Entry 81: 20,000 Leagues under the Maelstorm

Brewery: Maelstorm Brewing

Location: Kirkland WA

Reason: New Day, New Brewery

There came a time recently where WABL journey needed to explore, to sail into the sunset and discover new breweries. So we set a course and headed north towards the great unknown, when we noticed something ominous on the horizon, a swirling vortex, and before we knew it, we found ourselves caught in the grips of the Maelstorm.

On July 13, 2017, Maelstorm Brewing finally opened their doors in Kirkland. A project that has been brewing since owner and head brewer, Scott developed a love of beer. The newest kid on the WABL block, has a welcoming tap room with roll up doors and an outdoor seating area for those sunny Kirkland afternoons. The central location in Kirkland is perfect for meeting up with our friends on the north end of the lake. I would recommend getting a sampler tray at least once, if for no other reason, to admire the custom sampler trays.

Finally, for the real reason that everyone is here, the contents of those sampler trays. Maelstorm specializes in traditional craft beers. Matt and I tried the Petra Kolsh, the Pale, and the Anodyne IPA. I really liked the IPA, a traditional west coast IPA. Matt was a big fan of the Kolsh, very light and refreshing on a summer day, or when you are in the mood for a lighter beer. The pale had a maltier body giving it a fuller mouth feel, one of our friends left the brewery raving about this one.

Entry 80: Wet Coast, Best Coast

Brewery: Wet Coast Brewing

Location: Gig Harbor, WA

Reason: Weekend in Bremerton, needed a beer on the way home.

 

After weeks apart, our brave WABL journeymen came together to brave a new terrain. Samwise and I loaded up the war wagon (Fiat) for a long mission (overnight). Upon our journey home, we had to stop for sustenance. We found ourselves peering over a vast ocean, an ocean of beer.

Wet Coast is quickly becoming one of my favorite breweries in this great state of Washington.  It may not get the publicity of a Fremont or Cloudburst, but the beer is equal if not better.  In a strip mall off of highway 16, the brewery is has a classic feel that you come to expect.  Operating on a 3.5 barrel system, Wet Coast is able to keep 8 beers plus a cider on tap at all times.  When our journey took us near this brewery, I knew it was a must stop.

If you can get there now, I highly suggest their triple IPA.  When you think of IPAs, especially triples, you think hoppy and boozy.  But, this triple has a sweet finish that can be incredibly dangerous.  If you’re looking for that stronger IPA flavor, they have an imperial IPA for you.  If you are looking for something on the lighter side, the Pale, Cream, and IPA will all satisfy.

There are very few breweries I can recommend more that Wet Coast.  Child friendly, cool swag and a friendly vibe should be a reason alone, but the beer is easily one of the top 10 in Washington.

Entry 78: Nothing Standard Here

Brewery: Standard Brewing

Location: Seattle, WA

Reason: Do I really need reasons anymore?

There are times in life when you just want something basic. Something average.  Something standard.  But not on this journey, we demand the best and when it comes to Standard Brewing, only the name is standard.

Located on Jackson Ave in Seattle in a renovated house, Standard Brewery boosts a fantastic outside drinking area.  That is mostly due to the fact that the inside of the brewery is pretty small.  But the outside has several heaters, partially undercover and has a great craft brewery feel to it.

Standard has come a long way in the past few years.  When I first visited, they had a very small selection but in the last year, they have put a lot of time, effort and money to expanding their brewery and now they have 10 or so different types of beers on tap.

One of the first things I like to do when I visit breweries is taste their lighter beers and I do this for a reason.  Dark beers, while delicious, have such a rich and dominating body that it is difficult to taste any imperfections in the beer.  But when you taste their lighter beers, it is much more difficult to hid any problems.  You can taste the body, the hops, smell the aroma.  Get a really good feel for the talent of the brewery.  And when you go to Standard, you’ll notice that the brewery has tremendous talent.

I highly recommend the Mosaic Single Hop, the Jerry of the Day and if they still have it, their Wet Hopped Pale Ale.  All of them blend the hops and malt together perfectly to create a well balanced beer.  Especially the Jerry of the Day if you love those the tropical flavor of Azacca and Simcoe hops.

Standard also has a West Coast IPA (tropical and light), CDA (piney), and Rye IPA (dank and rye).  And these are the ones that I’ve had.  Standard has such a diverse selection there is a beer for anyone who wants to visit.

If you want something more than standard, visit Standard Brewery.  You wont be disappointed.  Just make sure to bring a jacket.

 

Entry 76: Our Dystopian Future

Brewery: Dystopian
Location: Tacoma, WA
Reason: They were open!


Its rare that Matt and I find ourselves on a Friday afternoon with no plans, but there we were last Friday, leaving work for the week and realizing that we had nothing on the agenda for our evening. Facebook’s data miners to the rescue! Suddenly an event popped up on my phone and I saw that Dystopian was opening THAT NIGHT! Obviously it was meant to be.
Right off the bat, I kind of dig the vibe of this place. Its got a very 1984 / V for Vendetta feel to the place that is pretty fun (you know, for a brewery). Located in downtown Tacoma, we found the place pretty easily because of the GIANT CROWD spilling out into the street. The second thing that I noticed was the beer. The beers are not subtle guys.The lowest alcohol content of the group was the coconut cream ale at about 5.3% and from there it went all the way up to the Entropy Cascadian dark at 10.5%.
While potentially dangerous, the beers are worth it. I tried the Everybody’s Crisis coconut cream ale to start, and it was amazing. It had notes of toasted coconut and a little caramel. It tasted like a glass of coconut creme brulee. After that I tried the Dapper Dubbel, which was also a stand up beer. Matt tried the Red Queen red IPA and the Entropy on nitro. This brewer knows what he is doing, hes executed a unique, non traditional tap list for his opening weekend and he executed it well.
Look forward to seeing more from Dystopian, because they are coming for you too.

Entry: A Toast to Triplehorn!

Brewery: Triplehorn

Location: Woodinville, WA

Reason: No reasons needed. Delicious.

 

As someone who has Nordic blood flowing through my veins, I’ve always felt a close kinship to my Viking brethren.  Someday, a long time from now, I wish to enter the halls of Valhalla and with my fellow Vikings drink a truly wonderful beer, Triplehorn.

As you enter Triplehorn brewery in Woodinville you are in awe of the “brewery feel” of this place.  You see large tanks holding soon to be delicious beer. You’re always greeted by a friendly dog (A must in my eyes).  And in front of you as you step up to the bar is a myriad number of wonderful Washington craft Triplehorn beers.  I’ve had a lot of Triplehorn in my life, and can you blame me? They’re fantastic.  Anyone who has ever been to the Washington brewerfest knows that Triplehorn is always a must to visit.  And this last year, they took 1st place is popularity. So you know they are doing something right.

I feel like I am running out of words to describe the deliciousness of Triplehorn beers. Amazing, fantastic, orgamsmic, fantastic.  All of them cannot do justice.  It is few and far between you meet someone who has had Triplehorn and doesn’t love it.  Be it their Landwink IPA, Falcon Cloak Golden Blonde, or the numerous seasonal beers they create, they are all mind-blowing.

I know in the past, I would list which beers are the best and a brief bio of that beer and their taste profiles. But no. Just visit. And if you’re with someone who doesn’t like beer there is a boat load of wineries right next to it.  Stop reading and go!

 

 

Entry 74: Sea the Forrest for the Pines (or something fun about Seapine)

Brewery: Seapine Brewing

Location: SODO Seattle, WA

Reason: Sporting events and beer

To be perfectly honest, its actually been a little while since Matt and I went to Seapine together, but I am trying to update this blog a little more often and when I was flipping through untappd, I noticed Seapine. I couldnt recall if we had written this one up, after a quick search, it appears that we have not. This is a problem for me because I ADORE Seapine.

Seapine is a wonderful brewery. Located in SODO close(ish) to Safeco and Centrylink its a great place to stop off before you make your way to park near the stadiums. Matt and I have stopped in a small handful of times together and its becoming a popular location for Matt to take his beer drinking buddies before a game. The taproom has a nice big, open feel to it with some outdoor seating for those great Seattle summer days before Mariners games.

The thing that really makes Seapine special though, is the beer. Prior to our first visit to the taproom, I don’t think I’d ever had Seapine before, so I went with a sampler. This brewery makes beer I like. The Seapine IPA is a great flagship IPA, its light and smooth with some bitterness at the end, but not overwhelming. The Mosaic Pale is everything I want a pale to be. Its very similar to an IPA with a much milder hop profile. The Peach Gose is especially refreshing, and one of my favorite beers to find on tap. I really like when breweries have a sour on tap because 1. I love sours and 2. they are usually a little lighter on the alcohol content (though in this case, the Mosaic Pale is comparable) which is nice if you are heading somewhere after.

In my mind, the absolute best beer that Seapine makes is the Positron IPA. If you listen to our podcast you may remember our episode about IPA’s, and our ranking our top 5. Positron is currently my #1 IPA. It is a single hop (Galaxy) IPA with the most tropical notes I’ve ever had in an IPA. It really is the most delightful IPA. Since we have growlers coming out of our ears at home, Matt and I have a general rule not to purchase any more. I broke this rule the first time we went to Seapine because I needed to bring the Positron IPA home with me. Try it, you won’t be disappointed.

Entry 73: Melting the Icicle

Brewery: Icicle Brewing

Location: Leavenworth, WA

Reason: Leavenworth Yo.

They say that there is such a thing in Western Washington called the “Seattle Freeze” where people in our great city (or greater metropolitan area) tend to be a little unfriendly and cold to strangers. I am happy to report that the only thing that’s cold at Icicle is the beer on tap.

Icicle is a must stop for anyone venturing to Leavenworth, especially on a beautiful, sunny, fall day. They have a great outdoor seating area that’s perfect for summer and fall. Speaking of, if you have never made it up there in the fall, I HIGHLY recommend a day trip sometime.


Matt and I have ventured up to Leavenworth a couple of times together and we make a point every time of stopping at Icicle. Its never disappointed. This was the first time that we actually sat inside though, and I have to say, I really like their open seating upstairs. You can get a great view of both the street below you and the brew system/cellar storage on the other side.

Now on to the main event, the beer. Our first stop on this trip was to grab a beer when we first got into town. So we each only had one. I went with the Munchen Haus Anniversary Pale and while it looks like I accidentally checked it in without a rating, I thought this was a wonderful beer. It had kind of a smooth creaminess of a cream ale, which I really liked.


After walking around town a little, we decided to grab lunch at the Bavarian Bistro down the street. Since I knew I was going to write this up, I felt it was necessary to try the Icicle Bootjack IPA that was on tap, also a winner. Its a well balanced IPA, not to heavy handed on the hops.

Since this is getting a little long winded I’m going to go ahead and skip to the end. We ended up stopping at Icicle right before we left to split a sampler. We started with the Colchuck Raspberry Wheat, while I’m not a huge fan of wheat beers, this one is refreshing, and would be a great beer for the non beer drinker in your group. Next up was the Prieve Porter, a good choice for the porter lover in your crew. Then the Colchuck Citris Wheat, which was probably my favorite of the sampler. We finished with the Relikt Alt, this one is a little bit different and maybe not for everyone. If you are new to beer, try a sample of this one before you commit to a pint.

Overall, my favorite beer of the day was the Munchen Haus Anniversary Pale, which makes me happy, because I love a good seasonal beer.