Location: Kirkland, WA
Brewery: Flycaster Brewing
Reason: We had to run up to Bothell and well, this was on the way back
Every great journey requires some kind of hunt. No matter how prepared you are for the road ahead there comes a time where you need to become resourceful, where you need to take matters into your own hands, where you need to just catch a damn fish. In order to catch said fish, one must visit the expert, one must seek the experienced flycaster.
It had been a long weekend. A couple of our fellow brewery aficionados decided to finally tie the knot. After an absolutely AWESOME night of celebrating a couple of our favorite people, it was time for us to get back to reality. Luckily, reality for us means visiting breweries.
One of the benefits of Flycaster is the location. Located near the Totem Lake area of Kirkland, its one of the easiest stops off the freeway on the eastside. Neither of us had been there before so we weren’t really sure what to expect. Flycaster doesn’t look like much from the outside, but once you get inside its kind of a gem. The inside is warm and inviting. The brewer was there pouring that day and let us peek in the back room and check out the brew system. This is a place that I would like to visit on a cold fall day and sip beer by their fireplace.
Since it was our first time there we decided to go ahead and split a sampler. The standouts were the IPA and the Hopper Pale. I still think that a brewery earns its stripes with their IPA and their pale, so Flycaster has my respect. I would also like to giver honorable mention to the Rosehip Pale, which I really enjoyed, Matt preferred the Hopper, but to each their own. We both enjoyed Flycaster enough to come back a few weeks later to grab a growler to bring to a 4th of July BBQ (Editors note: Not only did we get a growler, but we brought it to other brewers. Huge compliment!). I liked Flycaster and personally, am looking forward to coming back for that fireplace beer as soon as the weather in Seattle decides to cool down.
Location: Snohomish, WA
Brewery: Sound to Summit Brewing
Reason: Snohomish is a neat city
Looking up at the Cascades can seem intimidating. The range forms in the far off land of Canada and runs all the way down to that Oregon place. Very few mountain ranges in the United States are as important and big as the Cascades. Sam-wise and I sat there, looking up at the mountains, having started our journey at the Puget Sound and thought to ourselves, “Damn, we need a drink!” And so we did.
Sound to Summit Brewing is a neat little brewery out in Snohomish, WA. I know it seems a long ways away from Renton, but this was a brewery I’d wanted to try before and thankfully Sam only lives a few minutes away in Everett. Once you walk into the brewery you see a well thought out brewery. They have a nice brewing system, nice clean taproom and some wonderful beers on tap. As always, I start myself with an IPA (Like a true Washingtonian) and Sam got the sampler. The Six Gill IPA is a great beer. With a hint of citrus and a little floral hint to the nose, it is a great beer on a sunny day (Which there has been a crap load this year). The six gill is a beer I would drink over and over since it was super refreshing and I love the citrus side of IPAs. I also had the Piping the side Pilsner. Checking my untapped I gave it a 4 out of 5 stars, stating “Refreshing” which it was. The thing with Pilsners though is once you had a good one, that is pretty much the top of the game. But I liked it a lot. Sam didn’t have the same feelings that I did towards the brewery. Rating most of their other beers in the 3 to 3.5 range. But, to each their own! Go there and try the IPA!
Location: Seattle, WA
Brewery: Machine House
Reason: Pre-M’s game Cask Beer
There is a time in everyone’s life where they have to make the difficult decision. For many it is, “Do I want a cask beer”? Well, in our journey that question was answered for us, by Machine House. Machine house is in an awesome location (Georgetown) in an awesome building (ITS MADE OF BRICK!) and more importantly, it is all cask beer.
Sam and I enter with hesitation. Well, not me, I ran across the street and into the brewery. But Sam was hesitant, since she isn’t the biggest cask beer person in the world. Sam was also hungry. And you don’t mess with Sam when she is hungry. So we ordered a few cask beers and then I ran down the street to a neat little sandwich shop and got Sam some food.
For those who do not know, cask beer is a unique experience. Since you usually drink cask beer closer to room temperature. I’m sure you’re asking yourself, “So its just English beer!” Well, yes – but also no. True, many English style ales are cask beers, since it just works that way. But cask beer is about the way it is created. Beer is carbonated and pressurized with COs (Or nitrogen for those Guinness type), but cask beer isn’t done that way, it is more natural. When beer is done fermenting, it is transferred into a keg and carbonated (Not always, but lets keep it simple). Cask is when the beer is poured into a cask, in its natural form and from there (Again, keeping it simple) eventually gets poured into our stomachs. Because it isn’t chilled and carbonated, it will tend to be a bit more warm and wayyyyyy smooth. Many breweries will do a “Cask tuesday/wednesday/etc”. Or you can just go to Machine house.
They had 6 or so cask beers on tap. All of which were good. I had the gold, best bitter and brambling IPA. I was a big fan of the IPA and bitter, those just work perfectly with cask beer. Sam was not as impressed, but was a trooper and still had a few beers.
Regardless, just go and try a cask beer. You won’t regret it!