COMING SOON: my latest trip to California, Oceanside Ale Works, and Opening week at McMenamins Anderson School! Stay tuned, kids! October 20, 2015
Wet Coast brings a ray of sunshine to Gig Harbor September 18, 2015
I’m pretty darn lucky! Not only do I live in the darling town of Gig Harbor, WA, but I have three breweries within five minutes of my home. Oh, and one of them is my current favorite brewery! Wet Coast Brewing opened in June and is strong coming right out of the gate! I’m really excited about this brewery. Every beer I have is great and there is constantly something new on tap.
East Meets West ESB (5% ABV) – Malty with a hint of nuttiness. Very smooth with a crisp finish.
Line Jumper IPA (5.4% ABV) – Well-balanced IPA w/honey notes. Lovely hoppy finish.
Dark Coast Black Ale (5.1% ABV) – The name is no lie! This baby is as black as ink. Smokey and rich, this lovely ale is a coffee and chocolate lovers dream. But, what’s nice about this beer is that it’s lighter bodied than what you would expect. Great on warm days or curling up next to and autumn fire.
El Capital Coffee Brown (5.1% ABV) – One of my favorites!! An ale brewed with lots of coffee. The only description needed is that it’s like drinking a creamy dark chocolate iced coffee. So Yummy!
NorthWET Session Ale (4.9% ABV) – Great ale to hang out with. Great hop notes from start to finish. Very easy to drink and finishes clean.
Belma Blonde (5% ABV) – Light, sweet and fruity. Oranges and a hint of honey. Great beer for those with a sweeter palate.
Brass Rail Pale Ale (5.5% ABV) – My absolute favorite of the regular lineup! Hoppy, fruity, and very well-balanced. It truly is one of the best pale ales I’ve had in a long time. I can’t get enough of this one!
Wet Coast is open Thursday & Friday 3:00-9:00pm, Saturday 12:00-9:00pm, and Sunday 12:00-5:00pm. The tap-room is simple and laid-back. Kids and outside food are more than welcome.
While your there, say “Hi” to our favorite beer tender Sarah Jane! She’s a peach!!!
Finding An Outlaw In The Forests Of Edgewood May 18, 2015
Nestled in the hills of Edgewood, WA you will find a small gravel road. Head down that road to a sweet, little vintage home. What you will find in the homeowner’s garage is a great little nano brewery/tap room: Outlaw Ales. Owner Dan Sowers will be behind the bar to greet you with a pint, some fresh popped popcorn, and a smile. Outlaw Ales started in 2013 in his home in Bonney Lake. But his recent move brought him to a forest setting in Edgewood. On the day of my visit he had two beers and one cider available. So of course I had to try a flight of all three!
Coffee Porter (9% ABV) – Do you like chocolate covered espresso beans? I know I do and this beer was the next best thing! Brewed with real coffee, this stout is rich and robust with a dark chocolate finish. There is a bit of a smokiness on the palate that really gives the beer a nice edge. Very nice.
IPA ( 7% ABV) – A beautifully balanced IPA with a nice maltiness that cuts through the bitterness of the hops. Very refreshing, hop aroma, and a slightly sweet/hop finish. This is a great IPA for both the beginner and “hop head.”
Organic Cider (10% ABV) – Now, you all know that I like a good cider. This cider is not good…IT’S AMAZING! In all honesty, it’s probably one of the best hard ciders I have ever had. No really, I’m not joking! Dan travels down to his friend’s apple orchard in Forest Grove, OR, picks six different varieties of apples, and presses them himself. He adds champagne yeast to the batch and creates a gorgeous, unfiltered treat for the senses. Fresh apples from start to finish without the overly syrupy sweetness most ciders take on. The champagne yeast gives it a crisp, sparkly finish. I cannot say enough about this cider!
Outlaw Ales is one of the best breweries I have been to in a while. He is currently brewing a Summer Pale Ale due out pretty soon.
The tap room is open on selected days only: the first and third weekend of every month. Remember, the tasting room is located at his home, so please be respectful of the dates and times. But, if you need a growler fill you can contact him and make arrangements. Outside food is welcome and there is plenty of seating in the tap room.
Posts coming this week: my visit to Outlaw Ales, a recent trip back to So Cal, the breweries of Astoria, and a couple of gems from Oceanside Ale Works! Stay tuned, kiddies! May 17, 2015
Leaving for Astoria, OR tomorrow. Great town, great history, oh, and great beer! Stay tuned! Post coming soon… April 30, 2015
Longing for Long Beach! December 31, 2014
Just got back from a trip to my beloved Southern California. Visiting family and friends is, of course, always on the agenda, but what I really look forward to is hitting some of the new breweries cropping up and visit some of the old ones I have missed. On this trip I was staying in Long Beach aboard the Queen Mary so it was only appropriate to head downtown and see what was on tap! For years Long Beach was known as a not-so-safe place to visit. But over the last decade it has undergone some amazing changes making it much more tourist friendly. The downtown area has cleaned up, new businesses and shopping areas have opened, and there are even free shuttles to get you around downtown. My time for beer drinking on this trip was rather limited, but I gave it the “old college try!”
In the Long Beach neighborhood of Belmont Shore sits the Belmont Brewing Company. I did not have a chance to visit the brewery itself, but I did get to try one of their beers at the local Yard House. If you have never been to the Yard House (there are several locations in several states) you are really missing out! Over 100+ beers from around the world on tap. On the menu that night was Belmont Brewing’s Strawberry Blonde (4.5% abv). Fruit beer gets a bad wrap for being, well, fruity. Most men consider fruit beers “chick beer.” They couldn’t be more wrong, especially with this little gem. Fresh strawberry hits the nose before you can raise the glass. The fruit flavor is fresh and clean, does not taste syrupy. Lovely jamminess from start to finish but not too sweet. A lovely beer to get into the So Cal mood!
One night, I met with some very dear friends of mine at a more “spiritual” house downtown. Congregation Ale House is located right in the heart of downtown Long Beach. The actual brew house is located in Azusa, CA but there are three locations to enjoy: Azusa, Long Beach and Pasadena. The Long Beach “chapter” was quite lovely with glowing light, gothic arch ways, and gorgeous wrought iron chandeliers reminiscent of a gothic cathedral. The staff was very friendly and beer savvy and one of our servers, Kevin, was a kick in the pants! Thanks, Kevin!!
Praise On! Saison (5.8% abv) – This lovely farmhouse ale has a sour fruit aroma, wheat character in the body. It finishes sour and crisp.
Eternally Strong Brotherhood ESB (5.4% abv) – I love a good ESB and this one hit the spot! Very malty, slightly bitter, and very delicious. Light hops in the top, with a slightly sweet finish. Very enjoyable.
Dark Of The Covenant (7% abv) – This American Strong Ale, is just that! Soft, smokey aroma and dark chocolate body. This is definitely a sipper for dessert. Almost like drinking a smokey chocolate bar. Quite tasty!
A few doors down is Beachwood Brewing Company. This brewery is also known for its BBQ and has two locations: downtown Long Beach (where I was) and Seal Beach (a bit further down the coast). Very laid back atmosphere. Nice place to hang out.
Foam Top Cream Ale (5.5% abv) – The aroma of Golden Grahams cereal hits the nose right away. Honey-sweet body and a creamy finish. Very easy to drink. Perfect beer for So Cal.
Knucklehead Red (5.7% abv) – Very well-balanced red. Nice caramel character with just enough hops to give it the kick “hopheads” require. Quite nice!
On the last night of my trip I visited San Pedro Brewing Company located in historic San Pedro, CA. Just a stones throw (and a bridge crossing) away from the Queen Mary, the brewery is tucked away in a darling, historic neighborhood. This brewery/restaurant is BUSY! I was a bit bugged at first because it took almost 15min for anyone to acknowledge me after I sat down (as a former server/bartender, I’m pretty patient). Once my server stopped by things started looking up. I enjoyed a delicious grilled cheese sandwich and a taster tray.
Bruin Blonde Ale (5.5% abv) – This light bodied ale had a candy-like sweetness with a caramel finish. It was a bit like drinking, you guessed it, candy. Very nice for a hot day.
Sunken City Imperial Stout (8.3% abv) – Ink black color, dark chocolate from the start, but finishes smokey. Full bodied, malty, and very smooth. definitely and after dinner beer.
Port Towne Hefe (5% abv) – Hefeweizen is one of my favorite styles of beer. This one was OK, but just a bit watery than what I prefer. The traditional banana clove flavor and aroma were present, it just didn’t have the body I was looking for. Still, not bad.
Red Headed Hop Child (5.6% abv) – Gorgeous color! Hoppy with a touch of hazelnut on the palate. Nutty, crisp finish. This was one of my favorites!
Iowa Battleship IPA (6.6% abv) – Named for the historic battleship docked just a few minutes away, this IPA is sure to make any “hophead” smile, but easy enough for the “hop-shy” to warm up to. Beautiful floral aroma with light hops throughout. Nice, clean finish. This IPA is perfect for the beginner and easy to drink.
Blitzen Belgian (9.11% abv) – This was my least favorite, but not because of quality. I’m not a barley wine/hard alcohol kind of gal so anything higher than say 8% abv really comes through on my palate. This Belgian ale was thick, syrupy and VERY sweet. Too sweet and thick for me but is sure to please the barley wine crowd.
If you would like to stay on the Queen Mary, be sure to look into some of the ship activities as well. It is a fun place to stay and a great alternative to a traditional, boring hotel. The free shuttle I mentioned leaves from the parking lot and stops in the downtown area only but runs until about 2:00am.
To stay aboard the Queen Mary: http://www.queenmary.com