Feeling a bit under the weather last weekend I made the difficult decision to bow out of The Great Pumpkin Beer Fest. Instead, I decided to take it easy and just visit a few breweries on the peninsula and see what they have in store for autumn. After all, why let a little sniffle take me completely out of the game?
First stop was Hale’s Ales in Silverdale. I much prefer Hale’s location in Seattle. It just feels odd visiting an ale house in a
mall. Luckily once you’re inside the ale house that feeling goes away. This month Hale’s is pouring O’Briens Harvest Ale. At 6.9% ABV this is just the warmer I needed to pep me up at bit. This ESB style ale is hoppy and crisp with a toasty finish. It has a
really pretty pumpkin orange color and essence of autumn leaves. Full-bodied and malty, O’Briens is just what the doctor ordered. I followed up with the H.S.B. (Red Menace on nitro). This was a pretty beer. Smooth, creamy head and a malty
mouthfeel, I detected a hint of toffee. The finish is lightly hopped and very enjoyable.
Next stop was one of my favorite PNW breweries: Slippery Pig in Poulsbo. Now, I know this particular brewery is known for producing some crazy beers…but I think Hog Thai’d is their craziest one to date! And, at 9.5% ABV this baby packs a wallop. Ready for the ingredients? Glazed, smoked summer squash, toasted coconut, and zucchini. This beer starts out smoky and ends the same way. Hoppy, medium to full body with a touch of sweetness from the coconut, this baby would be worth a growler full! Also on tap was their Black Boar Hefe. I have never had a black hefeweizen. I’m talking this puppy is ink black. Black Boar is malty and full-bodied with a slightly sweet-tart finish. According to owner/brewer Dave, the wheat used in Black Boar is sautéed in a wok creating a lovely toasty element. Well done!
My last stop on my “Feeling A Bit Cruddy Tour” was Valhöll Brewing. I could hardly wait to try the brewery’s newest creation: Hop Fuk Wet Hop IPA. Beautiful Belgian lace floated elegantly above the amber-colored brew. Hop Fuk has a great hoppy aroma, starts out sweet and then pounds you in the face with an oily, full mouth feel. 7.6% ABV. I was very pleased.
I finished up with the very dark, very pretty Punkin Stouty. Served in a goblet, this elegant looking brew is strong (8.8% ABV) but easy to drink. Brewed with real pumpkin and spices, Punkin Stouty is malty, full-bodied and carried notes of brown sugar. Great little sipper.
So after a relaxing day at the breweries and about twelve hours of sleep, I was finally able to shake whatever it was that
ailed me. I guess beer really is the great “cure all.
Information about Slippery Pig Brewery can be found on facebook.