Awesomeeee smoked taste from the rye for an otherwise light and clean bodied beer. A bit of a burnt/roasted caramel aftertaste with maybe a hint of coffee?? This is a very smart, innovative brew. First time seeing this style and hopefully it won’t be the last.
    • Hempopatamus: (American Brown Ale) ** WOW! One of the best brown ales I’ve had to date. Great malt character with a mix of caramel and coconut coming through. More dark amber than brown but I ain’t hating on it. The hops sneak in from the back on this one too and it works. This taste is unreal. Hopefully it’s a regular here.
    • Kolsch: As I drink more of these they are quickly – and unfortunately – becoming my least favorite style. This one is too clean, almost to the point of being straight bitter. And the hops have that dank profile that, in my opinion, reallyyyyy throws off the beer. Honestly tastes like a hopped up old Bud Light… NOT A FAN
    • Venti My Oh My: (Imperial Nitro Stout) No surprise here that the city of Starbucks has a beer this packed with the beans. A true coffee stout with a small hint of vanilla coming through. Has that iconic smooth and creamy mouthful associated with nitro stouts. There’s also an uncharacteristically earthy notes as you drink. Love it. A must have for any beer nerd whenever you’re in the place of Pike. 
Washington Craft Beer Red Hook Brewing
Pretty sweet exterior. Nice spot to kick it on a nice day
Washington Craft Beer Red Hook Brewing
Mmm. Just look at that box full of brews 
  • HOLY MOUNTAIN@holymountainbrewing
    [ 2/8/2018 ] Holy Mountain… Batman! Ok so just like Red Hook, Holy Mountain has it’s own special, shiny seat in the hallowed halls of craft beer royalty. Talk about a really cool craft beer establishment. Big glass windows showing you all of the wonderful brewing elves happily dancing and working on the beer while you sip on wonderfully wild and amazing beers. Tables are all over to let you come with friends, family, and countrymen where you can enjoy some pizza from a nearby joint. The only bummer about the night that I went was that it was pretty busy and I’m one who loves to post up at the bar and talk geeky beer things with the people working there. Wasn’t able to do that in this case but it’s a “HOP-pening” place (see what I did there?). I only tried a couple beers here so I’ll definitely have to come back in the future. I also got a shirt. It’s dope. Beeeeeeeeer:
    • Borrowed Light: Brett IPA. My first Brett beer and what an introduction! Surprisingly great balance with this strain. A lot of citrus and floral notes in the beginning with a little bit of that farmy wildness at the end from the Brett. Not as heavy hitting as most IPA’s which I can appreciate. Cool beer.
    • Autumnal Rustic: Oak-Aged Rye Saison. REALLY GREAT SAISON. Didn’t get a whole bunch of the Rye but the oak is somewhat present in the beginning. Shockingly smooth (thanks most likely to that oak aging) with a bit of that zip and bite coming in at the very end. More of a pale gold color. Very good beer. A must try if you’re a Saison geek.
Washington Craft Beer Holy Mountain Brewing
Only got to try 2 of these bad boys so you KNOW I’ll be back!
  • FREMONT@fremontbrewing
    [ 4/10/2018 ] Picture this: You’re in Seattle. It’s a beautiful – albeit RARE – sunny day and you’re gazing out across the water watching the boats sail by. A nice, crisp Pilsner in one hand and a beautiful, full bodied, smashable IPA in the other. Maybe a totally orange-d out wheat on the table in front of you… And a ridiculously smooth Oat Stout next to that… With a perfectly balanced, fruit crazed Sour next to that… Wait.. oh sweet mother what’s happening? There’s more. So much more beer. How did they get there? What do they want? WHAT DO THEY WANT?!?! I have just described a typical experience at Fremont. So much delicious, mind-boggling beer surround you from every angle with only one way out: Drink. Them. ALL. The best part about this mission? The spot is picture perfect on the water with a DOPE set up inside. Space for drinking and board game merriment. Plus they’re dog friendly. What more could you ask for? Check it:
    • Summer Ale: (American Pale Ale) Veryyyy solid pale. Love the “American” profile on this; a bit hop forward with some decent bitterness. All things you want in an APA. Great, clean golden color as well. Finish is SUPER smooth and crisp with the hops lingering just long enough to make you take another drink. And another. And another. You get the idea. 
    • Wandering Wheat: (Wheat Ale) Pretty interesting take on a wheat. Knew it would taste different just based on the color (much deeper color than normal) Hazy too. Honestly has an initial leathery/new shoe before balancing out (has to be the types of hops… pretty danky for a wheat). Could possibly be off-putting for some if they were expecting a traditional wheat. The more I drink it the more that tastes stays in my mouth. Definitely different but I’m still a fan. *I let it sit for a couple minutes and that leather tastes was less noticeable after that. 
    • Spring Elixir: (Imperial IPA) * Strong citrus and floral notes on first smell. Duh. Really great body for an IPA. The malt really eases out the hop profile but even so, those hops are dancing on that palate all day long. A very solid IPA and that “imperial-ness” makes it drinkable without that normal IPA pine rush. BIG FAN 
    • She Blinded Me With Science: (Sour Weisse with Peach and Mango) *** HOLY SOUR BATMAN! Top 3 Sours ever for me so far. Really great, traditional sour taste profile. Definitely get the peach in there but I lose the mango after a second. Still a great, lip puckering beer that I could personally drink whenever. I was blinded alright. Blinded by a scientifically perfect sour. If you know you like sours, you MUST try this. 
    • Dark Star: (Imperial Oatmeal Stout) * WOW! The Smokey/roasted malt profile on this is through the roof. The oatmeal is a great body balancer here, making it really nice and easy to drink. The depth on this bad boy is crazy too. Would be an amazing fall/winter beer, enjoying it on a cold night around the fire. One of the more robust oatmeal stouts I’ve had. Sooooo good. 
Washington Craft Beer Fremont Brewing
BEAUTIFUL. Looks like a g-dang nursery. A nursery for people who love craft-tastic brews.
  • REUBEN’S BREWS@reubensbrews
    [ 4/10/2019 ] Ok I have a riddle for you. What do you get when you cross a dope set up, evil genius craft heads, ridiculously well-educated staff, a pink elephant, and merch for days? Answer: Reuben’s Brews. This place is constantly packed and it was no different when I visited. The cool thing about it was that I was still able to sit down at the bar and have a really great conversation with a lovely gal who was a cornucopia of knowledge about the place. Not only that, but the beer was seriously so innovative and spectacular that it was really hard to put down on paper. I tried my best but it’s something you definitely have to experience first hand. Here’s my attempt:
    • Blood Orange Gose: (Gose) ** Very, very, very good. Really love this pairing of blood orange with the Gose style. Compliment each other extremely well. Has that nice sour and bitter character shining through but would still be a nice beginner for people looking to get into exploring the wonderful world of sours and goses. Not to mention, it has a beautiful pink color to it. Well done!
    • Rambling Route: (Cider) I’m not normally drawn to ciders but decided to try this one out and I love it! Super refreshing with a whole bunch of apple all over the place. Crisp and oh so dry. Plus, I would NEVER guess this thing is packing a 6.9% punch.
    • Mexican Lager: (Mexican Lager) I really like and kind of prefer this style of lager. I like a little bite to my beer and this has got that. Mild body with a nice but subtle hop spice there at the end. It’s juuuuust a bit more complex than traditional lagers. Definitely want to try more of this style and get a better grip on it. 
    • Irish Red: (Irish Red Ale) A really good red. I have to admit, a tiny bit more hop forward than most reds but definitely not in a bad way. The malt is still the star here giving that nice, slightly sweet and chewy bite we know and love. Perfect amber color, and as I drink it, those hops start to fall back. 
    • Pink Elephant: (White Stout) ** This is the poster child for innovative beer. Highly complex with a lot going on here. Let’s just start with the color because it’s as advertised: PINK. On the nose it’s floral, almost rose-like then the coffee comes in right after and steals the show. At first taste there a big berry component from the raspberries but then it’s ALL roasted malt and coffee notes from there. Honestly the most creative beer I’ve seen yet. An absolute must try! 
    • Bits and Bobs: (IPA) Nose is super danky. Very similar to a New England IPA so not a huge fan. Has a very strong skunk-hop taste and is just a dank bomb all the way through. Too much for me. Will have to broaden my horizons and try more of this style of IPA.
Washington Craft Beer REUBEN’S BREWS
Walking into the spot &
Got too excited and didn’t take a picture of my full flight… Here’s the Pink Elephant though!
REUBEN’S BREWS
Inside the Brewery. Just look at those big boys fermenting away.

CONCLUSION – Like I said in the beginning of the post this is only half of the list. The remaining 6 breweries will be posted at a later date so you all can see just how good I had it when I was in this wonderfully beer obsessed place. All of these places are AMAZING and I strongly encourage you all to visit them whenever you have the chance. Let me know what you all think / places you recommend down in the comments! I love hearing from you all. I will admit that I was not as good snapping pics when I first started the log but it does get better. My b. I appreciate the readers and followers. Be sure check out all of the other great stuff on Brewed In Buffalo’s site! Cheers and remember: Onward4Beer!

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