Pacific Northwest Beer Chick

Breweries, Beers & Good Times

upcoming book signing in Seattle! November 24, 2011




SEATTLE, WA – On Thursday, December 1, from 4 p.m. until 7:30 p.m., author Christian DeBenedetti will join Head Brewer Dean Mochizuki at Pike Brewing Company (1415 First Avenue, 206-622-6044) for a beer tasting and book signing of DeBenedetti’s first book, The Great American Ale Trail: The Craft Beer Lover’s Guide to the Best Watering Holes in the Nation (Running Press; September 2011; Paperback; $20.00 US).

“The well-traveled beer enthusiast will be signing copies and talking all things ale alongside Pike’s head brewer, Dean Mochizuki and Pike Brewing owners, Charles and Rose Ann Finkel.   For the event, Mochizuki will be offering his Pike Double IPA, which has been dry hopped with summit hops, for $3.50 a glass.  In his book, DeBenedetti lists Pike Brewery as one of the “Best Watering Holes.”  Books will be available for purchase, and guests are also invited to bring their own copy if they have already bought one to have it autographed.  Following the meet-and-greet and signing, the event will feature live music from Atlas Stringband, and of course, plenty of great draught beer. ” – Jennie Hatton, Profile Public Relations

WHO:        Pike Brewing Company and author Christian DeBenedetti 

WHAT:      The Great American Ale Trail Book Signing Event

WHEN:     Thursday, December 1 from 4 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.

WHERE:   1415 First Avenue, Seattle, WA




Stout for dessert?

Filed under: beer,breweries,Holiday Ales,Micro brew,Stout,Thanksgiving beer — pnwbeerchick @ 10:41 am

Turkey? Check. Mashed potatoes? Check. Gravy? Check. Green bean casserole? Check. Pumpkin pie? Not this year!Thanksgiving dessert in my house is going to be Southern Tier Brewing Company’s crème brûlée Imperial Milk Stout. Never had dessert in a bottle before? Boy are you missing out.

My bartender suggested this fantastically crazy beer to me, and I’m sure glad he did. Brewed with vanilla bean and dark caramel malts this stout engulfs your senses with a sweet, rich vanilla/caramel aroma. The first sip and you are hooked! Full bodied, malty, creamy and rich, crème brûlée Imperial Milk Stout really does taste like the wonderful dessert for which it is aptly named.  Columbus hops and horizon hops mellows out the sweetness of the malts but trust me, this stout is very bold, rich and strong. The gentlemen I had the pleasure of enjoying this brew with (my husband and the guys at the pub) agree that this is no “chick beer.” And at 9.6% ABV you will definitely want to share with others…and designate a driver. Oh, a word of warning to my lactose intolerant readers; this is a milk stout and has lactose sugars added so drinker BEWARE!

Although this is Southern Tier’s summer seasonal release it is still available in 22 oz bottles. And I think it will be a nice substitute for the traditional pumpkin or pecan pie (sorry Grandma).





Another great upcoming Winter Beer Fest – 2011 Winter Beer Festival November 18, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — pnwbeerchick @ 1:02 pm

More than 35 Washington State breweries will be in attendance!

WHEN:  December 2nd & 3rd.

WHERE:  Hale’s Ales Palladium – Ballard, WA

HOW MUCH:  $23.00 in advance/$25.00 at the door. Admission includes a tasting cup and six 5oz tastes. Additional token are $1.50 each. Designated driver admission is just $5.00.

Advanced tickets can be purchased at






The Best of Tacoma (part 2) November 13, 2011

Part two of my Best of Tacoma series starts off at a little hole in the wall just about five minutes up the road from the Parkway Tavern: Magoo’s Annex Ale House & Eatery. Located in one of the oldest neighborhoods in Tacoma and operating almost continuously since 1943, Magoo’s offers great microbrews, a nice pool table, and the best jukebox in the state of Washington! The Jam, Ramones’s, The Clash, -X-, and other alternative and punk rock legends are queued up to be played while you toss back some fine microbrews from around the country. Eclectic decor on the inside this is another great pub that gives a nod to Tacoma’s history and the microbrew beer culture. A bit more rough around the edges than the aforementioned pub in my last posting, but Magoo’s has an old school rustic charm about it that makes it laid back and cool, and the beer is really cold and fresh.

Changing the pace a bit I would like to take you down town to a little Irish pub I fell in love with the moment a crossed the threshold: Paddy Coyne’s Irish Pub on Pacific Ave. Paddy Coyne’s is not only one of my favorite Tacoma pubs, but it is one of my favorite pubs period. Warm and inviting dark wood-paneled walls and hand carved antique bar really gives me the feeling of being in a pub in dear old Ireland. The best Irish and English beer on tap a long with a couple of guest brews are always fresh. The best Irish and Scottish whiskeys line the back of the bar and are carefully guarded by the old souls carved into the back bar. If you are into rustic Irish pub food (Lord knows I am) then look no further. Traditional fish and chips, banger’s and mash, ploughman’s lunch, shepherd’s pie,  and other UK favorites are done up right and served up with fresh Irish soda bread. It’s a great place to visit on a cold, rainy day. The fireplace in the middle of the restaurant will always be on. Paddy Coyne’s has two other locations: Seattle and Bellevue.

So I know many of you are thinking about some great bars and pubs that were not mentioned. Let’s be honest, Tacoma is a potpourri of great bars, taverns and pubs. Talk to the locals, they know best where all of the hotspots are.



Magoo’s – 2710 N 21st St, Tacoma,WA 98406




The Best of Tacoma (part 1) November 12, 2011

I often get asked “PNW Beer Chick, where are the great pubs in Tacoma?” Well kids, there are more than a few great places  to have a pint that are in ideal areas, have great atmosphere, and rotating taps. So I decided to write about them in two parts.

First on my list of the Best of Tacoma: Red Hot. If I were to own my own pub, the Red Hot would be it! Located on 6th Ave

Red Hot

in Tacoma, this retro pub has been featured on the Food Network. The inside is decorated with everything micro-brew and historical Tacoma. You won’t see a Budweiser flag in this joint! Awesome beers are constantly rotating both on tap and in the bottle. As for grub, who doesn’t love a hot dog? Red Hot offers the most unusual selection of hot dogs in town along with childhood favorites like Frito Pie and Moon Pies for desert. You haven’t lived until you have taken a bite of the brightest neon green relish ever made! Micro-brews such as Russian River, Dogfish Head, Stone, Hales, Rogue, Anchor Steam, Bear Republic and tons of others and constantly shuffling through so you are assured to get the freshest beer in town. Undecided about what type of beer you want? Just ask Justin, owner Chris, or any of the staff. These folks know their beer stuff! Red Hot is one of my favorite Tacoma hangouts.

Travel about five minutes up the road and turn left onto “I” St for the Park Way Tavern. Housed in a renovated Craftsman bungalow, the Parkway offers 30 rotating taps of the best micro-brews from around the world. The decor gives a nod to Tacoma’s
history and the micro-brew culture. In the back you can enjoy playing pool, air hockey, or take a load off in the zebra room with the corner fireplace. There is a patio out front for one to sit and enjoy the view of the gorgeous “painted ladies” in the neighborhood. The food is fresh and delicious. Try the chef salad, salmon burger, nachos or fresh quesadilla.  The staff is very friendly and knowledgeable about what they are pouring. There’s nothing like enjoying a beer in one of Tacoma’s prettiest historic neighborhoods.

Coming soon…part two of The Best of Tacoma.



Information for Red Hot and Park Way Tavern can be found on Facebook.


Pumpkin to the people! November 9, 2011

Filed under: beer,breweries,Holiday Ales,Micro brew,Pumpkin Beer — pnwbeerchick @ 8:01 pm

While supplies last BJ’s Brewery is now pouring their delicious autumn seasonal Pumpkin Ale! Pretty, reddish-amber color and the aroma is quite mouth-watering. The taste is simply delightful with flavors of pumpkin pie and spices swirling around. It is medium bodied, malty and clean with a nice cinnamon and nutmeg finish that lingers. Sweet and spicy this ale would go great with BJ’s pork chops, desserts and even the famous Giant Stuffed Baked Potato (which is what I had). BJ’s even offers to top the Pumpkin Ale with whipped cream to enjoy as a dessert if you wish! And at 4.7% ABV you can enjoy a couple.  Now I know the hardcore beer geeks are going to say “but PNW Beer Chick… BJ’s is a chain restaurant.” To that I say lighten up kids. Just because a brewery is a chain does not mean they don’t make some great beer! BJ’s also sells growlers of the stuff! $14.00 for the growler and fill up. $2.00 off to refill after that.  Stop in and give it a go before the Great Pumpkin swoops it back to the pumpkin patch.




Sayonara Summer! November 8, 2011

Filed under: beer,breweries,Micro brew,Pacific Northwest Beer — pnwbeerchick @ 7:10 pm

In the Pacific Northwest autumn takes on a certain feel, smell and even taste. But have you ever experienced a Japanese autumn?  Thanks to Widmer Brewing you can now experience what autumn in the orient may taste like.

Widmer Brother’s Reserve Lemongrass Wheat Ale is a gorgeous ale brewed with fresh lemon grass and Muscat juice. It’s thick, sweet, but not too sweet, lightly spiced, and has an interesting resin mouth feel.  The lemongrass adds a slightly pungent tartness that mellows out the syrupy sweetness. Resembling a carbonated white or rice wine with a cider finish, this limited edition brew is sure to warm you up. And at 9% ABV I would suggest this ale as a nice after dinner beer or enjoy next to a warm fire on a crispy night.






There’s more than corn in the midwest! November 7, 2011

Filed under: beer,breweries,Micro brew — pnwbeerchick @ 7:32 pm

On a recent business trip to Bloomington, IL (yes, I have a real job), I was pleasantly surprised to find that this town had more than corn fields. Located on the border of Bloomington and Normal, IL is a lovely little brewery that goes simply by the name Destihl.

A pretty building, the interior is warm, sheik and inviting. The food, amazing! And the beer, not too shabby either. I was very
impressed by the large selection of brews on tap and even more impressed that they were really, really tasty.

Strawberry Blonde Ale (5% ABV) – Fresh strawberry aroma and taste. This light, unfiltered blonde is sour, sparkly, clean, and crisp. Very nice.

Raspberry Wheat Ale (8% ABV) – 125 lbs of raspberries went into this awesome beer. I described the Raspberry Wheat to my co-workers as “elegant and champagne like.” A very pretty pink color, raspberry aroma and flavor with a very crisp finish. This wheat ale is also unfiltered and has a wonderful sweet/tart flavor. The Raspberry Wheat was a favorite at our table.

Weissenhemer Hefeweizen (5.9% ABV) – Light to medium gold in color, the hefeweizen was lemony, mild, and easy to drink. Again, unfiltered, it had a nice mouth feel and light, clean finish.

Drunken Weasel Dunkel (5.4% ABV) – Mahogany-brown color. Toasty and smoky with a brown sugar/molasses finish. Medium to full-bodied, I wouldn’t recommend with a meal.

Hawaii Five Ale (5.0% ABV) – Unfortunately, this was my least favorite beer of the bunch.  I felt like I was drinking a fruit punch or fruity mixed drink instead of a beer. Medium bodied, much too sweet, and frankly rather sickening. If you like fruity mixed drinks or wine coolers, this might be the beer for you. If you like beer, you will definitely want to pass this one up.

Saison De Russeau (5.2% ABV) – Coriander, orange spice flavor and aroma and a lovely maltiness really made me smile. I enjoyed this beer more than once on my trip. It was one of my favorites.

Deadhead Double Red (10% ABV) – Dark red color and a toasty, malty body this puppy is definitely a sipper for the not so faint of heart! Beautiful Belgian lace coated the glass on the way down and I could rally taste the higher alcohol. But the red does have a sweet, brown sugar finish.

Tripel (8% ABV) – Another “sipper” on the list was this really pretty tripel. With a peaches and honey aroma and taste this beer almost mimics honey mead.  Spices cool down the sweetness. Tripel is quite enjoyable, but another beer you should not pair with food.

Baldock IPA (6.5% ABV) – Another favorite was this nice IPA. Light hops, amber color with a toasty yet caramel taste with hints of grapefruit. Crisp, clean finish.

Redbird Ale (6.2% ABV) – Just in time for autumn, this ale is toasty and crisp. Brown sugar aroma with a malty body and autumn leaves taste.

Black Angel Stout (6.9% ABV) – The darkest of the bunch, this stout was ink black. Dark chocolate aroma and flavor with hints of coffee. A little on the bitter chocolate side with a strong toasty finish.

My travel companions and I enjoyed this brewery and visited more than once. Destihl doesn’t have a taster tray but does serve all of their brews in a 3oz glass for $1.50 each. Not a bad deal! Great beers, great food, great atmosphere. Who knew the Midwest was so cool?






16th Annual Holiday Ale Festival – Portland, OR November 2, 2011

WHEN: November 30 – Dec 4

WHERE: Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland, OR


$25.00/per person for General Admission (Festival entry, tasting mug and 10 tasting tickets)

$50.00/per person for VIP Admission (Festival entry, tasting mug, 20 tasting tickets and access to VIP beer lines)

(Both general and VIP admission includes entry for all 5 days with current years mug and wristband)

More than 40+ breweries are signed up to bring their best ( and strongest) winter warmers! I can hardly wait!




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