Pacific Northwest Beer Chick

Breweries, Beers & Good Times

New Happenings in the Harbor December 27, 2018

What a time to live in Gig Harbor, WA!

New restaurants have been cropping up, finishing touches are going up on the new shopping center, and a couple more breweries have decided to set up tap rooms in Gig Harbor.

I’m talking about Gig Harbor Brewing Company and Fox Island Brewing. Both have beengh4 around for a few years, but now, us simple “Gig folk” (I just made that up) have easier access.

Gig Harbor Brewing was originally going to be housed here in the harbor. But, as the usual, a lot of red tape and headaches were coming with the project. The owner’s wanted to keep the name but were needed to find another place to brew. Tacoma, being just a bridge-crossing away, was the best choice for the brewery. The tap brewery opened it’s doors in the Nalley Valley area of Tacoma in 2015.

Ever since, they have been producing some fine beers. Finally, they were able to find a lovely little spot in the heart of Gig Harbor to secure a second tap room. Right where they should be! Located right on the water, the tap room is roomy, comfortable and inviting. The beer, is amazing! I sampled a few on my recent visit and all are very noteworthy. Oh, and the tap room is within walking distance to my apartment! Big thumbs up!

Blood Orange Blonde (5%) – Wonderful blood orange flavor and color. Not sweet, but plenty of luscious blood orange fruit from start to finish. The fruit tasted authentic, not syrup.

Blackberry IPA (6%) – I really like this one. Again, the fruit was real, not processed and balanced nicely with the hops. Quite lovely, refreshing, and flavorful.

Solar Tide IPA (5%) – This one was my favorite of the day! Such a well-balanced IPA. Tons of flavor but not so overpowering as to detour the hop novice. This is a really nicegh3 beer!

Fox Island Brewing opened a few years ago. Until recently, you could only usually find their beer locally, and I mean locally. Zog’s Pub on fox Island and a couple of local tap rooms, but that was about it. Now, they have acquired a tap room and took up residence at the Performance Golf Center and christened it the Tap-In. The great thing about this tap room is that they also serve food. Hooray! Gourmet hot dogs, Pizza, and a few other tid-bits will keep your tummy full while enjoying these tasty brews. There is outdoor and indoor seating. One can also enjoy a game of Cornhole or foosball while relaxing. A miniature golf course (I refuse to call it “put put”) is right outside the door to keep the kiddies occupied if you are some of those folk that insists on bringing your offspring to a tap room.

The food is good, the beer is tasty, the scenery is pretty. I purchased a taster tray and out of the 5 beers, these two were my favorite. I must tell you that two of the beers in the tasters tray were Hefeweizens. I like a good Hefe, but, I have to be in the mood for them. I was not in the mood on this day.

gh2No You Don’t Kolsch – Lot’s of lovely honey notes. Crisp clean finish. It’s no secret that Kolsch is one of my favorite styles.

Pale C’s American-style Pale Ale – well balance ale. Mild hops. Not overpowering, but a lot of flavor from start to finish.

The indoor lounge is nice, the outside is probably where you want to be…when the weather is nice. I immensely enjoyed the German Dog with sauerkraut. Not a bad place to hang out on a pretty day.

Gig Harbor may be a tiny town, but, the beer culture is gaining speed. I love the idea of the sleepy little fishing village that has stuff to do. At the same time, I don’t want our beloved village to become overrun with chain stores and restaurants. Keep the businesses local and lovely. I want Gig Harbor to be a quant destination without becoming gimmicky and cheap. Quality places to eat and drink with the Gig Harbor personality.

I love this town with every thread of my being. Let’s keep it moving forward and relevant!

Cheers!

Liz

 

Summer 2018 July 9, 2018

Summer is finally here! Well, sort of. Summer in the PNW is a bit different than summer back home in Southern California. Up here, 85 degrees is a heatwave. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still hot! Just not 7th circle of hell hot.

I don’t know about you folks, but, when it’s a bit tepid out, I certainly don’t want a heavy beer weighing me down. I want something crisp, refreshing, sometimes a little on thedeschutes fruity side, a lot of flavor, but always easy to drink. I don’t want high ABV because I want to enjoy more than one without falling over my own feet. I want something you can drink while mowing the lawn, yet enjoy while sitting around a bonfire at a backyard BBQ.

This year some pretty yummy beers have been released to help with the cool down on even the most sweat-dripping of days. Some are newer releases, some have been around for awhile. All are delicious.

Brewed in Olympia, WA, FishTail Brewing’s Beyond the Pail is a lovely Pale Ale that’s perfect for those hot summer days. Crisp and clean, this beauty finishes with a nice citrus bite that would satisfy even the biggest of “hop heads.”

Twilight Summer Ale by Deschutes Brewing is another PNW gem that is sure to please. Not too heavy, and tons of flavor. It’s a perfect beer to drink as you sit around a bonfire and watch the setting of the summer sun.

peachesOne of my favorite new releases so far is by Red Hook Brewing. Peaches For Me IPA may sound sugary sweet, but on the contrary, the fruitiness is very subtle. Hops starts this one off beautifully and the delicious peach and mango hits in the finish. This is a truly delicious beer.

One of the more low-key beers, and one of my all-time favorites, Germany’s Schöfferhofer Grapefruit Hefeweizen. It’s 50/50 grapefruit juice and hefeweizen, very low ABV (2.5%), has a ton of grapefruit flavor without being overly sweet, and extremely refreshing. I have to really watch myself when drinking this one, because it’s so yummy, I tend to drink a bit too fast…and a bit too many!

Fremont Brewing is one of the best craft breweries in Western Washington. So believe me when I tell you that their Lush IPA so one of the best IPA’s I’ve ever had. It’s also perfect for summer! Tons of floral notes and hops grace the taste buds from start to finish. Yet, it’s not so hoppy to scare away the novice. I love this beer.

One of my favorite summer staples is from Silver City Brewing in Silverdale, WA. ZiggySchoffer Zoggy Lager has been around for a few years and is perfect for a hotter-than-normal day. This unfiltered lager delivers a light honey sweetness and a lovely crisp finish. Ziggy Zoggy is definitely one for the cooler!

Half Lion Brewing’s Log Show Blonde is one definitely you need to seek out. This isn’t your typical Blonde Ale. It’s darker and hoppier than a blonde. It finishes clean and crisp. I really like this beer.

So many great beers out there this year. Too many to mention in my opinion. Though most of the beers I’ve listed here are brewed in the PNW, many are distributed to other states. Check your local bottle shop or tap room.

Cheers!

Liz

 

Brewing up the past September 26, 2014

Incorporated in 1875, Tacoma, WA is bursting with rich cultural and architectural history. Surprising to many is that craft beer shares in much of that long history. In 1897, the Pacific Brewing and Malting company opened its doors in Downtown Tacoma. It quickly grew into the one of the largest breweries in the Northwest. Sadly, like many craft breweries of the time,IMG_2688 Pacific Brewing was shut down due to statewide prohibition in 1916 (four years before the nationwide ban). Lucky for us, two lovers of craft beer, Steve Navarro and Brent Hall, decided to resurrect the old Pacific Brewing and Malting brand, right down to the original logo, and give it new life!

The brewery is located at the foot of the Old Town Hall on Pacific Ave in the shadow of the iconic clock tower. The building has been lovingly restored and looks amazing, both inside and out! Vintage style carriage doors grace the front and gorgeous reclaimed wood table line up on the inside. Exposed brick walls give a wonderfully warm and inviting feeling.

Opening day was a busy one but I was able to squeeze my way in and try a couple of pints. First up was Dirty Skoog IPA. This a very well-balanced IPA and a tad sweeter than you would expect which is a nice change from the “blow your head off” hoppy IPA’s. Quite lovely with a malty finish. Next up was the Citra Pale Ale. Very crisp and full of fruit notes and citrus. Just hoppy enough to make IPA enthusiast order another one. But my favorite of the day was the 1897 Pale Lager. Malty, sweet, light and refreshing. This lager is a nod to the original lager once made by Pacific Brewing but with modern brewing in mind. It’s quite a delightful beer. Other beers they brew are Grit City Porter, Moon Yard Strong Ale, Galaxy Smash (single malt/single hop IPA), and they are currently brewing a Smashing Pumpkin Ale. Yum!

This particular area of Pacific Ave is about sure to be a the craft beer epicenter of Tacoma. Odd Otter Brewing is opening soon and just a few doors down from Pacific Brewing, and the McMenamins purchased the gorgeous Elks Lodge building just behind and is in the process of restoring to its former glory. So, stay tuned!

 

Cheers!

Liz

http://www.pacificbrewingandmalting.com

 

 

Beat the summer heat July 19, 2014

Ah, summertime. Time for BBQ’s, beach picnics, mowing lawns, and horrendous heat! So how does one find refreshment when sitting in temperatures that feels like the Seventh Circle ofIMG_1269 Hell? Grab an awesome craft beer of course! There are so many “summer style” beers to choose from, I have chosen a few that have tickled my fancy as of late.

Ninkasi Wünderbier – This tasty beverage is a German-Style Kölsch. I love a good Kölsch and was very excited to stumble upon this one. Slightly sweet with a hint of Golden Grahams cereal, Wünderbier  is crisp, light, and finishes clean. It’s a nice session beer at only 4.4% ABV.

New Belgium Summer Helles Lager – Hints of honey hit your nose before first taste. Summer Helles is very light in body, easy to drink, and has a nice, soft spice to the finish. It’s hard to put this one down!

Anchor Summer Beer – The very first craft beer I ever had was an Anchor Steam. That was 20 years ago and since then the Anchor Brewing Company has never disappointed me. This beer is no exception! This filtered wheat beer is crisp and light, with a hint a honey. Very refreshing.

Silver City Ziggy Zoggy Lager – One of my favorite breweries in Washington State, Silver City Brewing Company “kills it” with this awesome, unfiltered summer beer. Banana clove tastiness, honey everywhere, malty, and light. This one is a summer favorite for me!

For me, the key with any good summer beer is the body.  It has to be crisp, easy to drink, and not too heavy with a slight fruit or honey note. These beers “nail it.”

 

Cheers!

Liz

 

 

 

Summertime at Silver City June 14, 2014

 

 

I have been a big fan of Silver City Brewing Co. for quite some time and always look forward to anything new. Recently I had the privilege to hang out with the guys at Silver City’s tap-room and sample some of the new seasonals and specialties on tap. I got to relax with the brewery’s owner, Scott, and with the brewers themselves enjoying some tasty seasonals currently on tap. A game or two of “Ziggy Zoggy Foursquare” took place, and fun was had by all! So let’s get to it!

Huckleberry Wheat (5.4% ABV) – Subtle fruit from throughout. Crisp, clean, with a soft fruit finish. Lightly hopped. Very nice.IMG_1163

Sour POWr Pear Lambic (6.2%ABV) – Gorgeous golden color. Pears are aged in the beer for a year creating a wonderful fruit sourness. Light honey top notes with a nice sour finish.

West Sound IPA (5.2%ABV) – For those who like a lighter hopped IPA, be careful! This beer is deceiving. The aroma is hoppy but soft. The first sip is mild but then suddenly, POW! The hops just punch you right in the face. Big citrus finish. Perfect for the IPA lover.

Rye Bock (6.5%ABV) – Sweet and hazel nutty. Rye character carries all the way through. Malty, sweet finish. Medium to full body.

Deluxe Spring Lager (6.2%ABV) – Once of my favorites of the day! Very nice with honey, floral character. Light, not too sweet. Reminds me of Golden Grahams cereal. Nice sweet finish. Perfect for spring or an early, mild summer day.

Happy Fun Time Ginger Beer (4%ABV) – I’m usually not a fan of ginger beer. Most brewers tend to overdo the ginger producing a much too tangy product. But this ginger beer is a delight! Big ginger aroma and nice ginger flavor throughout. Well-balanced and refreshing. The ginger is just right, not too overpowering.

B-Town Sour Red (6.3%ABV) – Sweet-tart candy sour. Slight hard-alcohol aroma. definitely a sipper.

Rye Whiskey Barrel Aged ImperiaI Red (8.5%ABV) – Thick, syrupy body. High alcohol aroma. Sweet, nutty first note. Finishes strong. Be careful!

Golden Mountain Pilsner (5%ABV) – Sweet, bubbly, effervescent. Honey notes, finishes crisp. Light and well, balanced.

The Silver City Flagship Restaurant is located at 2799 NW Myhre Road  in Silverdale at the Silverdale Mall. The Brewery & Tap Room is located in Bremerton at 206 Katy Penman Drive. The tap-room does not serve food but you are welcome to bring in anything you wish to munch on. Many of their beers are available in bottles at your local market or bottle shop.  If you haven’t stopped by one of these locations in person then all I have to ask is, where the heck have you been?

 

Cheers!

Liz

http://www.silvercitybrewery.com

 

 

 

Coming Soon: Seasonals from Pyramid Brewing Co, Slippery Pig Brewing, and Narrows Brewing. Oh, and the upcoming Gig Harbor Beer Festival. Wow! I better get going! April 15, 2014

 

A Pirate’s Life For Puget Sound! January 2, 2014

I have always had a deep love for all things pirate. I know this is not really that unusual for a chick but I can’t help it. My love of pirates started in my early childhood. As a “So Cal” girl my family went on trips to Disneyland on a regular basis and Pirates of the Caribbean was (and still is) my favorite ride. In my later years as a Disneyland Cast member I spent 1104648935720many a day and night working on that ride sorting people into their lines to board one of the greatest rides in the park! “What the hell does this have to do with beer?” you may be asking yourself. Well, a great brewery on the Puget Sound has combined two of my loves: beer & pirates!

Slaughter County Brewing Company opened its doors in 2012 in Port Orchard, WA. Owner and head brewer, Scott Kirvan (pictured), let his love of all things pirate take over. Themed entirely with swashbuckler in mind, Slaughter County serves up some brews that Blackbeard himself would slit a throat to drink! My personal favorite is the Regimental Scotch (7.4% ABV). This medium bodied beauty is malty and sweet with a lovely, toasty finish. Hints of brown sugar linger throughout. But, this is a butt kicker so tread lightly. Another favorite is Ol’ One Eye PA (5.2% ABV). This IPA is nicely balanced and not too heavy on the hops. It is also a little on the maltier side with a slight hop flower finish. Very drinkable and goes well with food. For you sour beer fans out there, the brewery serves up the Drama Queen Sour Kölsch  (5.15% ABV). Light yellow color, crisp, clean, with a lemon kick. Pretty nice. Scott also brews interesting and delicious seasonal IMG_3046beers so be sure to check his Facebook page to see what he has up his sleeve. He also has a nice selection of guests taps along with some great bottled beers; both import and local.

Do you like romance with your pirates? How about the romantic tradition of toasting the sunset? Yes, every night Scott jumps up on the bar, says a few lovely words about life, and everyone raises their glasses to the setting sun.  There is a full kitchen and everything on the menu is absolutely delicious! Try the Chicken Curry Soup, the Reuben, or one of their fresh-baked pizzas! An amazing view of the Puget Sound is visible from anywhere in the brewery and there is live music at night so check Slaughter’s schedule for dates and times. You may even run into a pirate, or ten! I love this place!!!

Cheers!

Liz

http://www.slaughtercountybrewing.com

 

 

 

 
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