Seattle Beerventure Pt 5 – West Seattle

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The Plan

We decided to hit West Seattle up for this next beerventure since I had a Saturday night off of work!  We planned this one around closing times to make sure we hit them all, and managed to time it just right.  This is *not* a walkable beerventure for sure, and I’d recommend taking it easy if you decide to do this one.  Truth be told however, we were definitely only impressed with about 3/5 breweries we made it to.  (Burdick is apparently closed for the season, or the people at Lowercase just thought we were so awesome they wanted us to hang out longer…Burdick’s Facebook and website were unclear, so I’m not sure what was going on).
*Also, it should be noted…I’ve been trying to keep track of the cost of the samplers, but when Toby & I take turns paying, combined with drinking, well…the note-taking lacks.

Check out the total progress we’ve made HERE!

8.2 miles/20 minutes/5 breweries/23 beers/5 badges

Tin Dog Brewing
Lowercase Brewing
Big Al Brewing
West Seattle Brewing
Elliot Bay Brewing Co

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Tin Dog Brewing

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Beers I Tried

1. Belgian Blonde
2. Saison
3. Stout

This was our first stop on our West Seattle tour…honestly, was kind of underwhelmed.  Besides being in the middle of a business park (not out of the ordinary, but it’s odd thus far on the tour), the two employees were not particularly excited about their product, and spent the majority of their time on their tablet computers.  One of things I’ve grown to enjoy about these beerventures is talking with the brewers or employees about the beer; what they’re doing, what they like, what’s coming up…so this was a disappointed stop.
Schooners only
We tried the Saison, the Belgian Blonde, and the Stout.  I preferred them in that order.  Nothing exciting, nothing to write home about.  Decent, and if I lived in the neighborhood, I might go there again, but far down my list of “musts” in the Seattle beer scene.

Lowercase Brewing

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Beers I Tried

4. pALE
5. eSB
6. iPA
7. bROWN
8. sQUASH

THIS PLACE was my favorite place of the evening.  The people were hella fun, knowledgable, and the space was just cool.  We did the mug puzzle, but we’d already paid for our beers.  THIS is my kind of neighborhood brewery.
$5/5 tasters
I’m usually not an ESB fan, but I really enjoyed theirs.  Pale was fine, my least favorite of the five.  The IPA had some nice floral notes, making it actually drinkable for me (STILL not on the IPA bandwagon guys, sorry!).  But I LOVED the Brown and the Squash!  The Brown had a great subtle coffee taste, and the squash had a great spicy quality to it.  Definitely recommend going out of the way for this one.

Big Al Brewing

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9. Time Capsule July 2014
10. Time Capsule August 2014
11. Irish Red
12. Tutta Bella Amber
13. Winter Warmer

This is one of those Seattle breweries that’d I’d already unknowingly tried their beer, liked it, but had never made the connection that it was in the city.  I was excited to realize this and hit the source!  It was hoppin’ (<-Ha.  Ha.), so we didn’t really interact with employees, but the upstairs area was awesome.  It’d be a great party room to reserve, with a huge TV, couches, and pool table.  We had the whole upstairs to ourselves, but got interrupted by a beer tour that was passing through.

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~$7-9/5 tasters (?)
The Time Capsule beers were definitely interesting; the July was a sour blonde that I actually liked, but I was disappointed in the August…not as hoppy as described, which surprisingly saddened me.  I’d had the Red before, and I’m a huge fan; my favorite of the five.  Also really enjoyed the Amber, but the Winter Warmer is one I’ll definitely be adding to my list of winter go-to’s.

West Seattle Brewing Co

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14. Dumb Blonde Ale
15. Road Rage Red
16. Timberline IPA
17. Imperial Stout
18. Bourbon Barrel Pale

This was so not awesome.  We were there on a Saturday, it is a *great* location, but the beer was not good.  Mind you, when we went, it was still a baby brewery; I hope they’ve gotten their act together since then.  It’s a cool space, but just doesn’t warrant a return.
$6/4 tasters
The Blonde and Bed were very “meh”, the IPA was bland, and the Imperial Stout was the best of the bunch, though still nothing mind-blowing. (I won’t judge the Bourbon Barrel because I am never a bourbon barrel fan.)  So here’s hoping it’s gotten better since November; they do have potential to be a good brewery.

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Elliot Bay Brewing Co

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19. Luna Weizen
20. Dry Hopped IPA
21. Noale Holiday Ale
22. B-Town Brown
23. No Doubt Stout

I LOVE ELLIOT BAY.  Ever since I went there for NYE 2014, I’ve been a fan.  The beer is solid, but the food is what I really love.  Seriously.  The elk burger in the Lake City location?  The Cuban sandwich I had in West Seattle?  My mouth is watering again.  Check it out!  Great date night location.  (And right across the street almost from ArtsWest…)
$7/5 tasters
Again, the beer is solid.  The five we tried were more of their more popular brews, but I really enjoyed all of them quite a bit.  My least favorite was the IPA and my most favorite was the Stout, but they were only separated by one star on my UnTappd.  Avg. 3.5 star rating.  Check them out; they do good, consistent, tasty work.

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So there it is, ladies and gentlemen.  Beerventure: West Seattle (#5) has been completed.  Only SoDo left!

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Seattle Beerventure Pt 4 – Ballard

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The Plan

My first beerventure with my new guy!!  I apologize for the belated post (yet again!), but I was part of putting Little Shop of Horrors up in 10 days in Bellingham (THAT beerventure post later this week!) and I returned to the end of soccer season commencing, which means hella hours at work.
I split the beerventure into two sets: Reubens, Stoup, and Populuxe just with Toby, and then Peddler, NW Peaks, and Hilliards with the Spees (Toby & I actually started the night at Rooftop, but it was a bit out of the way AND they’re moving!  So I’ll include that in my Other Breweries post!).  The map above shows the path we had planned on taking if we hadn’t split it up, but schedules only allowed for nighttime venturing.  This would be hands down the easiest, most fun beerventure thus far; Reuben’s and Hilliards are Seattle Standards, and the other four are great microbreweries doing some interesting things.  I’d recommend this one for out of town beer geeks who are open to trying new things.

Check out the total progress we’ve made HERE!

1.1 miles/26 minutes/6 breweries/33 beers/7 Untappd badges

Peddler Brewing Company
Northwest Peaks Brewery
Hilliard’s Beer
Reuben’s Brews
Stoup Brewing
Populuxe Brewing

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Reuben’s Brews

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Beers I Tried

1. Foreign Export Stout
2. Cream Ale
3. Kenya Cream
4. American Rye
5. Robust Porter

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I have always been a fan of Reuben’s…we’ve always carried it at the pizza place, and it’s always good.  I was definitely not disappointed!  The space was small, a lot smaller than I expected, but it was cozy.  And they had pretzels! Always a plus in my book.
$2/tasters
The two cream ales were hands down my favorites.  I really liked them both; I would order the Cream Ale again as a full beer, but I enjoyed the sweetness of the Kenya.  The stout and porter were very enjoyable, wasn’t a huge fan of the rye, but really, one of the most consistent breweries I’ve been to during these beerventures.

Stoup Brewing

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Beers I Tried

6. Robust Porter
7. Wheaton IPA
8. Northwest Red
9. Citra IPA
10. Bavarian Hefeweizen

Yay Stoup!  I’d had a couple of their beers on various taps throughout Seattle and was eager to check them out.  Another small space, food truck out front, but really friendly bartenders.  A very straightforward brewery with only a handful of beers on draft.
$2/taster
Robust porter, the red, and the Citra IPA were all really good.  I’ve realized I’m a huge fan of Citra hops and never turn down the opportunity to try a new one.  The Hefe was my choice, and the Wheaton IPA was Toby’s, and I can’t say I was a huge fan of either.  I was actually really disappointed by the hefe, they are generally my go-to at breweries.  The Wheaton was just a little too hoppy for my taste.

Populuxe Brewing

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Beers I Tried

11. Rye Pale Ale
12. Expansion IPA
13. Double IPA
14. Dunkelweizen
15. Beer Snob Brown
16. Blackberry Pale

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I LOVED THIS SPACE!!!  Such a cool outdoor beer garden with lights!  I want to have parties here!  Totally chill, not trying to be anything except a yard next to a junk yard with some picnic tables.  Loved it.
$2/taster
This place had my highest and lowest ratings of the night…lots of hits and misses.  I LOVED the blackberry pale and the Beer Snob Brown, but really couldn’t get behind either of the IPAs (although, again, a reminder I’m not an IPA fan…).  The rye pale was pretty good, and felt mediocre about the dunkelweizen.  They seem to have a pretty frequently changing list, so I’d love to go back seasonally to see what they’re up to.  Recently tried their Peach Saison at a party and very much enjoyed it.

We then proceeded to end the night with a beer at the Jolly Roger (I also needed my stamp!!), and by then, we were drunk enough to think beer battered deep fried bacon with maple aioli would be a great idea.  And it was delicious.

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Peddler Brewing Co

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Beers I Tried

17. ISA (India Session Ale)
18. Stage 22 – Oatmeal Stout
19. Coffee Saison
20. Tangerine-Wheat
21. Pumpkin Spice Belgian
22. Golden Pedal – Belgian
23. Caramel ESB

A cool space; it is definitely a great hangout for cyclists.  My friend Adam loves this place and was raving about their use of bicycle parts in the decor.  I am not a cyclist, so I missed these little nuances unfortunately, but I definitely get the appeal.
$2/taster
The ISA was pretty good, a subtle ginger flavor.  The Pumpkin Spice and Caramel ESB were very mediocre, and the Tangerine-Wheat tasted like cleaning supplies.  Coffee Saison I couldn’t decide on; the lightness was odd for the coffee flavor.  I enjoyed the Oatmeal Stout and the Golden Pedal, but overall, not a place I would go back for the beer.  If six breweries in one day seems daunting, this is the one you could skip (unless you’re a cyclist…then you should draw straws).

NW Peaks Brewery

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Beers I Tried

24. Enchantment Saison
25. Tinkham Berlinerweisse
26. Stuart Stout
27. Eldorado Pale Ale
28. Challenger IPA
29. Redoubt Red

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Very, very tiny space.  The line took up a lot of room, and it was extremely crowded but not a lot of people.  Definitely a place to go in the summer when the weather allows for outside seating.  Really friendly people though, especially the customers
$2-$4/taster
LOVED the Berlinerweisse, which is weird, since I’m not a huge sour fan.  The Redoubt Red was disappointing.  Not as sweet as I like a red to be, but I’m always let down by dryer reds and darks.  Everything else I gave 3.5 stars; good, drinkable, I’d definitely drink there again.

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Hilliard’s

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Beers I Tried

30. All Hopped and Lager
31. Opulator Doppelbock
32. Chrome Satan
33. Murdered Out Stout

The space is a huge warehouse.  I’ve hung out here a few times because Toby’s Biscuit Box used to do weekend mornings, and they’re great for Seahawks games, but the seating is not plentiful inside.  Another brewery you’d want to hit in the summer with good weather, or bring your own chairs if you’re planning on watching a game.
No tasters; good thing there were four of us so I could try four different ones!
$4/pint
I’d had Hilliard’s around Seattle as well.  They aren’t big on the taps, but huge can production.  Overall, their beers are solid.  There is nothing I’ve tried that I strongly dislike.  The Lager was the only one I didn’t dig; Chrome Satan is my go-to when I go there.

We ended the Beerventure Pt 4.5 back at Bad Jimmy’s where I proceeded to buy a tanktop, drunkenly effuse to the brewer(?) how he was my favorite so far, and love on their Strawberry Mango Hefeweizen.  Yes fruit beer!

Seattle Beerventure Pt 3 – Downtown

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The Plan

This was the last beerventure I could do for a while (I apologize for the belated posting…a month late.  Forgot this was sitting in my drafts!)…just finished up a show in Issaquah, and now I’m back waiting tables! So here’s to hopefully another beerventure soon!
I will say…this is not the Seattle Beerventure I would necessarily recommend (unless you wanted to skip Gordon & Rock Bottom, and hit up Bluebird on Cap Hill & Elysian instead).  It was half good/half mediocre beer, and it draaaaaained my wallet.  Started the day with $60…I think I ended with $5?  Only bought ONE HOT DOG besides the samplers (and I obviously tip decently, because DUH).  Definitely the most overpriced beer, just not worth it.  Sorry.  A couple good breweries, but not worth a whole excursion.  Hit them up separately for sure.

Check out the total progress we’ve made HERE!

2.6 miles/53 minutes/5 breweries/29 beers/3 Untappd badges

Six Arms – McMenamins
Gordon Biersch Brewery
Rock Bottom Brewery
Pike Brewing
Pyramid Brewing

Downtown Beerventure

Six Arms – McMenamins

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Beers I Tried:
1. Nitro (whatever was on…it was definitely some kind of stout, not on Untappd)
2. Ruby Ale
3. Hammerhead Ale
4.India Pale Ale
5. Terminator Stout
6. Ugly Puppy

You just can’t go wrong with McMenamins.  Their Happy Hour is amazing (cajun TOTS), and I like their beers a lot.  Also, it seems like this location has gotten a lot more chill in the last year; I’m not as stressed out for the servers/bartenders like I used to be.  I’m not as familiar with the Roy St. location, but I know I’d go there more if it was closer to my house.
$8+tax/6 beers
I honestly do not remember what the nitro was…wish I did, because I remember liking it.  But I almost always like nitros.  That smoothy smoothness!!  The Ruby and Terminator are my go-to’s at this place, but I actually really enjoyed the Hammerhead.  Not generally a pale ale fan, but this one was good, not too hoppy.  Ugly Puppy was a dark belgian ale, and it was good.  A sweet aftertaste that I enjoyed.
And then Jason ordered the Smokestack Mac & Cheese (bacon and smoked mozz)…I only had three bites.  It was magical.  I will go back for this any day.  (Also their brownie dessert with caramel sauce is TODIEFOR.  GET IT.)

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Gordon Biersch Brewery

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Beers I Tried:
7. Golden Export
8. Hefeweizen
9. Czech Style Pilsner
10. Märzen
11. Schwarzbier
12.Maibock

Guys.  Gordon Biersch was the worst.  Comparable to the Ram.  I wouldn’t have chosen it, but this challenge.  Gotta catch ’em all.  Jason even refused to drink beer and decided to go with a spicy pinot noir.  His words.  He also refused to make a nice face for the camera.  Jerk.

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$6.50+tax/6 beers
The Golden Export and Hefe were fine.  Nothing to write home about.  Did NOT care for the Pilsner or the Maibock.  The Märzen is what I’ve ordered in the past when I’ve eaten there (fine), but the Schwarzbier took me by surprise; I liked the coffee flavor.  But again, just overall not good.  I think the Schwarzbier just happened to be the standout.  I do not recommend this brewery unless you’re doing the challenge.

Rock Bottom Brewery

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Beers I Tried:
13. Kölsch
14. Belgian White Ale
15. IPA
16. Red Rocks Red Ale
17. Nitro Porter
18. Summer Blonde Honey Ale

Rock Bottom has decent food, but the bartender was really great here.  I was definitely a fan, it’s so close to the 5th Ave, and the food isn’t super overpriced (just a little overpriced), I’d go here again.  Maybe not for great beer, but for the atmosphere and location.
He charged me for one happy hour beer instead of the sampler…thanks bartender!
Liked the Kölsch, the Red, and the Porter.  Standard, yummy beers.  At this point I was decently toasted, so my note-taking suffered.  But I was very emphatic about the Honey Blonde, and did not care for the IPA or Belgian White.  Normally I’m a Belgian White fan, so dunno what happened.  All I wrote was “Meeeehhhh…”
*facepalm*
We also proceeded to send this photo to our bosses.  Hey Chad & Lauren!

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Pike Brewing

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Beers I Tried:
19. Naughty Nellie
20. Pale Ale
21. IPA
22. Kilt Lifter
23. XXXXX – Extra Stout
24. Monk’s Uncle – Tripel Ale

I love Pike Brewing.  I’m just glad they let me back in after the 26th Birthday Fiasco of 2013 where I apparently unknowingly propositioned the bartender.  Whoops.  Sorry, dude.  #vodkaredbullproblems
$12+tax/6 beers (<-efffff)
Naughty Nellie and Kiltlifter are two of my standard Seattle recommendations for out of towners; great beers, especially the Kiltlifter.  That and Boundary Bay are what got me into Scotch Ales.  I actually had never tried anything else from Pike that was on the sampler, so I was really excited to hit up this one.  Disappointed in the cost for sure (I know, it’s in tourist central), but the pints are reasonably priced during happy hour.  Liked the other four just fine, wasn’t too big on Monk’s Uncle or the Pale, but I didn’t hate the IPA!!  YAY!  The Stout was pleasantly smooth, but a bit bitter for my liking.  Give me a sweet stout any day.
And Jason is totally over it and this is where he ditched me.  I walked to Pyramid by maaaself.

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Pyramid Brewing

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Beers I Tried:
25. Hefeweizen
26. Curve Ball Blonde
27. Apricot Ale
28. Thunderhead IPA
29. Alehouse Amber Ale

I love going to Pyramid on game day!  Until I recognize the bartender that Megan left my number for last Christmas…who never called…*hides under hat**note to self: always wear a hat to Pyramid for this reason*
But seriously, the food is good.  Again, it is overpriced and nothing to write home about, but it’s yummy and you’re always surrounded by Seattle sports fans.  We actually went during an M’s game, and it was great.
$10+tax/5 beers
YOU JUST CAN’T GO WRONG WITH PYRAMID.  Not a huge fan of their Thunderhead (of course), but everything else was great.  I love their Apricot Ale and their Curve Ball.  Their Hefe is good and can be found on a lot of taps in Seattle.  The Amber was the only one I’d never tried, and I really enjoyed it.  They are my go-to sampler from the grocery store when I know I will be entertaining people, or am headed to a get together.  They’re drinkable, yummy, and relatively inexpensive.  And I really like their Snowcap, Strawberry Blonde, and Sounders Blonde beers.  They’re like a diner’s chicken potpie of beers; by no means mom’s homemade, but it’s comfortable and sometimes exactly what you need.
And cute bartenders.

So many fans!

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And no pictures of Chris, who joined me for this last leg, purely because I fancy myself a magnificent food photographer when drunk and I’m pretty sure I took photos from at least five different angles on my phone.  Good grief.  Drunk Heather is not a humble Heather.
Happy beerventuring!

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