Tag Archives: tacoma

Seattle 2016 (interlude)

At the Parkway, where my Dad and I had lunch, I got to have more beer and an interesting conversation.

“Resistance is good,” he’s telling me, “resistance is going to be vital. And we’re going to have to be brave, because it’s going to involve getting hit. Or at least the willingness to take a hit.”

I am worried: this is not something my Dad has had to tell me…ever, that I can recall. I know he’s right though, so I’m not sure which is more concerning: that he’s right, or that he’s never had to tell this to me.

30658518283_52877a3d30_c(Holy Mountain: Deadfall barleywine- maple in the nose, woody. It has some chocolate liqueur flavors which lingers on the finish, giving me a nice but unusual ending to the beer.)

“And to do it, we’re going to have to make sure we’re reading and informing ourselves as best we can.” Which I’m good with, because one of the rules my parents have instilled in me is how important learning is. I’ve been trying to keep myself engaged for awhile now; this is just a different level.

(Old School House: Awakening IPA- nose isn’t very strong but there’s a very pleasant piney finish on it, that I like. I want to keep drinking this beer.)

“However,” he eventually says, “it can’t just be about the resistance. You have to give people something to work for.”

“Like, a dream?”

“Exactly: people don’t want to work against. They want to work for and it’s going to be up to you to help articulate a vision that keeps people engaged beyond ‘resist’.”

Well. Is that all.

(Alpine: Pure Hoppiness IPA- I don’t get much nose on this and the finish is really rough on my palate. Not quite dirty, but not well offset; it’s like munching a raw hop without anything to counter it. I don’t want the rest of this and I only ordered a schooner.)

Pint Defiance

Last weekend I took a trip to the Seattle area to pick up a mini-fridge from Fuz. While there, I stopped by Black Raven brewing and got a growler of their scotch ale because it was super yummy, and the next day was in Tacoma to get the fridge.

However, while I was there, Fuz took me to Pint Defiance, which is a newer bottle shop in the area.

And it’s great. It’s bright, it’s got a ton of beers, it’s got a really solid list of taps if you want to stop and try something (we did: the Sierra Nevada Quad I had was delicious and plummy), and a staff that was quite helpful in suggesting some breweries to me that I hadn’t had an opportunity to try. I’m going to spend a couple posts reviewing those, because it sounds like fun and I just don’t get to try as many Washington State beers as I’d like. If you’re around Tacoma, I say give it a looksee.

Also, what I noticed was that there seemed to be a lot more breweries putting their wares in cans than I see in Portland. Admittedly, this is just my impression but if it holds true, it wouldn’t surprise me since the first time I ever became aware of a mobile canning company was via a video shot at Wingman, which makes their home in Tacoma. I think that if the tendency towards canning is true, it’s a pretty interesting distinction from what I see in Portland (so far).

With that noted, let’s bring on the first beer: Bale Breaker‘s Top Cutter IPA.

Fresh grassy notes in the nose that are not super imposing. This definitely suggests a fresh hop harvest addition to me, just because of the nose. The can doesn’t tell me what the ingredients were but I’m going with my impression anyway.

There are citrus notes in ale and finish but it’s not overwhelming. It’s definitely and IPA but without the incredible scouring finish that a great many NWIPAs might have. The straw color of the ale hints that the brewer held back on denser malts in order to showcase the hops of the beer but here it works. I believe this is because the hops just aren’t overwhelming to the beer; prominent; absolutely and the hint of sweetness in the middle is all but a ghost but because the beer isn’t so insistent, I just don’t mind the bitterness at the end. I dig it and hope Bale Breaker is able to find their way to Portland.

Seattle wrapup

While spending much of the last weekend at PAX, I made sure to take some time taking in what the locals drink and here’s what I recall:

Fremont Brewing had a lovely summer pale ale that made a very positive impression on me. It had an easy drinking quality and I would compare it to Deschutes’ Mirror Pond. I’d like to go back and get some more of their wares, because it really was a tasty beverage that I’d like more of and I’d like to see what else they do.

Brouwer’s pub is a great place to catch a pint or two. Go during happy hour though; it’s a little pricey. I can’t remember what brews I had exactly but I can tell you they were tasty and served properly. I was distracted by getting tiny plates of fries and sliders for dinner, which were super good. The staff was also tremendously helpful, returning a map for me that I very much needed to navigate the rough paths of Seattle. To the staff: thanks so much!

black raven ipaFinally, I had some of Black Raven‘s Trickster ale at the Parkway in Tacoma. As readers probably know by now, I have a thing for any beer named after mythological creatures and the Trickster is one of my favorite ones. It was an IPA that tasted like raspberries up front, drop of malt, then hoppy goodness at the end. Wonderful beer and if you have the opportunity, try it.

The beer was almost good enough for me to overlook the surliness of my server. Fortunately for us, she was soon supplanted by a much more pleasant one.

Out and about again

While in Seattle last, I asked where I should go to meet someone for a pint and I was told to check out Naked City Brewing. Got there right after they opened at four and I’m glad we arrived early. The place didn’t get crowded but a steady stream of customers arrived quickly and I could tell that this was a spot that could get hopping in the evenings.

I tried the Amarillo by Morning and the Pompatus of Love, the former a single hop IPA, the latter a peach saison and I liked them both.

The Amarillo by Morning had the ‘flaw’ that I’d noticed in the singletons I’d made recently; nothing very subtle about the beer. The hops came right up, smacked me in the mouth and said; yeah, I’m alone; whatcha gonna do about it? It was a lighter ale, so I think the hop element was bound to be front and center and there wasn’t much counterbalance to the beer. A good ale but one I wanted some accompaniment with- food would have been fine too- just so I could appreciate any nuances (if any) about the Amarillo by Morning.

The Pompatus of Love was a nice spin on the Saison style. The peach sweetness helped take the edge off the dryness of the beer and I think I would’ve had another, if I hadn’t been in a hurry to try as many beers as I could.

On top of this, it was happy hour-each of us ordered three drinks (though after my first pint I switched to schooners and so did my companions) and one pretzel was ordered but for three people we got out of there for under $25. I’d consider recommending Naked City just because of that-but with tasty beer and some good vittles? I’m going back next time. And you can’t stop me.

On the way home, I met up with Fuz at a Tacoma joint called The Spar. Good place; nice view of the water and the home made chips are just outstanding. Especially with a little garlic sauce.

While there I tried Maritime’s Imperial Pale Ale, and I have to say; I wasn’t enamored. It wasn’t bad but I couldn’t get into it either. It may be that I just wasn’t ready for an imperial before eating lunch. They have a brewery in Seattle proper so I’ll have to swing by and give them a shot.